Thursday, May 24, 2012

Patience Is A Virtue

I think I have mentioned here before how one of my virtues is not patience.

However, when my three year old was a baby, my husband was shocked, SHOCKED, at the level of patience I had for her. 

I, on the other hand, was not. I have always loved babies and small children. 

I was, however, shocked at the lack of patience my husband had for her. Not in a bad way. My husband has an obscene amount of patience. It really pisses me off sometimes. I mean, how can one person have THAT MUCH patience?

So, anyway, I was shocked, when for once, I had more than he did.

I used to have a lot of patience for toddlers too. That is, until a certain toddler became my child. 

The tides have changed once again.

My patience level is almost always teetering around empty. When my husband comes home, I am more than happy to throw the reigns in his face and take off running in the opposite direction. 

I usually don't run. I do throw those reigns as far as I can though. I know I need to get away and so does my husband. He offers me some time to myself but I am always torn between spending time together, as a family, and getting some much needed solitude . . . me time. 

He misses a lot when he is gone the majority of the week, every week. And we miss him too. There are so many family things that we miss out on together. My daughter and I will still do them but they are not the same without him. 

The other day my husband was getting ready to leave for another trip and I was on the verge of tears. I didn't know if I had enough left in me to go it alone for another week. I begged him to let me fly his plane and for him to stay at home. A little background: my husband has dreamed of being a stay-at-home dad. He looked at me and said, NO WAY! Not because he didn't think I wouldn't do a good job flying his aircraft but because he wanted to get away. 

Our daughter is very sweet and well mannered (I work tirelessly to ensure that she is polite and respects people) but she can also be challenging. She is three years old but thinks she is 20. She is VERY strong-willed, opinionated and determined. She is like her dad in that she will not take no for an answer. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, bath time and picking out clothes are battlegrounds. All of this wears me out and tests my patience. This past month I have felt like I have been on the verge of losing it with her too many times. I start believing that I was not cut out to be a stay-at-home mom. 

I also tell myself that I am the only one who gets like this. Other moms do it everyday with a lot more calm and control than I do. Other moms do not let their children get the best of them. 

I also wonder, when these lies start digging, if this is why Emmerson and Vivienne did not survive. Did God know that I would not be able to handle it? 

I want to go back to work but do I want to go back for the wrong reasons? I want to go back to work but we (my husband and I) feel that staying home and giving her that extra security is extremely important. Her Daddy is not home much, his schedule changes often and this last year has been stressful for her too. I'm sure it was even scary for her. She witnessed her mommy turn into a zombie. She saw, everyday and for months, her mommy sob and stare off into space. She has started to ask more and more questions about her sisters. Some of them I can answer and others, I cannot. She is three years old and asking some very grown-up questions. She is three years old and knows that death means you don't get to see them again. I want to be here for her now. I want her to know that I am back and that I love her so very much. I want to reassure her that I am her Mommy and that I am capable.

I don't want to miss these moments with her when she changes daily. These moments are so fleeting and I know there will come a day when I miss all of this. Even the tantrums she throws over clothes. I want to give her a solid foundation and we believe it starts at home. We don't believe it is up to others to shape and give values to our children. If we don't do it, no one else will. I rarely give her a break and I never give myself a break where she is concerned. 

But my patience level is low. So very low. 

And I have to be honest, it is a little validating when I see the most patient man I have ever known, struggle with control over his patience when interacting with our daughter. It makes me feel like maybe, after all, I am not the only one.


1 comment:

  1. i wish that you knew how true your words about throwing the reins ring to me, and i'm sure to other mothers and fathers that stay home. i think we all fight that "family time vs. me time" voice that jaws in our ears. toddlers are EXTREMELY trying sometimes. they are magical, but they are exhausting. just because they're exhausting doesn't mean we love them any less, it just means that our limits get tested. and it IS okay to walk away once in awhile and take a breather. in fact, i think that's god's way of giving us a break. :)



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