Staying at home with two kids has made me realize the importance of the word PATIENCE. Don’t get me wrong… I’ve had many times I have been impatient before kids.. but it’s never been truly tested until now.
I’ve had more moments than I can count where I felt like my thin skin of patience was being attacked by mini dwarfs with forks. Moments I just had to exit the room and breathe. I would end up laying in bed at night analyzing the day, and what I could do differently.
Finally I realized… it is all me. It isn’t them…. it is how I handle the situation. It is what I load on my plate for that day. It is how much sleep I am allowing myself to get. It is solely based on me. I’ve always loved this quote… and as a parent I refer to it in a whole new light.
“Life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you…we are in charge of our attitudes.”
― Charles R. Swindoll
How true this is…. it is how WE handle the situations handed to us. It is not the situation itself that has control over our actions… but us and us alone.
The past few days my skin had been attacked by the little forks I referenced to before….. and yesterday my heart truly believes God was trying to show me something. I was rushing around trying to get the kids ready for a birthday party (which we still had to go buy the gift because life has just been crazy recently), kids didn’t want to get dressed (heck who blames them?), everything I put on was either dirty or didn’t match, and the time was ticking on. I felt like I was on Minute to Win it… rushing for the win as each second quickly passed.
Finally we got it all together, and my phone was conveniently missing. I searched everywhere from the toilet to my daughter’s baby doll basket…. no where to be found.
Finally I stopped and remembered the words my sister told me the day before. She told me about a woman who said she felt like God hid her makeup bag, so she could fix her internal self. It dawned on me…. He may be showing me something as well (I strongly believe God uses others to reveal to us what He wants us to know). So I stopped what I was doing and prayed.
TWO minutes later I found my phone. PLAIN as day on my daughter’s chair. I knew then He was trying to teach me something… and I knew EXACTLY what it was. How to be patient (considering I have been praying for just that for weeks).
To stop worrying about everything else around me ( my house, the tasks I needed to get done, who was texting me) and focus solely on my kids.
Here are some tips that have helped me gain my patience back:
–Hide your phone: There are days I wish I lived before cell phones were invented. Don’t get me wrong… there are GREAT benefits to the smart phone (communication, camera, etc.), but too often I think there should be some sort of rehab for the addictive cell phone users. We are so obsessed with seeing how many Instagram likes we received, watching youtube videos to keep from drooling at the mouth from boredom, and reading everyone’s opinion on the world…. that we forget to focus on the now. It can be a distraction that steals our moments. Kids will somehow get your attention…. and this may be a cause of their whining.
–Breathe: I’ve always heard “take a deep breath… it will be okay”, but I didn’t realize how true it actually was. Did you know that abdominal breathing is proven to reduce stress and anxiety? When feeling stressed, take a couple of deep breathes and remember…. everything is going to be okay.
–Sleep: The past few months I have probably gotten a maximum of 4 hours of sleep each night. From completing my mom duties after the kids are down for the night, writing, and tutoring online. I would get so active at night that I could not go to sleep. Plus I am sure all the caffeine has not helped. No sleep and little patience goes hand in hand. When I cut down on all the extras at night, I honestly recognized a change in myself.
–Chill with your kids and RELAX: This is so hard for me to do…. I am a very busy body person who loves to get things done. With kids I have realized… it is OKAY if everything isn’t done. The earth is not going to break in half because the clean laundry sits in the dryer for a week or the fact we eat warm up meals more than I like to admit. All my kids want from me is …simply me. All of me. If I don’t soak it up now, the time will pass. Everything I need to get done can wait until nap, early in the morning, or after they go down for the night.
–Play music ALL DAY: What a difference this makes in our soul…. Even when both kids are crying because one stole a toy from the other or their mashed potatoes aren’t as mashed as they’d like…. music saves the day. I play christian music nonstop. I have smiled, laughed, danced, and sang through some pretty rough moments.
–Get up early and have you time: On the days I don’t get up early, I feel completely lost. I wake up between 4:30-5 to read my bible, pray, and work on anything I want done before the kiddos wake up for the day. It gives me a chance to start the day off right. Waking up with the kids makes me feel rushed.
–Prepare for the day: When a mom is prepared, the day will go smoother. I always make sure I know what I am going to make the kids for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We all know kids get cranky when their hungry…. so planning meals ahead of time will save us from hearing whining babies later. Sometimes I even pick out their clothes for the next day if I know we have to be somewhere. With the kids growing so fast, there are days I have changed their outfits 3-4 times due to their clothes being an inch too small… leading me to feel rushed, and the kids stressed from the rushed wardrobe change.
–Go outside: My kids will literally be throwing the worst tantrum on the planet, and the minute they hear me say “outside”…. they quickly press pause. Something about outside makes everyone feel better.
–Have time with friends: I will be the first to admit that my friends have definitely been on the back burner lately. I have some great friends who have not cashed in their friend card regardless how absent I am at times. As moms, it is so hard to find time to hang out with friends, and sometimes we feel guilty doing it. The times I actually get out of the house and hang out with other moms has been totally worth it. It almost rejuvenates my soul.
Ephesians 4:2 – Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
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