Tuesday, January 7, 2014

For all to soon, they will be gone.

So here we are, the beginning of a New Year. With every new year comes a sense of freshness, a feeling of being able to start over, a clean slate. New Year's resolutions are abundant. Everyone committing to doing the 30-day plank challenge, deleting Candy Crush from their mobile devices and stocking up on detox juicing supplies to make them feel better about all the pie, cookies and booze they consumed over the holidays.

I haven't really made any resolutions for this year. I sort of stopped doing that a few years ago. Last year my resolution was to not yell at the kids as much and work on my patience. It worked. On and off. Depending on what it was the kids were doing at any given time.

My youngest is rapidly approaching her first birthday. I can't believe the speed with which the last 11 months have flown by. The hubby and I were just talking last night about how we miss the days when she used to fall asleep on our chests for hours at a time. While I don't miss the sleepless nights, I do miss that I could bring her into bed with me and she would lay, curled up in the crook of my arm, and settle right down. That feeling of closeness is like nothing else. Now she is constantly struggling to wriggle free from my arms and crawl around chasing the dogs (that I curse when they bark and wake her).

I watch my older two sometimes, when they don't know I'm watching. That sounds creepy, but really I am  in awe of the little people they are becoming. How they are evolving from babies, to toddlers, to mini-adults.

It was one day, while watching my then 7-year-old play with her baby dolls, that it struck me. As she was sweetly tucking her baby in, she suddenly snapped "I told you it is bedtime. Lie down now! I'm not playing this game with you tonight! I love you. *kiss*. Go to sleep!"

Holy crap. That was me. She was imitating me. Surely I don't really speak like that to my babies! I couldn't believe it. My heart sank.

At that moment, I made a deal with myself. I was going to stop snapping at my children. I was going to stay calm, be patient, remember that they are only children. It would be simple. Just remind myself of those few things and everything would be fine.

Not so much.

In no time, I caught myself getting stressed. I told you not to pour the cereal, now it is all over the floor! Why don't you have your shoes on? We're going to be late for school! Stop laughing and eat your dinner!

Stop laughing and eat your dinner? Did those words seriously come out of my mouth? Who tells a child to stop laughing? It is one of the things they are best at. What is more glorious than the sound of a child's laughter? That deep, resonating belly laugh?  That was it, my New Year's resolution that year was to stay calm, be patient, remember that they are only children.

Sound familiar?

This time would be different. This time it was my New Year's resolution. I had to stick with it. This time it would work.

Here we are, over a year later, and I am still struggling with this concept. I find myself in situations with my children where my blood pressure is rising.

I am trying to come to terms with the fact that there is no quick fix for impatience. I am working, daily, on remembering that my babies will soon be grown.

One morning I will wake up and miss the before-school madness, the after-school homework and extra-curricular running around. I will sit across from my husband at dinner and wish that our little mini-me's were still sitting there, giggling instead of eating their dinners. I will actually miss the trail of clothes and toys they leave behind me as I straighten up one room to the next.

I have come to terms with the fact that a New Year's resolution isn't going to fix me. This isn't some fad diet that will help me lose 20 lbs in 3 weeks. This is a life change. Something I will have to continue working on, day in and day out. I will have to continue reminding myself to have patience and that they are only children.

As the old saying goes, the first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. So I admit it. I have  problem with patience. With letting the small stuff consume me.

I need to take a deep breath and appreciate what I have right in front of me.

For all to soon, they will be gone.


  1. When you figure out how to gain the patience please share!!
    I absolutely love your blog

    1. Oh I will - and make sure you do the same! Thanks - glad you're here!!

  2. Awesomeness!!!This was my only "resolution"...I keep repeating in my mind "he's only seven, he's only seven"

    1. Oh, I try to remind myself of that ALL THE TIME! It is sooooo difficult sometimes!

  3. This totally resonates with me. Brought me to tears thinking about them grown up and gone. Why is it SOOOOOOO hard not to flip out when they don't listen? Oh, I know, cuz it's all the time. It adds up. My 12 year old said to me yesterday, "Why are you yelling about this?" "Because you are doing the opposite of what I said to do!" I yelled. Patience, something I've never had.

    1. Patience doesn't run strong in my family. I try so damn hard, but it so easily gets the better of me! It made me so sad to write about sitting at the dinner table, wishing the kids were still there. I can't imagine them not here, but good lord they infuriate me sometimes!