I have been told a few times that I have a lot of patience. I don’t disagree with this statement but at the same time, it’s not entirely true. I just know how to hide my lack of patience. Although I may look calm and collected on the outside, in certain situations I feel frantic and enraged on the inside! For example, I took both girls to an Easter egg decorating party at a friend’s house. I had already had a rough day with my oldest daughter and my little one was being super fussy and clingy. I debated about not going but convinced myself that the girls would be fine once we got there. Boy, was I wrong! My oldest was not listening to anything I said, running all over the place and knocking over containers of egg dye. (Not on purpose, at least I don’t think so!) I was chasing after her pretty much the entire time. “Don’t touch that, put that down, please come back down stairs…” At one point a friend said to me, “Man you have a lot of patience. If that was my kid…” She had no idea that I was boiling on the inside! I was at my wits’ end. My daughter was just coming into the threenager stage and I was in a full-blown internal panic. We left shortly after that statement was made and I cried pretty much the entire way home thinking, what in the hell just happened?
It has always been very important to me to keep my cool with my kids. To try my best to remember that they’re not purposely trying to frustrate me. They’re kids, plain and simple; and at this age they are testing their boundaries. I’m not one to cause a big scene and yell at my kids in public, although I have come close to losing it a few times! There’ve been days when we’re out running errands or at a playgroup and one or both of the girls starts testing my patience, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and completely flustered. At the end of those days when I look back at how worked up I got, I feel frustrated with myself. Although they didn’t get the full brunt of what I was feeling on the inside, the fact that I felt that upset at all was not OK with me. I’m now beginning to accept that it’s unrealistic to think that we as Moms will never lose our patience. It’s going to happen and that’s OK. It’s about how we handle ourselves in those moments when those tiny monsters, I mean little angels are testing us.
So now, instead of staying in a situation where my girls are acting out and allowing myself to get to the point of total internal frustration (OK, a little external frustration as well), I simply leave the situation. That’s right, I drop what I’m doing no matter where I am at, pack up and go. It doesn’t matter if I’m in the middle of grocery shopping with a cart full of groceries (sorry to whoever has to put everything back), in the middle of a playdate or out to lunch. I will no longer let my lack of internal patience get the best of me. Also, by leaving, my girls are learning that when I lay down the law, I mean business! And that is a beautiful thing!
How do you maintain your patience when your kids are acting out? Tell us your stories below!
Live, Laugh, Love,