Being an introverted mom in a house full of extraverted kids day in and day out is enough to make you go screaming from the lesson plans. I often wonder if the Lord might have been slightly short sighted when he paired me with these three wild and crazy adventurers. Yet here we are. And here I am learning to develop patience. Here are just a few tricks I've learned along the way:
1. Prayer--You can't have what you've never asked for. The first step in developing more patience is learning that you can't do it on your own. And road will be a lot smoother if lean on the Lord in the process.
2. A few minutes alone--Find a few minutes alone every day. Maybe it's praying in the morning before you face your day. Maybe it's some piece and quiet while the kids read. Maybe it's in the evening while Daddy's putting the kids to bed. Maybe... some days... maybe it's all three.
3. Rest--I find that my patience level is vastly improved if I get enough sleep. I can see how lack of sleep affects my kids. I don't always recognize it's effects so daily in myself. But it's true. I'm a much better mom when I prioritize sleep.
4. Get some Vitamin D--Likewise, my days improve drastically if I get outside and get some Vitamin D. The fresh air and sunshine, as well as the change of scenery, put us all in a better mood.
5. Plan ahead--Some days are just stressful and there's no way around it. Appointments have to be honored, diapers have to be changed, and life goes on. If at all possible, try to spread out the commitments. If not possible, plan ahead for how you're going to handle the stress of the day.
6. Enlist the kids' help--My kids have their off days, but for the most part, they still really love to help. So when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I enlist their help. Can someone unload the dishwasher or bring in the trash can? Is there someone to help with lunch? Who entertain the toddler for a moment or two?
7. Take a deep breath--Have you ever heard that you should count to 10 when you're frustrated? Well, it really works. That's not to say that the frustration disappears entirely, but it definitely subsides enough to allow me to make a more rational decision. The same goes for taking a deep breath. It gives me just enough to calm myself before saying anything rash.
8. Remember that they're little--It's cliche, but true. They'll be grown before we know it. But for now, they're still learning. And to expect them to act with maturity is to expect to much. When when they do act with maturity, they're bound to falter from time to time. When I remember that they're little, I'm reminded that I'm still teaching, they're still learning, and my job is to shelf them in the process. If I don't champion their growth, who will?
Finding more patience in my day is difficult. Some days I win, some days I lose. Some days I end up drowning. But every day I wake up and try again. And every time I try again, it's so worth in how it improves my relationship with my kids.
How do you work at being a more patient mom?