Finally! The moment I have been anticipating has happened. In 4 days my daughter will turn 6 years old but she just couldn't wait to be *that much older* before she told me that the reason I was sending her to her bed early last night was, "Because you HATE ME!"
It's out of the way, now. She tried her best to play off my inner insecurity that my children won't know how much I love them but it didn't work. I replied with, "I could never hate you. I will always love you. Now get to your room because you are going to bed early for your behavior tonight." The reason I kept my cool as she screeched, grunted and stomped on the way upstairs was because I promised my children that I would not yell a them this month.
The idea came to me when I was driving around and listening to Christmas music and remembering how much I loved the month of December as a kid. All the lights on the houses. The decorations in the stores. Sitting in my living room with all the lights off except the Christmas tree lights. And I decided that I would try my best to not be the raging lunatic I felt like I was becoming lately - job stress, money stress, holiday stress had me all in knots and it came out as shouting 24/7.
By not "yelling" I am referring to the moments when I raise my voice so loud that the neighbors can clearly hear me shouting - for the 800th time - "This is the last time I am going to tell you to pick up all those toys before I throw them in the trash. Do you understand me??" Of course they understand me. Or the moments in the car when my hands are waving erratically and I'm screaming because I can't handle hearing "Stop copying me, Alex" one more time - and the guy in the car next to me can't see the kids through the tinted windows in the back so he just thinks I'm belting out an 80's tune with the radio or that I may need medical attention.
So far, so good on this journey to just talk in a firm voice, issue warnings and then follow through on timeouts, early bed times, or confiscating objects that are creating strife. And they seem to be reacting better to my requests - unless of course if you think your mother hating you is an inappropriate reaction. I think it's quite normal for an almost-6-year-old who wants to be 12.
If all goes well, I may make it my new years resolution, too!