Monday, 6 April 2015

No Shouting for 40 Days - Did I Do It?

A while back I blogged about giving up shouting for Lent. Yesterday was Easter Sunday so Lent is officially over now. (Actually I count Palm Sunday as the end of Lent as that's 40 days and I don't take feast days off. But I was ill last week so didn't get chance to write up.)

So did I manage it?

Well ... no.

I made it to Day 20 though. And I could probably count the number of times I shouted on my fingers. But no, I didn't manage it.

I could beat myself up about it - I'd made a promise I didn't keep. Or I could learn from it.

One thing that having made the promise did was make me notice why I shouted. I realised I have two main triggers - lateness and illness.

I've known that running late or feeling rushed makes me shout for a while, so I try to avoid those instances. But I'm raising a small person here. There will ALWAYS be times when we're running late. And I can't use it as an excuse to shout every time. No matter how late we are, I can take five seconds to calm myself down.

Then comes illness. Eleanor starting preschool has welcomed a whole range of lovely diseases into our household, and I always wind up suffering with them more than she does. I've been ill almost constantly for over three weeks now, and Eleanor has had plenty of snotty noses and sore throats too. Looking after an ill, whiny child when you're run down is hard work. I get very grumpy when ill, so it does push me to shouting point at times.

I've been trying to cut myself some slack, allowing Eleanor to entertain herself when possible and resorting to the TV or tablet more so that I can rest up. But that's not sustainable - screen time has a negative effect on her moods and I feel guilty for not spending quality time with her. So I need to take care of myself better - get more sleep, eat better, get more fresh air.

Self care doesn't come naturally to me - I always feel like I should be doing something other than just rest, and I prioritise Eleanor's health over mine. But if neglecting myself means that I can't do fun things with my daughter, or that I shout at her, then it doesn't help either of us.

Although I didn't make it through Lent without shouting, I'm glad I tried. I may not have stopped shouting for 40 days, but I found new ways of hopefully stopping myself in future. And I might finally get rid of this cold ...