Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Tock of our Clocks.

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Patience. It' a virtue that gets pushed to the limits throughout our lifetime. It's waiting for that cake to cool so you can pipe the frosting on, It's constantly refreshing your online bank account waiting for pay day. It's sighing in frustration at the rate of growth since last months bad haircut.

It's...being a parent.

Nothing pushes your limits more, stretches your patience further than children do. Our sweet little innocent beings run on entirely different time zone, they tick the tock of their own clock.

Patience then, it would be assumed is every parents greatest asset. Assumed being the key word. I don't know about you, but for me... patience is a skill I am yet to master.

I can only say "Please sit down" so many times, put the dummy back in so many times or pick up the bowl full of peas strewn across the floor so many times before my boiling point is reached, when every molecule of patience within me has been exhausted of it's abilities. And then what? I need to have patience with my patience?

I put the burning question to my online community of mothers a while back, "How do you be patient?" If you aren't a patient person how do you learn, practice and master such a skill that is necessary for calm parenting and good role modelling? Or perhaps more true to my style of parenting...How do I fake patience and fake it enough to make it through the day?

I was relieved to hear that many mamas out there share the 'steam coming from ears' symptom and could empathise. "This too shall pass...say it over and over and over again", one SAHM soothed me. "Remember in the heat of the moment how quickly they grow up, and savour the moment now before they move on, away from the nest", encouraged another. Wise words from those who also hear the irregular tick tock of their little ones clock clashing with their own.

In true mama blogger style, I took to the world wide web and searched for more answers reading many a tale of stretched limits, patience improving advice and parental coping skills. I read until I had the patience to read no longer and some of the answers I was looking for. The verdict? Patience is not a given skill. It, like any other mental muscle needs to be exercised regularly. It can be built up, strengthened and defined...all with practice and determination. Unfortunately, there is no easy supplement available for building this mental muscle, just old fashioned patience. So yes, (cringe) we must have patience with our patience.

Having recognised I need some major help in this area I have set myself a little daily workout for building up my lacking skill. Simple steps I can take to reduce the steam and fake it until I make it. If you feel yourself steaming up regularly as I do, why not take the challenge with me?

the patience work-out
* Step away. Away from the patience testing situation and breathe. Come back with a chest full of air to continue pumping along calmly with.

* Eliminate the distractions. Patience is harder to come by when there are too many variables vying for its attention. At patience testing times, switch off the television, turn down the music and focus attention where it is most needed.

* Set the example. Remember to be the parent you wish your child to one day become, you are the role model and you are the example. Set the best one you possibly can.

* Forgive and Forget. Ever noticed how quickly childrens moods can change? From extreme tantrum to elation in just minutes? Take a leaf from the book of a toddler and move on quickly. Forgive yourself for losing it and get back on track, or forgive your child for pushing your limits and move forward with the moment.

* Pretend someone is watching. We are always more patient with an audience or in public, just channel into this skill at home. This tip I found on a wonderful post titled "How to become a patient parent". Definitely worth the read.

* Remember the cliched L's. Live, Love and Laugh. Live in the moment and remember how quickly it passes. Laugh at the frustrations and niggles that challenge us and Love your child unconditionally and with understanding.

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I hope these little exercises may give me a boost, and perhaps they can give you one too. Especially when you've picked up the peas from the floor for the ninth night in a row, put the dummy back in for the fourth time or chanted "Please sit down" for a third.

Now repeat after me...This to shall pass!
Plenty of love, 
winterlove blog natalie


  1. I quite enjoyed this blog post on parenting anger management- you might find it interesting also

  2. Patience aplenty, I have not.
    Sometimes I surprise myself, but it must be a very good day. I'm sure this might be my lesson to learn in life too.