You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance. ~Franklin P. Jones
Just recently, I really started to pay attention to my moods. To what is going on around me when I start to lose my patience with my girls, even just with life in general.
Some days I don't "lose" my patience, I just didn't have any to start with.
What makes us mommies lose our patience so quickly??? (those of us that aren't perfect)
It's amazing really, when you start to pay attention.
I have found that usually it has nothing to do with my girls. It is either everything to do with me, something to do with my surroundings or everything to do with the people around us.
It might be that I'm frustrated with my husband and the fact that he's sitting on the couch while i'm running around like crazy. Maybe it's because the person next to me in Walmart has a look on their face like it is the first time they've watched a 3 year old have a meltdown. Maybe it's because we're running late. Maybe it's because we're at a friends house and I'm worried about their floor getting dirty or the little fingerprints they are leaving on every single thing they touch.
Can anyone else relate to me on this? Gosh, I hope so, or I must sound like a complete nutbar.
Next time you find yourself getting ready to lose your cool, stop and pay attention. Why are you losing your cool?
For the most part, (for me) it comes back, AGAIN, to what other people think.
Don't get me wrong, there are still many times throughout the day that my kids are simply driving me crazy and doing stuff that they shouldn't be. Usually during the day when I'm home alone with the girls, we all get along fairly well. Add some people or a different setting to the mix.......
Last week, someone (in MY house) made the point of saying that my (just) 3 year old is getting saucy. As soon as those words were uttered out of his mouth,, I started analyzing everything that she did. I was like this sudden drill sergeant who was going to make sure that she wasn't saucy. I was going to prove him wrong! Really, why did I even care what he thought or said? Even if she is saucy, what's it to him? I did defend her by saying that she was in nursery school all morning and didn't have her afternoon nap. That gets me "good mom" points, right? I still felt the need to worry about it though. Within minutes, I was getting upset with her for every little thing that she said did, or didn't do. How was that fair to her? It wasn't her issue, it was MINE!
The very same night, another friend made a point of saying "wow, this is what it is like when two kids eat sugar".... I was thrown a little off guard. I'm sure he meant nothing mean by it, but it just struck the wrong nerve. Yes, my kids were running around having fun, and when a 3 year old and a 1 year old play together, it isn't always quiet, but they were having a blast... Until I stopped them.
I stopped them from playing, from having fun, from entertaining each other, from laughing "loudly" all because I was concerned that it was "bothering" our guests.
As I type it, and read it back to myself, I can see just how wrong this is, but at the time, I guess I just didn't want my kids being judged.*I* didn't want to be judged!! Naturally,, lol.. the way to deal with that would be to get mad at my children, right??!
Once I laid in bed that night, I realized just how horrible of a mother I was. My kids were being kids, why would I ever stop them? Maybe instead of getting up and putting my children to bed, I should have told our guests that they were free to leave anytime they wanted.
Some days, I can almost feel the anxiety building in my body as I look around my house and see 5 loads of laundry, toys scattered on the ground, dishes piling up in the sink, an empty fridge and 2 hungry children. I'm sure if I looked in the mirror, I could probably see the patience floating out of my body. The feeling of being completely overwhelmed takes over my body, and even the slightest thing makes me lose my cool. (when i say lose my cool, i just mean that I get irritable, snippy, short-tempered. I don't want you to all think that I'm a raging lunatic or anything) Again, this has nothing to do with them, and everything to do with me. I say this as if I'm an expert and know better, yet I get upset because my 3 year old doesn't want a nap, or if she takes too long to get up the stairs or put her coat on. It still irritates me that I just changed my 1 year olds diaper and I can already smell her across the room. I get upset that she won't sit in her high chair or in tub. I could cry because she is throwing her dinner on the floor and I just mopped. Why?? Because I'M having a bad day.Because I didn't get enough sleep last night. Because I didn't make it to the grocery store yesterday. Because I didn't get up early enough to have things done before they got up. Because I slept in and now we're in a rush and running late..
So.... who needs the time out? Who deserves to be yelled at? Mommy does! My girls definitely do not!
I read a story recently, I wish I could remember where I read it. This very subject was discussed. I may not have the story perfect, but I will tell what I remember.
It discussed a primary teacher and her students. The teacher had a fight with her husband the night before and was stressed when she got to school. She had no patience at all. The children were being children and she got mad, yelled and put them all in a time out.. After a few minutes, one of the children came to her desk and asked her if she thought she might feel better if she came and had a time out as well...
Isn't that hilarious?? Kids are smart!! She realized, like I have so many times, that the children weren't behaving any differently that day than they did every other day. Because of her mood though,, she had no patience.
Things haven't changed much since I came to the realization of all of these things. I still yell, I want to pull my hair out some days. I do find myself stopping and thinking about what is going on now though. Once I can actually stop and figure out what is "really" bothering me, I can feel myself calming down.
Sometimes I do need a time out, 5 minutes in a room by myself to just sit and breathe, or cry, or even bang my head off the wall.. HA!!
Just yesterday, with tears streaming down my face, I told my husband that I just needed 5 minutes upstairs, because I could feel the patience "floating away" (I had a tough day for many reasons).... 5 minutes was all it took. I laid on my bed, let the tears flow, and that was that!!
It saved my blood pressure from going crazy, and it saved me looking really mean to my girls.. Everyone was a whole lot happier and it only took 5 minutes of alone time!
In a perfect world, every day would be like that, until then I'm sure I'll continue going into my girls bedrooms at night, looking at the little angels sleeping and wondering how I could ever get mad at something so perfect. I will continue to lay in bed and beat myself up, wondering why I can't be a better mom. I think this is just our life from here on out. We'll have good days and we'll have bad days, but hopefully as we spend more time figuring out what is going on with US, and taking more TIME OUTS, we'll start having more and more good days with our "little angels"!!
Have a great day ladies, hopefully you don't need too many "time outs"!!!