“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”
This quote haunts me. It throws me into a pit of depressive parenting guilt that feels too deep to climb out of.
I’ll admit that there are far too many times that I don’t want my child’s inner voice to resonate as me.
I’m too flawed.
In the midst of stress, I’m quick to anger.
More importantly, I’m still working on establishing an OK inner voice myself.
Can I please hire one of those calm moms who speak in soft, caring whispers to their children?
When it’s 8 p.m. and there is still homework to be done, dishes cluttering the table, laundry filling my bed and three kids’ worth of bedtime routines to complete … how do the whisperers stay so collected?
I slip. I yell.
It usually starts with socks.
“GET YOUR 6 PAIRS OF SOCKS OUT OF THE PLAYROOM!” I snap.
How has one child worn all these socks today anyways?!
Nobody’s listening and obeying. My inner voice is turning all shades of angry.
I yell louder, and the kids slowly start moving. The yelling worked. I’m ashamed and sad, but it worked.
There is no way I could ever be an Orange Rhino mom. Orange Rhino moms are real moms who don’t yell at their children. They’re a group on Facebook with tactics to help you stay calm. I tried and fell flat on my face. I’ve convinced myself they are called Orange Rhinos because Orange Rhinos only exist in fairytales, alongside the moms who speak calmly all day.
I feel like I SHOULD be a mom who can calmly handle situations. It’s my job, after all. I should be darn, tootin’ good at molding a perfect inner voice within my kids.
But alas, I am not that. Personally, I’m pretty sure it isn’t possible. If I do achieve it, someone should have my head checked out, because my body has probably been taken over by one of the Stepford Wives.
Those calm, whispery moms are the pedestal moms. The CEOs who have climbed the parenthood ladder with success.
After 9 years of trying to not let the stress provoke me into fits of screaming lectures, I still haven’t learned.
I’m failing my children’s inner voices.
I hope I’m not wrecking them too bad.
I know I’m not alone. I’d bet the majority of us have inner voices that were battered along the path of life. It might be from parents, siblings, bullies at school or significant others.
It’s hard to shield your children from all the incoming chatter that forms their inner voices. Life is too messy.
The one thing I feel like I can teach them is how to love unconditionally and forgive. Through that love, they can help rebuild, shield and create better inner voices for those around them.
A parent in my daughter’s preschool class recently told me how much my daughter meant to hers. This little girl had been struggling with bullies in the class. My daughter was the light for her child. She’s made it a point to play with her and include her as much as she could.
I’m not sure what my daughter’s inner voice is right now, but despite all my yelling slip-ups, she must be OK.
She knows everyone deserves love equally, and even more, she knows how to forgive those who make mistakes.
So bravo to the whispery moms who can survive the days so calmly. I’ll be over here, occasionally yelling in hopes of sparking some motivation and obedience in my children.
Related post: I Am Done Yelling