This is a topic that is a work in process. I have to be so intentional with my interactions, which makes this introvert SUPER TIRED by the end of the day. Stimulation overload! How to be a patient mother takes PRACTICE!
Seems like a dull statement, because isn’t that what everyone says about everything needing to be learned? It is, but that’s because habits take time to form. Change is an inherent part of the parenting gig. Kids are forever changing, and we are too! The clincher is that kids learn behavior from us, their parents > SHOCKER! BUT, hang with me.
What We Need to Remember
The most impressionable age for a person is from 0-8, it seems strange, but with all the connections that are being made in the brain during these years, whats learned during these stages STICKS!
And when I think about that, I can recognize that if I have a poor response, I’m connecting the dots in my sweet child’s brain that this is a valid reaction. YIKES! When I think about that, I can get myself into check quickly, ya know what I’m saying?
It seems simple enough but when you’re in the moment, it’s hard to make the changes that are necessary to leave a positive lasting impression.
And that’s where practice comes in! We have to practice what we would like from our kids and how for them to react to us. I also fast forward in my mind to how I want them to treat their spouse and children one day.
Listen, the baggage we place on our kids during their childhood gets carried with them for the rest of their lives. Perfection doesn’t exist, and hurts can be righted, so don’t be just totally freaked ;), but much of how our children see and interact with the world does depend on us.
Patience Can be Increased
I don’t have this perfected, and I don’t claim to be Mother Teresa, but I have come some way in handling myself better and being more focused on how my aggravation could be coming across.
Going with the flow comes natural to some, but has to be learned by others (insert hand raise here). I’ve been able to help myself by using these tricks:
- Start praying – may sound funny, but when I’m walking into a “situation” (screaming kids, toys being thrown around, not listening for the hundred bazillionth time, etc.) I begin to pray. Even something as simple as saying “God, please guide my words” has helped me tremendously in the moment.
- Countdown – count to 5 before speaking. This can work in a plethora of ways. It gives you a moment to calm down, choose words carefully, and gather a solid thought. I like this method because it takes about that long to dramatically improve responses I’d otherwise be quick to handle poorly.
- Give in – ask “why”? Sometimes I recognize that I’m being legalistic about something. Saying no just because it seems logical, instead of for a truly valid reason. Saying yes, and going with the flow helps you loosen the grip on needing to perfectly manage something. This will inherently breed more patience because it forces your mind to accept something that feels unnatural, but is instead met with validation when the “problem” isn’t really something that’s truly adverse. I’ve found that by asking why, I can quickly evaluate the pros and cons and give in when I can.
These tips have helped me have better perspective and more thoughtful responses for handling all the nuance of motherhood (and all of life for that matter).
Patience is a gift that you can develop for yourself. It will serve you far more than the investment of making a change. Trust me, do this for yourself, and if not you, for them. Those sweet babies of your’s need to feel safe, heard, and supported. Being frustrated, annoyed, and high-strung will not serve you or your relationships well.
Try these tricks! If you have any more tricks, share below in the comments! We’re in this together! #withboldintention