Orange you glad?

June 9, 2013

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Green has been my favourite colour most of my life. Oh there were brief stints where I flirted with deep blue and I had my obligatory phase of worshiping black. But over the years, when pushed for a favourite, I’ve always come back to green.

But at the moment I’m seeking out orange as much as I can. I made orange juice for dinner and drank it out of an orange cup. I notice it everywhere I go. Yesterday even I painted my nails orange and I plan to hunt for orange Post-it notes in the work stationary cupboard at the shop.

You see, for me, right now orange is the colour of mindful parenting. I’ve recently been introduced to a site called The Orange Rhino by a dear friend. The site is run by a woman who resolved to stop yelling at her kids and she shares her learning and tips along the way.

I was never one of those women who longed for kids. I didn’t babysit as a teen and the first time I really held a baby it was my own. (And it was such a strange moment I tell you.) Parenting has been the hardest job I’ve ever done. It turns out it’s a relentless exercise in self-control.

My kids are not play-quietly-in-the-other-room kind of kids. Nor are they sit-still-and-read-to-themselves kind of kids. They are attack-life-with-arms-wide kind of kids and fearlessly-seek-adventure-in-all-things kind of kids. I can’t wait to see how their lives turn out. I love them and I’m proud of them. Truly.

However, much like the metaphoric frog, I have slowly boiled away, stewing in my own hot anger. Slowly leaking more and more shouts and with the volume slowing rising up and up. You see, at the end of a long day I would prefer it if teeth-brushing time was just that, not jostling-for-best-position time. So I started yelling and after a while, I found it hard to stop. I was like the Hulk, angry all the time, snapping at the lightest grievances and exploding in righteous overreaction.

After a few shame-filled moments of realising I was scaring my kids, I started talking to my partner, my family, my closest friends (and one counsellor). I asked for help. I confessed I had run out of resources and even though I had plenty of theory tucked away in my brain, I just couldn’t put it into action.

Enter The Orange Rhino and her thirty day challenge. I got some friends signed up as my text-support and started identifying my triggers (for the record; messiness, business and lateness).

Hell I have a long way to go. A looooong way. But after surviving a tantrum of epic (and I do mean EPIC) proportions the other day without yelling once, I think I’m a little better. So this isn’t a post about how far I’ve come.

This is a post about taking a first step. And you know what they say about those.

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5 Responses to “Orange you glad?”

  1. Thank you for this post. Recently I realized that bedtime isn’t the calm execution of a routine to leave the kids tucked up in their beds, warmed by my loving words. It has become a completely rushed and loud experience. I feel like I am constantly yelling at the kids to get them to listen. After realizing this, I have been making more of an effort to have self control at these times. Some days it just feels HARD.
    I’ll be heading over to orange rhino to get some tips, so, thank you x

    • It IS hard. Super hard. The hardest. But you’re not alone. It’s just not something we talk about so freely. The hardest part (other than not yelling) for me is forgiving myself. I know the kids do.

  2. Tara Jade said

    It‘s a huge topic and I always feel that women carrying 150 or more % of work+kids+household, walk a thin line. I recently read a book “A helping hand for children” from Malcolm Southwood, and it really did change my view. In the end, everything starts from within. If I am calm, from within, if I understand what my children want, and how they want me to love them (and it‘s not the same for all), then I will not need to shout or get angry, because there will be an understanding (from children side!) where there won‘t be a need for that. I do recommend the book, and by all means, I do recommend meeting the author 🙂 it made a world of difference to me. Thanks for your post and sharing your thoughts so openly 🙂

  3. I have always resisted buying orange clothing but recently have found myself drawn to some items (in particular a pair of pants though I prefer to think of them as apricot!) in orange.
    So I found this post quite relevant to me, especially as I remember yelling a lot at my children when they were growing up. And to my shame, the yelling didn’t necessarily stop when they no longer needed to be “forced” into bed each night… Shame on me.

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