I’m a yeller. Not Old Yeller, but a yeller. I can scream real loud. My voice carries fairly well even when I’m just talking. You know the whole “unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” that is mentioned in 1 Peter 3? Never fit that bill. Tried to. Wanted to. Prayed that I would. Just can’t. That is unless I have laryngitis. While being heard can have its advantages, this trait, unfortunately, can also break spirits. And there’s nothing that breaks my heart more than when I look into the beautiful, blue eyes of my little boys after I have literally taken their heads off with my yelling. I loathe this about myself. I can’t count the mornings I’ve woken up vowing not to yell at my boys. Within a short time, that promise has already been broken. So, instead of trying to make new rules for myself in the way I speak to them as their mother, I decided to get to the root of why I lose verbal control so much. I think I found an answer after much soul searching. My agenda. Before I was a mother, I dreamed about being one. I imagined how full of bliss and joy it would be. I longed for the days of teaching them and reading to them. Giving hugs and sharing kisses would be a regular occurrence in our home. Well, those days are here and I have often wished them away. When I thought about motherhood years ago, I didn’t take into consideration the things that I would need to get accomplished. Things like laundry and meals and housework and grocery shopping and doctor visits. But, these are very real things in my life on a daily basis that need to get completed. And when I’m trying to complete them and my boys need me, I lose it. Not to mention when I’m trying to watch my favorite TV show every Monday night. (No names.) I mean, is it crazy to sit down for an hour in the evening in order to watch some mindless show so that I don’t have to think? Can’t I have any time to myself? Why can’t they just leave me alone?!!! I’m quite certain it’s because they are children and they need me. Hello? I’m the parent. I doubt they are trying to ruin my alone time or make me mad. I shouldn’t expect them to fend for themselves on things they certainly cannot. They need me. And quite frankly, the want to be with me. My pastor often says, “Sacrifice is giving up something you love for something you love more.” Now, I think Jack Bauer is awesome and all, but I love my boys more. After all, isn’t that why DVR’s were created? I think so. I have been making choices over the last several months to lose my agenda for the sakes of my boys. And I’ve found that when I do and when I expect to be there for them, I am not yelling, nor am I easily frustrated. I now find myself actually enjoying being with them more. There are times during the day that I need to get things done, but even still, I remind myself that they will still need me. They are still my priority. I’m not yelling nearly as much. And we’re all happier for it. Have those closest to you become a burden? If so, it just might be time to lose your agenda. **Originally published on November 11, 2007.