This is what MIB told me last night before she went to bed.
Yesterday she wanted to sleep with Nani instead of her room. So of course Nani said yes.
It was getting late (after midnight late) and she still wasn't sleeping. I was in the living room on the phone with a friend and looked out of the corner of my eye and saw my mother's bedroom door opening and closing repeatedly. I knew it was MIB and KNEW she needed to be sleep so I yelled:
"MIB! Stop opening and closing that door, get back in the bed, and go to SLEEP!! Good night! Mommy loves you!"
After that she closed the door, got back in the bed, I finished folding my laundry, watched the end of "Sodom and Gomorrah" (#KanyeShrug), and continued talking to my friend.
About 20 minutes later Nani came in the living room and told me that she was trying to call me to her room to check on MIB. She was crying because I screamed at her and I hurt her feelings.
"You didn't hear me calling you?"
"No ma'am...you know your door is soundproof. What's wrong"
"MIB is in here crying...come here."
I went into the room and all I saw was a pair of large, black, shiny eyes.
"Baby, come here...what's the matter?"
"Mommy I crying!"
"Because you yelled at me!"
Then she broke down and started sobbing in my arms and that broke my heart.
My mom told me that I shouldn't be hollering at her because it will lower her self esteem.
"When you were a kid, your daddy might have hollered at you when he was drunk but I would always sit you down and talk to you calmly...remember?"
"You shouldn't raise your voice at her like that. When she does something wrong and she needs to understand that you should come in here and talk to her calmly. She's already going to have some issues with the way she walks as she grows, don't give her any other self esteem issues."
I understood and I remembered. And then I apologized.
"MIB...listen to mommy. I am so sorry that I raised my voice at you and made you sad. But you have to listen to what mommy says and be a good girl. When I tell you something, it's because it is something that you have to do and mommy wouldn't tell you anything that would hurt you right?"
"Yes ma'am." ~sniffling~ "You made me sad and I'm crying!" ~wailing~
"Baby...baby...look here. Mommy will try not to scream at you again. But I want you to know that you still have to listen to what I tell you and that I love you. You're my girl and you mean the world to me...and it hurts me to see you so sad. So stop crying now Sweet Pea...'kay?"
"You still my girl?"
~Big ole toothy grin~ "I'm happy...are you happy Mommy?"
"I am now baby."
Big shugs (sugar and hugs...yeah I'm country).
Being a single parent and having all of the responsibility on one's shoulder can make for stressful situations especially since there really isn't someone there to help balance out the load of said responsibility (this can happen in marriages as well...but I'm speaking as a single mother). And unfortunately we take it out on our children because sometime they do that one little thing that takes us over the edge. But we have to learn how to rope our negative emotions and feelings in before we unload them on our innocent MIBs.
What have I learned from this?: To stop, take a deep breath, and talk to MIB before chastising or screaming at her. And, instead of taking it to level 5 right away, start at one...hell that's how we count right?
YCMs...what advice do you have about not taking out other things on your MIBs?