When I was a child, I always envisioned myself as being this patient, gentle, kind and caring mom who was always understanding and never yelled. In my dreams, I was all of these things and I was great at it.
Here I am now, a mother of three and I’m exactly what I always said I wouldn’t be. I’ve lost all patience, I’m not as understanding and I’m a yeller. The kids fight and boss each other like no other. I’m always trying to correct them which turns into an argument and then turns into yelling and then more yelling because my patience is thinned yet again. Especially since my ten-year-old has recently said that he asks for things or to do things over and over until I give in… I knew he did this, but I didn’t know HE knew he did these things! However, it’s not just him. My six-year-old does it too and this is why my patience has thinned out and I’m not as understanding and tend to yell a lot more often than I’d like. Thankfully my youngest is only a year old and doesn’t have to deal with this… The sad part is once you start these bad habits, it’s near impossible to stop. (It has even entered into my marriage and that is never a good thing.) The lack of patience leads to yelling, even over simple things like; not shutting the refrigerator soon enough, leaving shoes in the floor, leaving toothpaste in the sink to dry, or dripping water all over the floor so that I’ll step in it. (I can’t stand wet socks.) I’m like a volcano, ready to explode on anyone around. (I’m sure my OCD doesn’t help matters at all.)
I have realized that my lack of patience has caused me to yell a lot more and I have decided to try to be more patient… walk away when I feel overwhelmed and count to ten and remember the mother (and wife) I want to be. Then I can reevaluate the situation and be the kind, gentle, caring and patient mother I always envisioned myself being. I have to remember that they are used to asking over and over to get their way because I allowed it, so now that I am changing, I have to keep in mind that it’s going to take some time for them to get used to this new change as well. Be firm and consistent, but patient. Lately when they ask for something and they don’t like my answer, they’ll try again like always, but instead of my usual giving in after yelling that they have already asked, I have been telling them “asked and answered”. Meaning they have asked for what they wanted and I have given my answer… end of subject. Just because they don’t like my answer doesn’t mean it’s going to change if they keep asking… at least not anymore! I just have to keep my cool and remember to be patient with them while we get used to this “new” mother I am trying to become.
Another thing that I am doing to try to gain my patience back is spending more time with my kids. Yes, MORE time! I know; usually when a parent is at their wit’s end and out of patience, they go out… without the kids. Don’t get me wrong, I miss date nights with my husband and would love more time with him, but spending time with my kids is extremely important to me too. I have noticed that when they have my undivided attention, they listen more. It may not last long, but for that moment I have more patience!
I’m ashamed and embarrassed by my lack of patience and yelling lately, but all I can do is pray and work on it. Strive to be the mom I’ve always envisioned I would be. I got this!