This Mom Has a Masters in Conflict Analysis – and Spoiler Alert: She Still Yells

By: Emily Shandruk

You know the old saying “the cobblers kids have no shoes”? Well, the Mom who has a Masters in Conflict Analysis and Management still yells at her kids.

Yep, it’s true.

Even though I teach a class of MBA students how to manage their expectations and navigate conflict, I can’t seem to do it with the 8 and 5-year-old that live under my roof (don’t tell my boss). One of the main strategies I work on with my class is curiosity before expectations. We talk about asking questions such as “Why is that important to you?” or “What would the best possible outcome be for you in this situation?”

Emily Shandruk is a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Business Administration at Lakehead University, focusing on Conflict Management and Negotiation.

Seems easy enough. But, what does this look like in the world of parenting? It goes a little something like this:

It’s six in the morning – someone woke you up because their pinky hurt. Someone else took forever to finish their cereal because, well, they want to tell you about the last five chapters they read of Harry Potter…WORD-FOR-WORD. Now, you’re rushing for the bus, forget to brush your teeth, and – ah yes, that cup of coffee is cold once again.

It’s hard to ask, “Why is this so important to MY kid right NOW?” when you’re already 10-minutes late leaving the house.

Offer my kids cookie dough from a mixing paddle? LASER FOCUS. Ask them to put their socks on? It’s four laps around the house and a search for a missing pumpkin eraser they lost TWO Halloweens ago.

It’s hard not to feel like your only option is to yell. Sometimes, I feel so invisible buried under everything required of me, that I yell not only to be heard (PUT THE SOCKS ON) – but also to quiet everything in my own mind and get back on track.

There’s a reason why there are so many memes about mothers screaming at their kids to get dressed and get out the door – (BTW, the reason: KIDS).

The most hilarious memes are rooted so deeply in truth, the ones that make us laugh and cry all at the same time. 

Emily, her children, and her husband.

However, I will say, there comes a moment, (usually, once we are all out the door and tightly strapped into our car seats) that I take a breath, turn around, and apologize. I apologize for raising my voice and I apologize for losing my cool. Most importantly, I do not qualify it with a “but “. “But you made me yell because no one was listening.” I just say that I am sorry and that I will try and be better.

When you add in a, “but” it diminishes an apology and lessens the positive impact it’s intended to have. At least that’s one thing I pull out from my education around conflict management. No “but”.

But…how do we get past the yelling and actually get out the door?

The truth?…. I do not know. Seriously. I feel like there are memes of moms losing their crap etched in stone in Ancient Greece.

 “Ah, yes Screamitis. The legendary goddess of motherhood and lost craps”.

I feel like we would drink wine together.  


Did you see our call for contributors? Emily did just that! Emily Shandruk is a New Mom, Who Dis? friend and community member. We are so grateful Emily chose NMWD as the place to share her experience with motherhood – and most importantly, for showing us even PROFESSIONALLY TRAINED MOMS YELL.

Want to contribute? We want to share YOUR funny, honest experiences with motherhood, pregnancy, birth, parenting, fertility, pain, joy- no subject is too big or too small

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