Today’s guest post is from Susan Merrill, who serves as the President of iMom. Susan is a workshop speaker at the 2013 Hearts at Home conferences. This picture was snapped of the two of us at the National conference in March!
I have a confession: I Struggle With Patience.
THE PROBLEM…is me. I have had innumerable opportunities to learn to be patient. The reality is conflicting, sometimes I am patient and other times I am not.
Patience is an entire chapter in The Passionate Mom because it is in my top three things I fail at consistently. A PassionateMom has the ability to suppress annoyance when confronted with delay. Sadly, I don’t.
Patience is a virtue that I have chosen not to value enough to make a habit. And my family knows it. Last night, at my daughter’s family birthday dinner, my son Mark jokingly commented about his observation of the Merrill females. Some, he said, are very emotional. I was one of them. The example he gave was my emotional impatience with him when I come home from the grocery store and his truck is parked in the driveway blocking my access to the door.
Annoyance reeks havoc on my patience.
3 REASONS WHY YOU ( I ) SHOULD BE A PATIENT MOM…
- Patience will make a mom wiser. “Patience is the companion of wisdom” -Augustine. (click to tweet) Impatience has led me to make unwise parenting decisions. For example, I have often chosen to rescue my kids rather than patiently watch them fail. My children, in return, learned how to use this to their advantage. The scene would play out like this: One of my kids would have a paper or project, and sit there stumped. Soon it would get late, and I would get impatient and frustrated with the time. Finally, I’d jump in to help. Maybe even more than help. Definitely more than help. My impatience interfered with a lesson my son or daughter needed to learn. I should have let my child fail. Then he or she would have learned to work at it a little harder. Wisdom dictates that I discipline myself and patiently let my child work it out rather than jump to the rescue.
- Patience will calm conflict. “The one who is patient calms a quarrel.” -Proverbs. I can be hot-tempered, and it has stirred up conflict in my home. Actually, my temper is more quirky than hot. I can let a lot roll off my shoulders, and then I hit a wall. When that happens, my patience evaporates and my temper goes from a comfortable 72 degrees to 110 in seconds flat.At other times patience is like my car keys–often lost and found in the strangest places. I can lose my patience over a dozen silly things and then be super patient with something else. The regrettable reality is that many times I have created stress in my home over things that could have been settled more efficiently with patient words and a calm, objective demeanor. It causes me great pain to think about that.
- Patience circumvents sorrow. “If you’re patient…you’ll escape 100 days of sorrow.” -Chinese Proverb. I am amazed and ashamed that I am not better at being patient. Recently, one of my children successfully pushed a button that sent my husband and me into an impatient exchange of words. The child knew exactly what he was doing.Children learn how to work their parents. This is especially true of younger siblings who get the benefit of watching their older brothers and sisters succeed and fail in their efforts to sway their parents. My child read me, made some innate calculations, and gambled that this would be a good time to get his way. He knew I was wearing thin on the subject at hand, and that if I lost my patience, he might succeed. Well, he did succeed with me; however, his father overheard the exchange and interceded by overriding me and vetoing my son’s proposal. My son, knowing he was halfway there, did not give up. The result was a three-way discussion that, as I said, ended in an impatient exchange between my husband and me—in front of my child.
Children learn from watching us—for good or for bad. We must model the virtues we want to instill. If we don’t, the exact opposite will occur. If they watch us enough times we, will be watching them lose their patience for hundreds of days to come, and that will bring much sorrow.