Monday, April 7, 2014

My Patience, or Lack Thereof

I struggle with patience. I was not blessed with that virtue and it shows. A lot. I remember going skiing as a child and absolutely hating it with every bone in my body. I hated it because I wasn't instantly good at it. Same with tennis, and golf, piano, and violin. I lost interest almost immediately because I wasn't a pro the moment I picked up the racquet, club or instrument and I didn't have the patience to stick with it. My mother would make me continue with the lessons. I would shrug her off and roll my eyes as she tried to talk to me about having patience and sticking with it. Years later, I would get the exact same reaction from my daughter when trying to explain why she should keep going to Tae Kwon Do. Payback really is a bitch.

My impatience isn't limited to myself; it applies to everyone and everything in my life, including my children. According to numerous articles I have seen floating around the internet lately, "hurry up" and "because I said so" are two of many phrases we shouldn't say to our offspring. How else am I supposed to tell those assholes kids be quicker about putting on their shoes, getting their backpacks and getting in the car when I've already asked them nicely a gazillion times? Hissing at them to hurry up is the most effective way of getting their butts in gear and "because I said so" is a perfectly acceptable response when they ask me why they have to hurry. I am their parent, after all, and they are supposed to do what I say because I say it. They don't need another reason. Or do they?

I don't only lose my shiz when we are trying to leave the house. I catch myself snapping at my kids when we are at home, at the park, at my parent's house. Sometimes they are interrupting my blogging time. Sometimes I have been running all day and want to sit in peace for five minutes. Sometimes they are driving me crazy for no apparent reason. Sometimes they won't shut up!

I see all those other mothers, so soft-spoken and placid. Meanwhile, I'm over here trying so hard to be phlegmatic, yet I end up frustrating myself to the point of explosion - ironic, right? How do they do it? How do those mamas keep their cool, when I'm hanging on to my sanity by a thread? Are they fine with their little ones running like wild banshees through the house? Do they really enjoy listening to the rehashing of every scene in a movie the little buggers just watched? Does the incessant bickering back-and-forth over everything really not phase them?

I try to remind myself they are children, they don't know any better. My undeserved wrath is a result of me getting a crappy night's sleep, stressing about bills or letting a whining baby get the better of me. Sometimes I recognize what is about to happen moments before it does. Other times I just feel like shit for making them feel bad when I see "that look" roll across their faces. You know the look. The "I'm not sure what I did but it must have been bad because Mommy is really mad at me" look. God that kills me every single time. I instantly try to make it up to them, backpedaling my way out of the hole I just threw myself in, head-first.

I wonder if those other mothers, the tolerant, tranquil ones, ever see that look. I doubt it. They don't snap at their children like I do. They have probably never wished they could eat their words as soon as they fly out of their mouths. Those "perfect moms" have the patience that I lack. I try and try to be more stoic, but my impatience always gets the better of me. For now, I will have to consider myself a "work in progress" and do the best I can.

We can't all be perfect, right?

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