August 31, 2020

Motherhood at a Glance: Cultivating More Patience

Today's Motherhood at a Glance feature writer is my sweet friend, Lauren! It's always funny having friends with the same name as you - you're always addressing yourself! ;) 

Lauren grew up in AZ but has since lived all over the country! She is an amazing mama to two sweet kids, her son who is three-and-a-half and their daughter who is one-and-a-half! Lauren met her husband in college and have now been married for five year. She graduated with a degree in visual communication and is currently a stay-at-home-mama while her husband is in graduate school to get his PhD! Lauren loves all things creative, like baking yummy things (that she says don't always look Pinterest-worthy, but sure do taste good!). She communicates in TV and movie quotes, which I love! Lauren is genuinely just such a sweet soul and amazing example as a mama.  

I'm so excited for us to learn from Lauren today as she shares a little bit about how she has cultivated the all-too-relatable attribute that everyone struggles with when raising little humans: patience! As we apply her three simple steps to becoming more patient in parenting, I am sure we will all have a less stressful week ahead!

Doesn’t that poem just make your eyes well up?? I need daily... okay... hourly reminders to be patient. Unfortunately, it’s so easy (and normal!) to get frustrated with your kids. I was not born a patient person. In fact, I’m not so sure that I can even classify myself as a patient person at all, BUT it is something that I am constantly striving to be. Here are three key things that have been actually life-changing for me as I do my best to navigate motherhood with patience.

If you’ve seen Daniel Tiger’s neighborhood, you know how much of a saint Daniel’s mom is. She is literally THE mom I aspire to be. (Besides my own mom. Duh.) Honestly, this first tip should really be: “Watch Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood.” If nothing else, at least watch this little clip of Mom Tiger really quick and take notes! Then come right back to the blog post because I’m just getting started! ;)

Is the show trying to teach children how to control their emotions? Yes. Have I learned more about controlling my emotions than my kids have? Absolutely yes. My sweet son has caught on and always tells me, “good job, mom!” after I take my deep breaths. (Thanks little buddy! I always need the encouragement.) Breathe and then respond. It will do wonders. 

It drives me nuts when people sarcastically say to children: “Oh, your life must be SO hard!” Okay... hold up. At some phases in childhood, there is literally no way for children to communicate besides crying. So yes, it’s frustrating when you can’t figure out why your baby is crying, but it has got to be frustrating for THEM to not be able to tell you what’s wrong.  When children do start to talk, there are constant misunderstandings because, you know, they’re trying to learn a whole new language! If you ever took a foreign language class in high school, then you got a little glimpse of this. (Three years of Spanish over here and all I’ve got to show for it is: ¿Dónde está la biblioteca?) It’s no joke to learn a new language! 

Let’s not forget that children have such limited freedom. “You want to stay at the park for two more hours? Well shoot—instead you have to drive around in the car with me for an hour while I run errands. Sorry!” It’s not all that easy, so let’s cut our children some slack. 

Ralphie from Simply on Purpose shared this tip on her Instagram stories one time and I was MIND. BLOWN. I literally don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this myself but it has helped our little family so much.  My son has a lot of energy. Like... a lot. LOL. For so long, I would just expect him to always cooperate and listen to me. *Facepalm.* When he wouldn’t, I would get so frustrated and lose it. News flash to me: I shouldn’t expect my 3- year-old to sit perfectly still and quietly as I grocery shopped for a whole hour. I shouldn’t expect my 1-year-old to not start sucking on our Apple TV remote when I left it on the coffee table that’s literally right in front of her. The list goes on. I had been setting myself up for frustration with such unrealistic expectations! Children are going to act their age. 

Now, to avoid getting overly-frustrated with my son at the grocery store, I either go by myself, make my trips with him especially short, or do grocery pickup. (*Insert the praying hands emoji because we are truly blessed to live in a time where grocery pickup exists.*) As for my little girl sucking on our remote, I have learned to keep things I really don’t want to be sucked on out of reach… but I have also just accepted that she just is going to put our things in her mouth. Haha! Let them be little. “When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.”

—L.R. Knost

You’re never going to be able to be patient 100% of the time. Patience is something that needs to be worked on constantly. It’s a bummer but it’s the truth. Set realistic expectations for yourself and remember to give yourself some grace. Start with one tiny thing you can do to keep from getting overly frustrated and go from there. This week, I’m going to really focus on taking deep breaths when I get worked up. Let’s learn patience. Let’s learn it for our kids and be the best moms we can be. You’ve got this, mama!

Thank you so much to Lauren for this insightful and tangible article on how to cultivate more patience! She makes it much more manageable and less overwhelming with her three takeaways:

Take a step back and breathe before we react or respond to our children

See life through our children's eyes and cut them some slack

Set realistic expectations and recognize your child's age to avoid frustration

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