I just took one of those quick online surveys from a baby website asking how many times you yell at your children. I selected “never” (which isn’t completely true, and I’ll explain later). When the results were displayed, I was surprised that few other moms selected it as well (only 4%!) compared to the other answers. The other extreme—yelling at your children several times a day—garnered 18%!
Let me explain now why “never” isn’t exactly true. When he about eight weeks, I was home alone with him, still not completely settled into my new mom of a newborn role. This was also the time when we were rocking him to sleep on that ridiculous yoga ball as the only means to get to conk out. I remember putting him down for a nap, only for him to wake up a few minutes later. I took him and bounced him again on the ball, but all he would do is cry. And I yelled at him, “Why won’t you just sleep?!” The response from him was immediately more and louder crying, coupled by fear as to this frightening reaction from his mom. And my response was remorse, guilt, and comfort to try to assuage his fear and confusion.
He didn’t know what he did wrong to make his mom so angry like that. I’ve gotten frustrated to the point where mentally I wish I could just shut him up or stop whatever it is that he’s doing to irritate me. But I’ve yet to yell at him since. Instead, I usually just take a step back, attend to the matter at hand and remind myself not to get angry at him.