Friday, April 12, 2013

The Orange Rhino
At the beginning of the month I discovered a blog called The Orange Rhino.  It is by a woman who has 4 boys at home, and realized one day that she was a yeller and a screamer.  She realized she was depriving herself and her boys of a loving, calm experience through her instant reactions of yelling all time time.  She started on a journey, determined to go a full 365 days straight without shouting at her kids.

Her post "10 Things I Learned When I Stopped Yelling At My Kids" was a little bit viral on facebook, and it is how I found the blog.  As I read it, I broke down and started to sob.  I can identify with her plight, and her ideas make so much sense to me.  

The more I delved into the blog, the more beautiful it became to me.  She is not so much about tooting her own horn for stopping yelling at her kids, as she is offering encouragement from her own experiences.  Her facebook page is full of other Mommies (and some Daddies) talking about how hard it is to keep tempers in check, or talking about successes they have had.  It is a cheerleading group for parents who are trying to stop yelling at their kids.  I have stopped there for encouragement a few times, and when I feel strong enough to encourage others I make sure to do it.

There is certainly solidarity in numbers.  Knowing that I am not the only Mommy who is confused by how much I shout encourages me.  I am not the most patient or soft-spoken mother, but I am certainly not worst mother in the world.  I make mistakes, and this community allows me to make them and then helps prop me up when I need it.

She encourages putting orange reminders all over the house, particularly in areas where yelling occurs the most.  I did some further reading on the blog, and the reason she chose orange was because it is bright and happy, and it is very eye-catching.  In fact, now that it is on my mind, every time I see the color orange it prompts me to take a deep breath and think of how much I love my family.

I have tried to take on the Orange Rhino Challenge, and it is really hard!  She challenges her readers to go an entire year without shouting at the kids.  I've been trying for about three weeks now, and I have only gone about 2 days without losing it at my babies.  I am determined to add it to my efforts to allow the beauty I deserve into my life.  My kids are worth it, and so am I!  

I have shortened the challenge for myself to just one week.  I have already missed the mark today, but that doesn't mean I will stop trying.  Some days are certainly easier than others, and tomorrow I will start all over again at Day 1.  The kids are beautiful and they are worth it, and with a virtual community of support it is so much more attainable.  My husband is even on board with it, and we use the phrase "Orange Rhino" with one another if we sense escalation. 

It will work.  I know it will.  Even at lunch time today, my 3-year-old decided that it would be a good idea to flip over his plate, and I'm not even sure he realized he was doing it.  Pears, crackers and yogurt all over the floor.  I spun around on my heel and MUCH to my own surprise, I said, "Uh-Oh, buddy!  What happened?  Go ahead and get down and clean that up," and went back to finishing lunch prep. My jaw flew open in surprise, because I totally didn't even feel the urge to yell.  It is possible!! It is all a matter of remaining present in my body and recognizing potential to yell...and getting my heart to speak before my head.

I deserve BEAUTY in my life!

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