By Guest Blogger Kristen Bagwell

It’s funny how some days the obvious smacks me right in the face, yet it feels like a total revelation. Yesterday’s big eye-opener? I am a yeller. OMG! I totally am a yeller. When did this happen?!

I had always pictured myself as a happy, cookie-baking, calm and serene mother of 2-3 kids, young, slim, pretty, etc etc. Well. Hello reality. Maybe that would have been the case if I had started having kids in my early twenties instead of my mid- 30s, at which point I had already developed a taste for my work (which I mostly enjoy) and my things (which I definitely enjoy). This pretty well forces me into the working mom category, which seems to be a big reason for me to have become a yeller. It’s not all my fault, though – there are also two very cute (and selectively deaf) contributors in this household…three, if you count the one with 4 legs.

To be clear, I do not yell mean and ugly things. I don’t insult anyone, nor am I rude (well, not specifically rude. Yelling itself is not exactly polite…anyway). I yell because sometimes, it seems like the only way to get these people to hear what I am saying. Insert the Chris Rock / Jackie Chan movie scene here: “DO YOU HEAR THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH?”

Case in point: Monday was a national holiday. Mommy wanted to go to the pool. Mommy thought this was a fantastic idea, and so did the rest of the family when we discussed it on Sunday night. Being a holiday, we had to get out the door somewhat early to get to the pool early to get a good spot (those of you with young kids realize how key this is). Somehow, though, departure time got shockingly close, with very little movement toward the door. Parading around announcing “pool time” and hassling the team to get dressed did not seem to do the trick, so I finally ended up yelling. “DID I MAKE THESE PLANS FOR FAMILY FUN ALL BY MYSELF?! DOES NO ONE WANT TO GO HANG OUT AT THE POOL EXCEPT ME?!” To which I got a baffled look from my toddler and a “jeez, honey, we’ll get there” from my husband. Huh. This from Captain Punctual himself…but that’s a story for another time.

Another example happens any time I plan to leave the house without one or both of the “team.” Regardless of how many times I mention it to the hubs, he is always (!) surprised that he’ll have to keep our daughter for the evening or overnight. “Wait, what? When are you leaving? I swear, you always spring these things on me.” No darling, I swear you never listen. I have even made it a point not to tell him anything while the TV is on – not while he’s watching it, but if it is on at all – because for some reason those magical waves drown out, well, everything.

Then there’s the shortest (and cutest) culprit. I will tell her something like “Ok pal, 10 minutes until we go upstairs for bed. Got it? 10 minutes.” She’ll agree, and we’re fine…until I go to give her the 5 minute warning, and she’ll say “Mommy. What did you said? I get 10 minutes first. Then I get five.” I JUST TOLD YOU 10 MINUTES, AND THAT WAS 5 MINUTES AGO. YOU EVEN SAID ‘OK 10 MINUTES.’ ARE THERE MONKEYS IN YOUR EARS?

The worst part is, it doesn’t even matter. I can (and have) yelled until I am blue in the face, and nothing much changes. Either I am not that scary, or yelling is not that effective, or both. I am thinking at this point that I’ll need to invest in a giant box of q-tips (ear cleaning for the entire family, to eliminate that excuse) and a new exercise program (so I will be too tired to get so frustrated so quickly)…or something.

I guess confession is good for the soul because I do feel a little lighter after baring my soul this morning. I also just remembered that my mom yelled here and there too, and it wasn’t scary when she did it either. RATS.