I’ve been thinking a lot about patience lately. Mostly I’ve been wondering how to get more of it! I thought parenthood was supposed to make us more patient but I feel I’m becoming less so. It was easier to be forgiving and calm when the kids were smaller. Now I’m tired of teaching and saying the same things over and over again especially since I know they know better. My patience runs thin.
Parenting is a blessing but it can be hard. There are days when I’m grumpy, tired, or distracted. Days when I struggle to deal with the extra messes, temper tantrums, arguments over toys, and whining. I’m not really a yeller; although, I have yelled. Mostly I’m sad about the times I’ve talked to the kids with a tone of annoyance or irritation. A good compliment can lighten my mood for days; an insult, sadly, sticks with me even longer. I know how it stings to be corrected or feel my actions are disappointing or annoying to another person. I don’t want my kids to feel that heaviness and sadness – worried to make a move for fear they’ll be told “No!” “Stop!” “Are you going to clean that up?” “What were you thinking?” “Why do you always fight?” “Why is your room such a mess?” “Why can’t you all get along?” “Do things this way, not that way”! I’m guilty of saying all those things. There’s a way to correct and teach without it sounding mean. That’s what I strive for when I communicate with the kids – a voice and tone of patience, love, and respect. I want them to know we all try our best but forgive freely when mistakes happen.
There’s been a sentence stuck in my head lately – “You don’t get a second chance at raising this child”. I’m a person that needs second chances. I usually perform poorly when first learning a new sport, craft, or skill. I catch on eventually, but it takes me a few attempts. In regards to parenthood I keep thinking how I need to do it right the first time. Obviously there will be bad days and experiences, but as a whole, I need to get it right. The little years are critical years and I wonder if I’m doing all that I should. Now that Sadie and Jax are in school I’m realizing how my influence is diminishing as they grow older. McKay will soon be off to school; I won’t get this year at home with him again alone to play with him, teach him, and help him know his worth and my love for him.
A friend recently passed away and her son posted a quote from Max Lucado that read, “When you are in the final days of your life, what will you want? Will you hug that college degree in the walnut frame? Will you ask to be carried to the garage so you can sit in your car? Will you find comfort in rereading your financial statement? Of course not. What will matter then will be people. If relationships will matter most then, shouldn’t they matter most now?” I hope I live and speak in such a way that my children know that they are my greatest joy and their happiness and well-being is my #1 priority. I love them. Oh I love them!