A few weeks ago a friend of mine posted a link on Facebook to the Orange Rhino Challenge. Basically, this challenge was started by a mom who wanted to yell less at her kids so she decided to challenge herself, and other moms, to 365 days of no yelling. She picked a “rhino” because a rhino is generally a laid back animal. Unless it is provoked. Then it gets all vicious on you. And she picked the color orange because it is a warm color and she wanted to be a more warm and caring mother to her kids.
I’m thinking about taking up this challenge. Well, actually I’ve been “thinking” about it since my friend posted it a few weeks ago. But obviously, if you’ve been a fly on my wall the past few weeks, you will know that I haven’t fully accepted the challenge of no more yelling. I’m wondering how difficult this is going to be. And if the no yelling applies to how I relate to the hubs too. It probably does. Dang it.
I’m thinking the challenge will be super easy with Vivienne. I haven’t yelled at her once in 9 whole months. Wow, I’m such a great mom. Jonah might be a little more challenging. I tend to raise my voice at him because he’s so good at tuning me out. And Brienne, well, I get frustrated and yell at her more than I care to admit. Sometimes I think she should be more mature and helpful than she actually is. Then I remember she is only nine years old. Still a mere child…
I probably should have started this challenge a couple days ago. This past weekend was full of all amounts of craziness, tantrums, illnesses, etc… First, it rained the entire weekend. Actually, “stormed” would be a better word. So the kids couldn’t go outside and run all of their energy out. To make matters worse, my sweet husband, who I love dearly, is training for an ironman (yes, he’s pretty amazing). But by training, I mean he holes himself up in the garage on his trainer and cycles for hours. Yes, I said hours. Like four or more hours. I’m sure it’s no stroll in the park for him but its also no fun for the mama stuck inside with three whiny, bored kids.
Last night was sort of the last straw. Peter worked on our taxes all morning. Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful he did that. But then he went for a run for a couple hours. Then he went to Life Group for a couple hours. I stayed home with the kids because Brie had some sort of weird rash and I didn’t know if it was contagious. So anyway, by about 6:15, I felt like I was living in a zoo. Vivienne was screaming because she was tired and wanted to be held. Jonah was crying because he had been bouncing on the bed and decided to jump off. Apparently it hurts when you dive head first off of a twin bed. Who knew? And then Brie picked that very moment to bring her iPod to me, with music blaring, so I could listen to a song. Seriously? In what reality would I be able to concentrate on the words of a song when I have two babies screaming their little heads off? I might have raised my voice a little. And then I promptly got Jonah ready for bed because this mama was ready for bedtime. Some days, 7:00 can’t come soon enough.
Today is a new day and full of its own challenges. But doesn’t every day contain at least one thing that makes us a little crazy? I’m choosing to embrace the insanity and to do it with less yelling. I know there will be days that I fail, and that’s okay. I’ll just pick myself back up, apologize, and try again.
I wanna be an orange rhino. I dare you to be an orange rhino too.