I’ve been thinking a lot lately about patience.
Not just me needing it to get through my days with a scary-smart, stubborn 4 year old and her very active, teething, LOUD baby sister. Though… I do need it for that. A lot. Because there are days when Dan gets home and I’ve been alone with the girls for 10 hours and I’m honestly surprised that he doesn’t have to peel me from the ceiling.
Did you know that 4 year olds ask a lot of questions? And when they aren’t asking questions, they make noise? NONSENSE NOISE? NOISE THAT CAN SOMETIMES DRIVE YOU TO WISH FOR A VERY SHARP STICK TO JAB IN YOUR SKULL?
I’m not one for squelching inquisitive-ness and creativity and expression and all that. But for the LOVE, child. Just STOP TALKING AND MOVING FOR THREE MINUTES.
Mama is tired. My ears are bleeding.
I’m finding myself overly contemplative (and, if I’m being honest, a little bit freaked out) lately about the upcoming first birthday of my second child. Audrey, my second baby. My last baby. Probably. Maybe. Probably.
It’s just… we’ve made it almost through the whole first year as parents of two kids. It was an amazing year! But there are parts I can barely remember. (which… after reading through some of my blog posts the other day… that might be a good thing. Oh reflux. You were a bitch, I gotta say.) It just all went by SO FAST. Everybody says that, right? We all say it, and not just about parenting. “Time is going so fast! Slow down! How is it the end of summer already!?” It’s cliche and an annoying bit of small-talk we all take part in now and then.
But we say it because it’s true.
I have a lot of trouble living in the moment. I suck at it, really. And all of this Not Living In The Moment seems to make time go even faster than it does already. WHOOSH! You have a newborn baby. WHOOSH! Your newborn baby is now walking. WHOOSH! MOM, CAN I BORROW THE CAR TONIGHT??
I’m a Do-er, not a Be-er. I need a list, a task, a Thing To Complete. I’ve written about this before, how I was trying to focus on being fully present in my days with the girls. And I’ve done okay with it, I suppose. We’ve had some really good and fun days this summer- and not necessarily complicated days. Just simple fun at home together on my days off from work. Painting, playing Candyland while the baby naps, going to the park. So: mildly successful on my personal development front. Go me!
But there is always room for improvement. I don’t always follow my rules. REBEL.
Patience is vital for living in the moment, I think. To just be there and not rush ahead to something else- either physically or just in your mind. ALL THE TIME, I am impatiently rushing ahead in my brain, thinking about ‘someday, when the girls are older, this won’t be so hard. I can’t wait for that!‘ or even ‘later tonight, when the girls are in bed and it’s quiet and my butt is on the couch, I’m totally eating some FREAKING ICE CREAM.‘ or ‘what the heck am I going to do when Audrey starts TALKING TOO OMG THE NOIIIIIISSSSEEE!‘ I need to be patient and know that those things (ICE CREAM!) will be there then. Not now. Worry about now: when the girls are small and cute and only talking back SOME of the time. Don’t wish it all away.
But when the days get long and loud and whiny, my patience… it is worn thin. I yell. I have thrown things out of stress and frustration and just TIREDNESS (not AT anyone, please don’t call protective services! I ONLY THROW AT WALLS!) I am not proud of it, but there you go. And I know I’m not alone, but that doesn’t make it okay or any less guilt-ridden of an admission. This just in: Parenting makes you do crazy things. Like slam doors really loudly.
So I pray for patience. I’ve heard it’s a virtue, or something. I need to be patient with the girls. Patient with The Here And Now. And probably most of all, patient with myself because I’m not going to be perfect all the time.
Just most of the time. BECAUSE DUH. I’m the Queen, after all.
(These pictures are totally not related to this post in any way, other than it was a nice afternoon and we needed to get out of the house and there were swings. WHEEEE!)