Wednesday, December 9, 2015
How to Have Patience as a Parent
One of the biggest fears I had as I embarked on motherhood *almost* 2 years ago was whether or not I would have enough patience for it. It's funny...you don't realize how selfish and self-absorbed you are until you no longer have that option.
I had all the fears I think every new mom has of if I had enough time, would I really be able to stop spending money on me and start spending it elsewhere, but most of all would I have enough patience?
For me, patience may very well be the single most significant characteristic of a good mother.
And as I've been a mom now for 2 years (practically a pro, right?) I've reflected on moments when I had patience and admittedly some when I didn't.
This is what I've learned...
Embrace the moment.
Let them play in mud, splash in the dog's dish, eat a cupcake before dinner because we only live once and they're only small for so long and all the other cliches. Really though, does it truly matter if they have mud under their fingernails or eat dessert first? Not in the grand scheme of things.
Next time there is a huge puddle, go grab their mud boots and snap a video as they plunge through it. Worry about hosing them off after the moment has passed.
Laugh at all the things.
Seriously. Everything is funny. And laughter is truly the best medicine. Did you know that laughter therapy is a real thing? People literally use laughter and humor to promote health and wellness and relieve stress or discomfort.
Years from now you will look back and laugh at the things your child did - why not enjoy them today?
Invest in yourself.
It's so important for you to be more than "momma" or "papa." You need to have something to call your own. Obviously you will not be able to do all the things you did before child, but you should hang onto one or two of them in order to keep your sense of self.
When you lose yourself, you start to hold negative feelings toward the things you believe caused that to happen whether you realize it or not.
Stop making time lines.
When I first had my son and I would take him places my husband would ask when we would be home. My answer was always, "That depends." And it does! It depends on so many things from feeding to diapers to naps, etc.
Stop packing so many activities into each day. I know we all want to make amazing memories with our children, but it's not fun for anyone (including us) if we are trying to do too much.
Remember what it was like to be a kid.
I remember my dad laying on the floor and coloring with me. I remember my mom baking cookies with me and leaving a huge mess in the kitchen. Those are the things I remember. And those are the things I need to do with my son because more than likely, he will remember them, too.
Little things mean a lot in the eyes of a child. Don't let that slip away from you as the world attempts to jade you.