My patience has been struggling lately.
I could give excuses, like I’m tired or I’m trying to do too much, but why justify a problem?
I’d still be restless with my two-year-old son, and it hurts.
I’m frustrated, too, because a mere moment of impatience can take away from an otherwise beautiful day. That’s parenting in general, isn’t it? Beautiful, beautiful, mess, beautiful, beautiful, mess …
And on go our days.
Sometimes I’m so aware of my patience slipping away, that I’m able to say to my child, “I’m sorry we aren’t connecting right now. Mama is losing her patience, and I’m going to step into the other room until we can better communicate.” And that’s important to me. A deep breath, a bit of self talk, and we’re back.
But other days, my lesser self creeps in slowly, quietly, until we’re in the middle of the grocery store or a birthday party, and I can feel my body saying, “I’ve had enough today!”
Why does it have to be like that? Why does our patience have to abruptly wear so thin when we’re at the mercy of an outside influence? It’s one thing for me to step into the kitchen if my son won’t put his socks and shoes on in a timely manner, but it’s another beast to find the good when you’re in public and at a loss of control of the people or situation around you.
That’s when parenting gets real, when we berate ourselves or harbor guilt for a tiny moment in life that our child may or may not have even noticed.
But it still hurts. It still matters.
And that’s why we need the good.
More than ever, in times of trial and guilt or shame, we don’t need to keep punishing ourselves. We must instead remember and reflect on the positive things. In parenting, there is so much of it! As difficult as it is to forgive myself sometimes for not being as great of a parent as I want to be, I must use that time to instead reflect on how much we smiled today, how much we laughed and kissed and hugged and loved.
How much I care.
We love our children so much, but because we’re so hard on ourselves sometimes, it’s nice to come to a place where we feel good again.
I think this is why we need each other.
We all endure difficult moments as a parent, but let’s share and reflect on the joyful ones that leave us proud and grateful — the moments we need alive in our hearts to bring us back home.
And let’s remind one another that we must choose joy. Not because every single day is good — remember my lack of patience? But because we are capable and strong enough to see the good in every day.
About the Author
Angela Tewalt is a writer, storyteller and mother to two boys. She shares parenting stories and inspiration in Guidepost Parent.
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