Disclaimer: These posts are dedicated to following along with the book "Deliberate Motherhood: 12 Key Powers of Peace, Purpose, Order & Joy," a compilation of essays on motherhood written by authors who contribute to the Power of Moms website. Each month has a different "power" to focus on with the purpose of finding peace, purpose, order and joy in the role of motherhood. I will be writing various posts each month based on that theme. You don't have to have the book to follow along though! March's theme is "Patience."
Whoa! Here we are almost at the end of March and I haven't done any Deliberate Motherhood posts. Why? I've been busy being a deliberate mother. I've had some sick kids, had a lot of awake nights and I took a few days away for some "me time." There have been many moments that I've had to reflect on this month's theme of "patience." More moments than I'd like to count! I think the first step to thinking about patience is to notice when I'm losing mine. There are usually trigger events and they escalate.
Everyone knows that patience can be hard to come by when you are a parent. Every day throws a fresh host of problems to solve; many of them amidst a flurry of screaming and crying and broken dreams: "Mama, you are breaking my heart when you don't let me watch more Blues Clues!"
I never quite realized how taxed my temper could get until recently.
Thank goodness things are much better since this following story...
Paige had been waking up several times nightly...crying for me to put her stuffed dog "Mutsy" on her back "just so." She wanted the darn paws hugging her neck in a specific way. And every night I would hiss about it to her, threatening to take all her lovies out of bed and other punishments. But she continued to wake us crying throughout each night. I was always too tired to carry out my threats because I just wanted to get right back to bed. One night, In the blur of 2:30 am (I'd already gotten up for Mutsy issues before) I stumbled into her room and fixed the darned stuffed dog in hopes we could get back to sleep. But then she said "but I'm thiiiirsty now! Can I have a drink please?" So, I went with her into the bathroom so she could get a drink. As she gulped the water, a bit splashed out onto her jammie shirt. I didn't think much of it and off we went back to her room. I told her to hop back into bed and she says "but my jammies are all wet." I tried to reason with her that it was just a tiny splash, but she started to cry loudly. So, I did what any tired Mom would do. I whisked the shirt over her head and put on a new one. Anything to just get back to bed. As I motioned her to the bed, she then started wailing that the pants didn't match.
"Seriously right now!!!???" I hissed. I said "No freakin' way! Get into bed!" My voice raised to a yell She began screaming and threw herself on the floor. I about lost my damn mind. She was gonna wake up the entire house any second! She was crying and screaming and writhing on the floor. Who the hell was this kid? I was so tired and so pissed off and I seethed "you are THIS close to getting a spanking!". Now, I don't believe in spanking. We don't practice spanking in our home. I've never hit my children. I've never even threatened such a thing. And I felt SO AWFUL the second that came out of my mouth. Paige looked scared and shocked. She continued to cry (which is fair because what I'd said made everything worse) and I just grabbed a pair of jammie pants and fixed her up. She got into bed crying and yelling and then claimed she needed a wipe for her nose. GAAHHH! So, I padded across the house to find a wipe for her nose. (She didn't want a tissue, mind you, because that is too "dry.") GRUMBLE. Wipe delivered, I tucked her in and apologized for losing my temper and saying something I didn't mean. I promised to have more patience next time and to not let myself get so angry. She seemed happy with that and I kissed her cheek. As I finally turned off the light ready to go, she said in the darkness: "Mommy? I need you to fix Mutsy around my neck."