Patience is a virtue, but it’s definitely not mine. And, definitely not today. I suck at being patient. There is no other way to put it. I am worse than a child. And, on some days I seem to lose, at a rapid pace, the tiny bit of patience that I do have — at a pace that is unfair to my children and my husband. Any of you other parents or spouses feel like this? I hope it’s not just me.
It is the nature of my personality to be controlling, schedule-driven, anxious, irritable, excitable and patience-challenged. Don’t I sound like a ball of fun to be around?
Because of this, it is imperative that I figure out a way, immediately, to improve my level of patience. If I cannot start modeling better patience for my kids, then they are going to have fuses that are short like mine, and that isn’t good for anybody.
Listen, the normal helpful tips like “just take deeper breaths,” and “take some time for yourself,” are lost on me. I need legitimate real-life solutions for lengthening my fuse.
In searching for such, I have found a few suggestions that I am hopeful can be adapted, by myself, to increase my patience. And if they don’t work, well then my kiddies and hubby should run and hide because “No Patience Nicole” ain’t no fun to be around.
A HUFFPOST article, written by Lindsay Holmes, nailed for me why I, like most people, get impatient. Her article stated that “our mental to-do lists have a tendency of becoming like a traffic jam for our brains. Soon we’re so occupied with what we have to do, we’re intolerant of anything (like actual traffic) that gets in the way of it”.
That’s it! Cue the lightbulb! Or I guess rather, cue the traffic light!
Holmes hit the nail right on the head when she compared my brain to a traffic jam. Today I totally felt overloaded by the writing and housework I had to get done and I was completely intolerant of my children, who were constantly getting in the way of that. And, how shameful I now feel (and have felt all day) that I was looking at my kids like road blocks. They are here in this life with me and on this journey with me and it is about time I start treating them with the proper respect a co-traveler should receive.
Some good advice I found, to help me be less impatient, was in a LifeHack article, written by Daniel Wallen. In his article, “8 Ways To Stay More Calm and Cool (How To Be More Patient and Less Stressed),” he reminds us to “look at the big picture” — something I seemingly forget to do a lot. Take today for example…after my fuse blew out, more than once, on each of my three children, I felt horrible. I felt stressed, but felt equally sad and guilty, that I took my stress out on them. While in the car with my husband, he calmly said to me, to “stop,” just “stop”. He reminded me that everything will be fine and that everything is fine. He reminded me to think about things with the bigger perspective in mind. What perspective? Well…to remember that the worst that can happen, the absolute worst possible outcome, is still not really all that bad. So, why the fuss? Oh my. He is right. And, it is so crazy how, in the heat of challenging moments, it is so easy to forget that.
Ashley Tate, author of the RealSimple article titled “How to Be More Patient,” tells us to laugh at ourselves. She contends that in our moments of impatience, we should formulate an internal joke regarding the situation and find a way to laugh about it. You can’t laugh and yell at the same time, right? I think she is on to something…
I will say this though…in defense of my lack of patience, which I agree is a BIG flaw, motherhood is hard…parenthood is hard…marriage is hard…and being a part of a family is hard. All of this causes a drain on our time and our physical and emotional energy. All of this causes stress. All of this causes inner turmoil. But, if my biggest flaw in life is that I jump the gun, snap to quickly, overreact and am over-dramatic, then I still think I’m doing pretty good. I could always have a worse flaw, like always believing I am right or constantly interrupting.
Oh, wait…I do those, too. Ugh. I guess I have more to work on…