I have a confession to make: I'm an angry mother.
It's only been recently that this has become a problem. Don't get me wrong, I yelled before, but it wasn't common. Actually, it's been since my concussion last March. Apparently this is one of the big long-term, side effects and there's basically nothing I can do about it. I know I can also blame a lot on pregnancy hormones and having Gozer for a second child (that's her new nickname, btw), but I don't want to make excuses. I just want to change. I was thinking about some talks from leaders of my church. Even if you aren't LDS, they're worth reading. They make you stop and think about what you're doing.
Any of you who are LDS probably remember President Uchtdorf's first address to the women of the church in 2008. It was called Happiness, Your Heritage. This is the one where he talked about his wife making fantastic meals but never thinking they were good enough. There were two things he said that really struck me that day:
"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before."
AND then he quotes Brigham Young, "Nearly a century and a half ago, President Brigham Young spoke to the Saints of his day. “There is a great work for the Saints to do,” he said. “Progress, and improve upon and make beautiful everything around you. Cultivate the earth, and cultivate your minds. Build cities, adorn your habitations, make gardens, orchards, and vineyards, and render the earth so pleasant that when you look upon your labors you may do so with pleasure, and that angels may delight to come and visit your beautiful locations. In the mean time continually seek to adorn your minds with all the graces of the Spirit of Christ.”
My goal was to create a garden and home that angels would come to visit. It's a process, but it's coming together. I've tried to make my home warm and inviting and have developed a fantastic routine for keeping it clean. On the surface it looks great! And yet, the angels have stayed away.
It's because of my temper. Bless my wonderful little girl for forcing my to acknowledge this weakness in me. It isn't easy. It's downright embarassing. But admiting you have a problem is the first step, right?
This brings me to the next talk I remember, from Elder Holland called the Tongue of Angels. Again, it's worth reading even if you aren't a member of my faith. In particular he says, "We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don't say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child's view of himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that child's faith in us and their faith in God. Be constructive in your comments to a child—always. Never tell them, even in whimsy, that they are fat or dumb or lazy or homely. You would never do that maliciously, but they remember and may struggle for years trying to forget—and to forgive."
I think of the times I scream at my kids for breaking something I just bought. For getting mud on the floor I just mopped. What message am I sending them? That they are less important than things or appearances, that's what. And that is just plain sad. No matter how much I cuddle with them after and tell them I'm sorry, it doesn't take away the sting of my words. I've let it slide too long using the excuse that it's frojm a brain injury, but I think I have now let it become a habit. Regardless of it's origin, it needs to change. And so internets, since I seem to have the bread baking down (I have more pictures!!), I have a new resolution. Stop yelling, mom! Maybe I can give myself a reward (chocolate!) for days I don't yell or gardening money or something. But I will find a way to break myself of this awful yelling habit of mine. Then, hopefully, the angels will come to my garden. Wish me luck!