Being a parent of two, I feel as if my patience can be related to a long, slow burning fuse. Most of the time, it seems like I can handle any situation, brush off anything, because they’re kids. I know they’re constantly learning and dealing with new things, but sometimes, my patience seems to disappear. And, it also doesn’t always get refilled right away.
So, how do I deal with these moments when I feel like I’m getting frustrated more often than usual? Well, here’s what I’ve done that help me regain my fuse (patience) has been replaced with an on/off switch.
I Talk with My Kids
I let them know that I am not perfect. No, this doesn’t happen every day, but I think it’s important for our kids to see their mommy and daddy be vulnerable too. It helps them understand what we’re saying to them, if we give them examples of our own failings or things we need to improve upon. If I raise my voice in frustration, I tell them why I’m raising my voice and that I don’t like when it happens. So, my conversations will let them know that I need to get better. When they understand I make mistakes too, even as an adult and their parent, they truly know they’re not alone.
Date Nights Out
This doesn’t happen often, but it’s such an amazing thing to get out of the house. Having that separation with Meghan makes me feel like I’m actually allowed to focus on her – and me too. We get to flirt a little bit, I try to make silly or stupid (or both) jokes to try and make her laugh, and I can take a breath knowing it’s okay to have time to ourselves.
This was possibly the hardest thing for me to learn as a parent. It was so hard to have our first date night when our daughter was born. I constantly checked the phone to see if we got a call or text, as if the world was going to end in that moment. A few years later and I’ve gotten to the point where I supremely enjoy those special dates. Heck, sometimes I actually do make Meghan laugh.
Talking with Meghan is Everything
If I’ve learned anything, it’s that my relationship with Meghan is my saving grace. She understands all of my hopes and fears. She knows that I always want to be a good dad. In times when I’m feeling most anxious, Meghan is able to talk to me, make me feel useful, and help me realize that my tendency to feel like I’m not doing enough is not actually true. So, when you feel like you’re overwhelmed or frustrated beyond all belief, find that someone who will help you regain your focus. It’s important to know that someone will listen. It’s important to know that someone will be there for you when you feel like you’ve burned through all of your patience.
If All Else Fails
I try to laugh at myself excessively. I try to be stupendously silly with an emphasis on stupid, because I’m way too serious at times. Don’t worry, I make fun of myself enough times where Meghan doesn’t have to. I think making jokes at my own expense make things seem more down-to-earth for whatever reason. It helps me focus, because I get wrapped up in my own head where I can’t see the humor through the breeze, or the jokes through the sneeze, or the forest through the trees. Whatever that metaphor is, you get the idea.
If you’re ever feeling like you need to jumpstart your patience, try these tips out and see if any work better than the other. Talk to your kids. It will put things in perspective that your kids are just kids. It also lets them know that we’re all a work in progress. Date nights let you take a deep breath and enjoy some quality time with your partner away from home. You’ll have the chance to listen to her without the normal house noises. It’s amazing how clearly things sound without a dishwasher, washer, or dryer running in the background. You’ll also appreciate being without those noisy toys that are played on repeat for 30 minutes straight.
Parenting is an amazing thing, and it’s also okay to admit when we’re tapped out of patience. Just remember that the whole point of understanding our flaws is to make sure our kids grow up in an environment that’s best for them. More patience. More love. Always.