How can you have more patience in Motherhood?
I asked some friends what is one parenting skill they’d like to improve and many said they wanted to have more patience. I realized yesterday after waiting 1 1/2 hours for something they said would take 30 minutes…that I wasn’t a very patient person and probably shouldn’t be writing this post. Really, my ultimate test in parenting came when I had my third child. He was a very mischievous kid and frequently tried my patience!!! Just imagine craft paint all over the carpet, messes galore, taking things apart, and of course putting carpet cleaner in the lawnmower.
What exactly is patience?
It is defined as, “The ability to endure difficult circumstances such as perseverance in the face of delay; tolerance of provocation without responding in annoyance/anger; or forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can have before negativity.”
Sounds a little bit like motherhood…endurance, perseverance, and not responding in anger/annoyance to challenging things.
I’d say the first step in having more patience is to recognize times when you are least patient. Think about the last few times you were impatient. Do you see a pattern? What is setting you off? Is it when you are shopping for a long time and your kids whine or cry if they don’t get what they want? Maybe they talk back or fight with siblings? Maybe they can’t stay focused on one task for too long and need a break. There is a breaking point for all of us. It helps if you can figure out what sets you off and adjust some things to avoid it in the future.
For me, I had to find an outlet for those feelings. We called my son ‘destructo boy’ because he was always making messes or destroying things-funny now that I look back, I think he was trying to help. That was when my temper really surfaced. I had to learn how to control it. Lots of prayer and I found that if I gave my kids beads for good deeds or chores and when my son did something and I was really mad, I would take a whole handful of beads back. That seemed to calm me and put the focus on the beads and not my son. I also learned that my son’s Love Language is touch. He really responded to the hugs instead of the yelling or spanking. His behavior actually began to improve.
None of us are perfect. Motherhood is hard work! There is a reason Patience is a virtue. It isn’t always easy to achieve. But the point is which direction you are going. Are you improving? It is never too late to change. You can make a difference in your family!
STUCK IN LINE SOMEWHERE? I feel like we are always waiting for something. What do you do when you are waiting for long periods of time with the kids? Media seems to be the #1 go to for parents, but kids need to have actual conversations. What other things can you do to stay sane and not so focused on the wait? We have played games like “I Spy” or told jokes or made up puns.
It’s a good time to ask them questions…if they are little-what color are your shoes, how many books do you see…as they get older-talk about their friends or struggles or things they are looking forward to doing. These have helped us have a better time. We spend a lot of time traveling in the car…It’s a great time to talk and interact with your kids-They have no where to go!
Take care of yourself! Parenting is a very selfless job! But you need to give yourself a break once in a while!
- Get enough sleep. If you are not getting 7-8 hours of sleep it will show in other parts of your life. Sleep! You’ll feel a lot better!
- Drink plenty of water.
- Exercise-yep. It helps me tons!
- Eat healthy
- Find a hobby
What if you get angry? What do you do when you get upset? Don’t act in anger! Find a way to calm yourself first. It helps me to:
- Understand my child’s intentions-imagine how they feel and what they are going through.
- Take deep breaths
- Find something to laugh about
- Give yourself a timeout-walk away for a minute
- Say a little prayer to help you calm down-This helps me!
- Tell a joke
- Do multiplication tables-whatever works to distract your mind!
Plan, Plan, Plan! Not just the calendar. Plan what you will do or say if your child disobeys. What punishment will you give?
Unfortunately, you will make mistakes and your kids too. Apologize, make it right, show even more love afterwards. Spilled milk is not a big deal. How they treat you is. Differentiate between the two. Don’t let the little things upset you.
You are molding and teaching your children and at the same time the Lord is molding and teaching you. Remember He is there to help you. I have prayed many times for guidance in how to parent my children. He has helped me remain calm in difficult situations. He has helped me know what to say to a child in a difficult conversation. He will help you if you ask!