Mama, You Scream Too Much

on Thursday, May 7, 2009

While driving my 2 1/2 year old Little Girl to our Parent Participation Preschool Program (Hurrah for alliterations!), and searching songs that were being requested from her memory bank of fabulous songs, she dropped the following bomb, casually....

"Mama, you scream too much."

My heart stopped for just a fraction of a second and all the breath got sucked out of my body.

"What did you say, Sweetheart?" I asked gently....hoping she'd say "Mama, you mean so much" or "Mama, you clean too much" (yes..I know...reaching)

"Mama, you SCREAM too much", she said clearly.

"I do?" I asked. "Yes, you do!", she responded. "You scream all the time." she explained further. Matter of factly. Bluntly. Openly.

Tears filled my eyes.

"Daddy scream too much, too." she complained. "Nonna scream too much, too." she continued to rat us all out...with a shout out to her brother to end the outing. "Tonio scream too much too".

I asked gently, "Do you scream too much?" to which she replied...."Yes Mama, I scream too much."

I wanted to be thrilled that everyone else in the house had been implicated in the screaming, but the reality is that I am aware of my Dragon Mom status and that the bellowing starts at the top and screeches it's way down the totem pole.

  • I'm Italian - loud voices are normal.

  • I scream so that I can be heard over the kids screaming.

  • I scream out of frustration.

  • I scream out of habit.
  • My speaking voice kinda sounds like a scream?

I always feel bad about it. (Does that make me human or a rationalizing bastid?)

I wanted so badly to pull over, shine a light over my angelic little curly tops head and ask my little one to DEFINE screaming, you know, in her opinion. But I didn't want to alarm her and I was kinda hoping she'd forget about it before we arrived at the Child Development Parent Participation class and told all the other mothers my dirty little secret.

I honestly want to be the Mom who calmly intervenes when she spots the children pulling the dogs ears in seperate directions and hanging on to the tail as the poor animal is running for safety, but I tend to be the mom who inhales as if she's witnessed a drive by shooting and I start to yell.

I long to be the Mom who calmly goes to my 4 year old and gently hugs him after he's slapped the crap out of another kid and asks what he was feeling and what made him do that. But my honest to goodness first reaction is to quickly assess and bellow from where ever I am, "Knock it off!"

I honestly feel bad about my nut job reactions to the 6th time I've told one of the kids to stop whacking the other, through clenched teeth. I mostly regret my incredulous, bombastic intake of breath as one of my kids overflows the toilet. And I almost *GET IT* that screaming doesn't really do anything to change the behaviour but only serves to hurt and alienate my children.

And I guess it really isn't the big deal moments that cause me's the repetative small things like the constant nagging (me, not them) about washing hands, or the mind bending requests to pick up toys's in those moments that my voice reaches it's highest decibals.

In my defense, I come from a family of screamers. In fact, I must be a push over because I would have never had the nerve to tell my Mom or Dad that they were screaming too loud....the fear errr..respect level was too high.

Anyway, I promised her that I would try very hard to control my temper and not scream. And I even meant it.

Any other screamers out there?


Sally's World said...

oh goodness, i am a loud person, Dave is the oposite, so doesn't get it, i just say i am expressive, passionate, my whole family is, my mums side is italian and its headache inducing there...i think they are all used to me now...If i'm too quiet the kids adn dave ask me whats wrong!!! LOL!

nothign wrong with a bit of yelling, as long as it is not in anger, i don't see the problem!

have a great day!

Mary K Brennan said...

I tend to be the opposite..very calm. Although sometimes a good scream doesn't hurt. My parents were both screamers. We all turned out just fine:)

WhisperingWriter said...

Stopping by from SITs.

I admit, I am a loud person and I don't have a lot of patience. It may be because I'm an only child and wasn't really used to noise. Of course I gave birth to two of the LOUDEST children on the planet...

jori-o said...


icecheeks said...

:( Hugs to you - your post is what I am sure every Mom feels at least once a week! The best thing tho?? Ask your kids what they love about you and the list is never-ending. If you were perfect, life would be far too boring! Thanks for sharing an honest feeling!

KC Mom said...

I stopped by from Sits today and I just had to comment!
I'm a screamer too...come from a long line of screamers. I don't know why but on top of it all my voice carries. My children have inherited it from me. I wish I could say I was the one who broke the cycle but I didn't. I've had conversations with people where I've raised my voice and they freak out and accuse me of yelling. I have to tell them, they no nothing of true yelling. If I yelled, you'd know it!

Stacie's Madness said...

lol....this is me too.

screamer. cause they are usually screaming and I need to be heard...and I am loud, my voice carries...and YEAH, I'm reactive...emotional...that all equates screamer. :)

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

Yea... ummm... my name is Shelle and I am a screamer... I'm inpatient and unreasonable when I get that way also.

THanks for listening! :)

You're not alone!

This comment has been removed by the author.

I feel as if I raise my voice all the time..I am an only child with two actors for parents..totally doomed in the drama department. At least I'm raising two boys who aren't afraid of a little female emotion, well...sigh...that is what I tell myself.

B said...

I have to try so hard to not scream. Being raised in a home where the hand and the yelling were tied together it is the first thing I WANT to do, or at least it used to be. I've worked so hard to get past that so I didn't turn into my mother.

Either way, if it's not screaming, it's something else that makes us fall short of the mother-of-the-year award. We shouldn't be so hard on ourselves.

Kristin said...

Gotta love the wit of wee ones! I've been around screamers my whole life and I'm good. As long as it's not habitually out of anger I'm pretty sure you're still a kick arse mama! Hi from SITS!!

Mimi said...

It took me a long time to get over the yelling.

Thanks for stopping by my blog & helping to make my SITS day special!

Debbie said...

You betcha! I wish I wasn't. Isn't it the hardest thing to stay calm all the time?

Musings of the Mrs. said...

Italians scream. Its in our blood. There is nothing you can do. My family has all older people (I don't have kids yet). We still scream. I think the blood just runs deep. Don't be hard on yourself.

Rachel said...

*raising hand*

I hate that about myself. I make an honest effort to remain calm under incredibly frustrating circumstances (4 children, 1 husband) but as the day progresses, my voice gets louder and shriller. I bet it's more common than we think.

Thanks for being honest! Cool blog!

Momma Bear said...

oh how i can appreciate this post! im a fellow screamer/yeller too and came from a yelling family as well. I never thought to blame it on being italian..hmmm. no but seriously it does make me sad sometimes and i know the neighbors think i'm looney. but just wait...i think they'll get it one day when they have children.

Looking forward to reading more from your blog!
take care!

Louise said...

Oh yes!!!! Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I am NOT ALONE! (Can you tell I'm screaming?) Joking aside, it's very easy sometimes to get down on yourself (I have been recently) for being a bad Mama. Thanks for helping to let off the steam!

Zeemaid said...

I, like you, am a screamer. I, like you, wish I could be that calm mom instead of the dragon mom.

Lord knows I'm trying but most days it seems like a big failure and yeah... I'm worried my kids are gonna rat me out too. Sigh.

BTW I roll called under you SITS today so I thought I'd check you. Great blog!

Kris said...

Stopping in from SITS...yeah...this sounds so familiar...and the thing is that we really do sometimes long to be like those other people..but it's almost as if it is burned into our DNA somewhere lol..

~Thought's By Dena~ said...

I thinking screaming was in the handbook on page 101 heheheh

Dorkys Ramos said...

My family is one of screamers. Not just when they're mad, but that's just how they regularly talk! It's enough to make my ears hurt so I have to remind them to use their indoor voices, not their mountain top ones.

I'm fairly quiet compared to them, but can probably get a bit loud myself, too!

Coupon Magnet said...

Hi! Visiting from SITS! I could have written this post! haha. I don't even realize i'm beng loud most of the time. I even talk loud in normal conversation. Don't beat yourself up over it. :)