Monday, June 14, 2010

A story about patience

Generally, I am not a patient person.  I'm a slightly anxious and slightly high strung actually.  I don't like crowds, line ups or loud noises.  But having children and over 7 years attending to their needs I have grown more patience.  They have changed my life for the better in so many ways and I try to be a good mom to them in return.  It didn't come overnight though, I've had to work on my patience.  I've had to leave the room and count to ten on more than one occasion.  When I start feeling overwhelmed I ask my husband to take over to give me a few minutes of perspective.  Sometimes all I need are a few minutes of quiet and I'm back into the thick of it with renewed perspective and patience. 

An overtired two year old. 

Once a week my husband works late and I have the girls to myself for the evening.  We play hide and seek, paint our nails, play ponies and read books.  We did all this tonight in fact.  My youngest (3) was overtired and crying at the drop of the hat.  My oldest was too for that matter.  After redirecting a few fights between them ("You can't hide where I'm hiding!!"  "Madelyn won't let me look at that book!!") and getting endless glasses of milk (3 each to be exact) and giving them individual attention and hugs where needed it was time for bed.  I was doing pretty good!!  Instead of losing my patience I would calmly redirect them or dry tears and give hugs. 

When bedtime is drawing near I give them time to adjust to the idea that playtime will soon be over and our bedtime routine will begin.  I usually have to ask them a few times each but eventually they are herded into the bathroom to brush their teeth, wash face and hands and have a pee before bed.  We all crawled into bed, they fought about which book to read first and I found a compromise book - one of our favorites - I Spy.  They even managed (the poor overtired dears - insert sarcasm here) to fight about who was spying.  After stopping tears of a fight over the book for the fourth time (we didn't even get to finish the book) I had had enough.  I decided I'd better settle them down before I lost my patience.  WELL....then it was a fight about where they slept.  They can't both sleep in my bed because then the youngest keeps the oldest awake or they kick each other and fight over covers...but neither of them was willing to leave my bed.  What was I to do??  The youngest was crying and the oldest was trying to snuggle down and get to sleep.  It's usually my oldest that I ask to compromise but that wasn't happening tonight.  And with my three year old refusing to get into her own bed or get into my bed I lost my patience.  I had my own little tantrum and they both ended up in my bed.  I left the room and waited in the bathroom for the youngest to come out to ask for water but she didn't and I went back in to see them both laying quietly with their eyes closed, no tears and trying to go to sleep.  I kissed them each and told them I loved them and left the room.  They just succumbed to the comfy coziness of mommy's bed and all is right in the world again.  What do you do when you feel your patience slipping? 


  1. Like you, if my hubby is home and my patience is slipping I ask him to take over. I have also had to go to my room and count to 10. It is amazing how much my own kids can test my patience.

  2. Nothing like the coziness of the big bed to make the world all right again! I think it's ok to show our children that our patience is slipping occasionally, when the situation calls for it, and talk about it (with older kids). Otherwise, time-out is the best cure, I find.