/ #Parenting 

How to be patient with your children

Everything’s peaceful and happy until the kids start to fight or whine. Here’s how I’m learning to be patient.

Chaos inside my head. My thoughts were running around rampant as if in the midst of disaster Lists of things to do, worries of things to come, frustrations over the lack of time.

Chaos outside my head. My two girls were running around the room unaware of an impending disaster.

“Mommy, you’re supposed to carry me.”
“Mommy, can you do this for me?”

An endless string of “Mommy, mommy, mommy…”

The heat started building up in my chest, rising through my neck, crawling into my head.

The whining grew louder and louder, “Mommy!” “Mommy!”

I tried to hold it back, push the feeling farther down. To no avail. And I finally exploded. “Stop it, both of you!”

Silence. For a moment, the whole room was silent like it had never been the whole day.

My two girls were stunned at my sudden outburst, they didn’t know what hit them.

I was a disaster waiting to happen and they were the unwitting victims.

A false sense of relief came over, quickly replaced by guilt. I was angry with myself for losing control.

But I wasn’t the only one who was angry.

My big girl, her brows tied into a knot, went into one corner of the room.

My little girl, her eyes teary, retreated behind the closet door.

Have you ever lost your temper knowing you shouldn’t have?

I’ve always thought of myself as a patient person. At least, when I still didn’t have kids, my patience was as thick as rope.

Now I find my patience being worn thin every now and then. And I never like the aftermath of an outburst.

It seems like the most understandable reaction. I’m tired, I’ve got a hundred and one things to do. I hardly even have time for myself. I can be impatient.

I looked at my girls sitting quietly in their corners. One stifling sobs, the other looking out the window, both of them clearly hurt, if not just as angry.

I gathered both of them in my arms, “I’m sorry. Mommy is just tired today.”

I felt there had to be a better way.

How do you become patient?

“Think before you act, because you can never take it back.”

Echoes from my childhood. I heard it from my parents. I heard it in homeroom class. And yet, when I looked around me I saw people who acted (it seems) without thinking.

It seems so simple yet so easy to forget.

“It’s okay Mommy,” my big girl hugs me. Ah children, it’s a good thing they forgive easily.

“Do you still love me Mommy?” my little girl asks. She has always been the more emotional one.

“Of course I love you,” I say and plant a kiss on her forehead.

She must have been confused and she doesn’t need to tell me why.

I don’t read the Bible much but I remember the first two lines.

“Love is patient. Love is kind.”

The room is silent except for the soft breathing of my little ones on the bed.

Peaceful.

I am sitting in my corner desk writing in my journal. Just as I always do when I need answers to my life’s questions.

I want to be more patient.

The words are like a call to the Universe for help.

Practice it.

Sunlight is streaming through our window, bathing the bedroom in its early morning glow.

It’s another day and a new beginning. I’m grateful for the chance to start again.

And so it is, with this new mission in my mind, I am practicing patience for the following weeks.

I am deliberately focusing on being more loving and practicing a better way to respond to my children.

Every week, I’ll have one patience practice and I’ll post about it on the blog.

I am using the flower aster as a visual for this series of posts. Asters are said to symbolize patience and love.

Would you like to join me?