Wednesday, August 24, 2011

When I’m Losing My Patience

There are days when it takes every last bit of patience I have to raise my kids.  Or even be with them in the car for five minutes. Just today, I had the blessed experience of taking my youngest two to the store.  It should have been a quick, in and out trip.  But,

Maren was so upset about the cart situation that we had to leave three times.  Annie wanted to play the stupid crane games and was trying to put pennies in while I was dealing with Maren.   We painfully, slowly proceeded to make our way through the store.  With stops at the movie bin, the fabric and pet departments.  I guess my kids don’t know me that well, but I have no business in the craft or pet departments. 

They talked non-stop.  I had to battle Maren to buckle up.  I asked many times for them to load up in the van.  We battled bed time and teeth brushing and hair brushing.  They bugged me while I was having a meeting this morning, refused to get dressed and made some big messes.  On days like these, I wonder why God didn’t give these wonderful children to a more patient woman.  I had to hold myself back from screaming my head off more than a few times today.

When I was frustrated and felt the urge to scream, I was reminded of some other things that happened in the last 24 hours. 

The girls got to come to a shower with me and hold a baby last night.  Mike and Grant had a guys night out.  I got my morning cuddle.  I went looking for Maren and Annie and found them all cuddled up in bed together listening to the radio.  Buddy was curled up in between them. 

Annie caught a frog.  She came running in exclaiming she thought it was a rock and then it jumped.  She tried to build a habitat for it in the backyard but had to free it in the end.

Annie won a stuffed animal in the stupid claw games at the store.  We didn’t put any money in.  You would think she won the lottery.

Abby and Annie helped me do my birthday elf work.  We blew up balloons, hung streamers and wrapped presents. 

Jenna and Grant willingly went to bed early!  Jenna did it so the birthday elf could come.  Grant is growing so fast he’s always tired these days. 

It seems that if I could focus on the wonderful, fabulous, precious moments of mommyhood that I wouldn’t miss for the world in those horribly frustrating moments, I might be able to bridge the gap.  I don’t have to let a few battles and frustrations derail my day or week. 

Just the fact that God allowed me to have these special little people in my life is more than I deserve.  So at the store and at bedtime, I was able to be grateful and focus on those special times I want to remember forever.  I had to be stern, but did not scream.  I didn’t lose my patience and I’m glad because it was not a horrible day.  Not at all.

The truth is that soon enough, there will be no one to go to the store with.  My three older kids already have no interest in coming.  Then I really will be in and out in 20 minutes.  I won’t have to battle anyone over the kind of cart we get or the kind of paper plates we buy.  And I think that will be pretty…miserable and lonely.


Anonymous said...

I can remember my mom taking just one of us to the store with her after we were old enough to stay home. It was a good way to get rare one-on-one time. Wonder if any of my kids will want to do that? Maybe when they have a chance to be the driver . . . :o) Truthfully, I can barely picture a time when I have kids old enough to stay home alone! But it's really only a year or two away. That thought will help me be more patient during these last two weeks of summer.

Anonymous said...

Way to make me cry!!!... and I'd done so well all week! It's a great article.. just hard to be on the "other side". LK