Today guest post is brought to us Angie Reedy. With a wonderful husband and three young children, Angie is writing her way through motherhood. She shares how the laughter, sentiment, and sometimes craziness of real life provide insight into the love of God at www.realreedy.blogspot.com.
We sat in silence for what seemed like twenty minutes, but might have been twenty seconds. Waiting for her to make a choice, I closed my eyes willing my hands to not grab the shirt I wanted her to wear and force it onto her body. We waited some more. I reminded her that she needed to make a decision so we could get everyone to school on time. But she still sat without making any movements towards choosing her outfit. I forced my voice to be calm and declared that I would leave the room after counting to three if she had not picked something. Of course this prompted tears and cries and the control on my patience evaporated. I stood up, made more threats and walked out of the room. She climbed back into bed and I knew all of those moments in silence were wasted and we would have to start the whole process again.
Please say someone else has experienced the same?
I often receive compliments about my patience and every time I stifle a snort and suck in my breath because I know that despite the calm outside my inner nerves are burning and ready to snap. Any patience I exhibit has simply been learned the hard way – through much trial and error.
Here are some tips I’ve learned that have helped my patience level rise.
- Give yourself time –The biggest factor causing my impatience is an urgency to get something done in a time frame. Identify situations that might cause conflicts and plan extra time to get through them.
- Don’t be afraid of silence – Yelling or having an uptight voice alerts kids that you are on edge. This usually creates the opposite effect of what you want to accomplish and escalates the situation.
- Look for patterns and problem solve – Figure out the triggers that launch your impatience. Once they are identified, brainstorm a way to avoid these patience suckers.
- Embrace the silent scream – If you haven’t tried it, you will think I’m crazy, but sometimes simply turning my face and forcing out a silent scream with eyes closed and mouth wide open helps me decompress back into calm and patient mom.
Above all, don’t make the situation more serious than what it is. Acknowledge that losing patience is going to happen to the best parents. Smile, ask for forgiveness and make a point to try having more patience the next time.