I am by nature a yeller. I grew up in a family that yelled. I learned to yell, even to relish yelling.
Then I married Buds. Not a yeller. Doesn’t have the genes, nor the constitution to be a yeller. He grew up with Family Meetings.
My childhood “Family Meetings” were called “Dinner” and there was always yelling and things might get thrown…like a fork.
So, since Buddie’s comfort was much more important than my need to yell, I finally learned to work through my anger in a different way. The way sometimes involved my slamming out of our house and walking around the block feeling irate and almost blind with rage. Very difficult for Buds to understand.
I worked through it by the time we had children, but after the children were older, I realized that I still had the propensity to yell, though not the desire. It generally came about when I was feeling ignored or tired or under pressure to rush. I abhor being late, and that rushing feeling doesn’t bring out the best in me.
I realized that one of the main times I was yelling, feeling rushed, and ignored (The Perfect Storm), was when we were leaving the house.
Everyone’s shoes were tossed into the coat closet in a mad jumble. Somehow the shoes we always wore would wiggle their way to the bottom of the closet every single time they were tossed in there after being worn. Every single time.
I finally realized the problem wasn’t with the children, nor with me. It was the shoes. The shoes were out to get us. The shoes were out to destroy my peace of mind. It was an institutional problem, not user error.
So, I changed the system. I started by having a bin that was just the shoes we wore most frequently. That helped, but it was still a massive jumble, and the bin was stuck in a corner, and frequently one of the children would bump against the corner of piano, and that hurt…Better, but not the best.
A week ago, we implemented a new system. After rearranging the living room, we found extra space for a wooden shoe rack. Now, each person has as many shoes out as can fit on the rack. This means Zachy has 1 pair, Noa has 5.
And today, as soon as he had taken off his shoes, The Buster carried them right over to the rack. That’s a victory.
Plus, I haven’t had anyone say “Mom, I can’t find my shoes,” for a week! That was worth vacuuming under the couch for.