I lost my shit on my kids the other day. Fully and completely lost my mind. I yelled, I snapped and I couldn’t catch my breath. My shoulders were near my ears, my heart was racing, I was shaking, raging..and I simply lost it.
Know what they did?
One couldn’t find a shoe and one left her purse on the stairs.
Yup, that’s it. Nothing major. Just everyday issues in our house. But that day, these everyday issues sent me over the edge of reason. Simply not locating a shoe and, once again, not doing something I’d asked THREE times that morning to have done resulted in me losing my ever-loving mind. Big time.
I put myself in a timeout and I made myself reflect on what the hell I’d just done.
What was my problem?
Why did I explode like that?
It’s a shoe, Lindsay. A shoe.
It’s a purse, Lindsay. A purse.
But no…it’s a shoe we have had to find every single morning of every single day for the last 10 years. And, it’s a purse that I’ve asked to be put away 879,747 times in the past 3 years. It’s the little things that creep up on you and force you over the edge of sanity and reason until you explode from frustration because…KIDS ARE FUCKING FRUSTRATING.
Why did I lose my patience so quickly?
I lost my patience after 10 years of incredible patience.
Think about it. Think of how patient you have to be with a newborn who cannot communicate and who cries when he or she needs something.
Think about the patience it takes to teach someone to use the potty. Think about the patience it takes to teach a child to hold a spoon and eat.
Think about the patience needed to teach your child to talk, to tie a shoe (omg….nightmare…”through the rabbit hole…no….throooough…no…oh, good try…nope, through the hole…through it. Good try, but no, put that through it”.
Or teaching them to read. To sound. It. Out.
Me: “Th-en. Th-en. Th-en. Then. You got it buddy, that’s the word ‘then’. It was in the sentence you just read and we learned in just a minute ago. It’s the exact same word…see how it’s the same? T-H-E-N. Then.”
Sweet child: “Got it, Mom!. The cat tripped and th – th- th- th- th…hmmm, I don’t know that word Mommy.“
FOR THE LOVE!
As I thought about my lack of patience I realized the reason was simple. My patience was used up in the first ten years of my childs’ lives. I was so patient for 10 years and now that my kids are older, the expectation is that they can actually find a shoe and they can actually put a friggin’ purse away.
Mommy’s patience has dwindled. They used about 98.2% of my patience over the last 10 years, so the little things well, the little things aren’t little and my patience meter is loooooooow. Not because I’m not a patient person, but because I’ve had to be patient for 10 years and I’m about tapped.
I need to reserve patience for the big things that are coming. And maybe my depleted patience level will somehow fill up a bit so that I can tap into the patience vault when they’re teens. I’m 150% certain I’m going to need it then.
So, while I’m in this sweet spot where my kids are old enough to know better but not old enough to know everything, I’m giving myself a little grace when I lose my shit. Because I’m patience-tapped and my reserves have not been filled back up yet.
Mamas, if you find yourself losing your mind over the smallest of things, please know you’re not alone. Please know that they’re not actually small things, they’re big things because you’ve had to repeat yourself so many times about those small things. At some point, going lose your marbles over the most of requests or questions.
And you know what? It’s okay.
The lesson is simple. You’re human. You’re allowed to lose your patience. But, you also need to apologize and explain to your kids why you went full-on crazy snowman from Frozen.
It’s okay, Mamas. We breathe. We rage. Then, we apologize, laugh and move back onto being our amazing selves. Sometimes patient. Sometimes not. But, always, always filled with love.