in which I am impatient about patience

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.

So. Patience.

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!)

finally a smile

I love this. so much.


  1. Jesabes

    August 18, 2011 12:17 am

    Ugh, the constant loudness drives me crazy. I think it’s my least favorite part of parenthood. It’s worse than the whining, the tantrums, all of it. Can you just be quiet for FIVE MINUTES?

  2. Erica

    August 18, 2011 12:22 am

    It is so hard to live in the moment, I agree. All we can do is keep trying and as you say, strive for more patience.

  3. Jen

    August 18, 2011 6:43 am

    Oh Jen, you are soooo not alone!! Great post. I felt like you were talking about me and our house (minue the walking child, change the inquisitive, nonsensical NOISE child to a boy, and add 2 teething, refluxing almost 7 month olds!) Sounds like you are doing a great job! Keep it up!!

    • Jen

      August 18, 2011 9:36 pm

      oh my goodness, I didn’t know the twins had reflux!! How long did it take you to figure that out? We went a few months without realizing (she didn’t get really bad until 3 months old or so) I can’t imagine two of them, ack! God bless you, girl. LOL

      • Jen

        August 22, 2011 6:29 pm

        Rita had a scary episode about 3 weeks old (think CPR on your own kid) and that hospital stay resulted in the diagnosis. She is on 2 meds to hold things at bay. Lorenzo has probably had it all along, but she was so much more work in the beginning he got tossed aside!! I just started giving him zantac a month or so ago because I.COULD.NOT.TAKE.IT!

        • Jen

          August 23, 2011 9:22 am

          oh WOW. that’s horribly scary!!! Hope they grow out of it soon, it is not fun. But thankfully we didn’t have any dangerous moments, just lots of misery and woe. heh

  4. Heather

    August 18, 2011 8:07 am

    oh I love the constant talking! and the mom, mom, MOM, MOM, MOMMMYYY until you answer

  5. bessie.viola

    August 18, 2011 9:20 am

    Yeah, I’m a thrower sometimes too. Never AT anyone and rarely when anyone else is even in the same room, but yeah. I get it.

    The constant talking/touching is enough to do me in. Seriously. It’s hard on the marriage too because I just do NOT want anyone touching/talking to me after she’s in bed.

    Patience. Yes, more of that please!

  6. keli

    August 18, 2011 11:37 am

    we are living parallel lives, you and me. even the impatience for patience. it seems like it’s a daily occurance to end my day with a headsmack and a, “WHY did i let it get to me AGAIN!?!? why can’t i just BE MORE PATIENT???”

    i understand this so very very well. xoxo

    • Jen

      August 18, 2011 9:39 pm

      I know. So much guilt! At least tonight when I had a meltdown it was at myself because I ruined dinner (don’t ask. haaaa) But yeah, there are many days when I look back and cringe at some of my less patient moments.

      Today was a pretty good day, though. Hooray for that.

  7. tehamy

    August 18, 2011 11:38 am

    Oh Jen, we’ve all been there. Our time in the evenings are so limited and I usually enjoy that time, but every once in a while I find myself just wishing for bed time so I can just have a moment to myself. I feel terrible for wishing away the few hours that we have on a week night. I feel terrible when Jack asks why for the 47815678 in two minutes and I sigh. We all run out of patience, it’s just human nature. I think that living in the moment makes it a bit easier. The first year is hard, but you’ve made it! Go hug those beautiful girls!

    • Jen

      August 18, 2011 9:44 pm

      Oh I know- my butt LOOOONGS for the couch by dinnertime ;) Can you believe our babies are almost a year already?? We need to get them together again!!!

  8. Dave (Scrumpy Daddy)

    August 18, 2011 5:56 pm

    I wonder if “end of summer reflections” are a common thing, because I have been thinking through these kinds of things lately, too. I need to stop worrying about the NEXT thing, and just worry about THIS thing, especially when around the kids. They take so many emotional cues from us; I need to be more focused and peaceful and in the moment around them and with them. To enjoy a game or coloring or painting or NOISE MAKING! :-) (If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? Heh!)

    Great post, and good timing to help focus my own mind. It will be little easier soon, as Rachel is done with her job tomorrow, Abby starts Kindergarten at the end of the month, and I will be changing my work schedule…all that will allow us to reorganize the way we use the time in every day, and we are trying to pay extra attention to using it for the benefit of our family as a whole. In the way you describe – spending time together in the moments we have, and not just worrying about what needs to happen in the next hour or day or week.

    Anywho, thanks. I hope you can find some patience with the NONSTOP four year old (I’m with you in that struggle…) Take care!

  9. Melissa

    August 18, 2011 9:18 pm

    I understand 100%. I’m a planner too, always looking to the next things on the to-do list, always thinking about next month or next year. And I’m very hard on myself as a mom when I’m not perfect.

    I’ve definitely had a pretty strong dose of reality the past few months because of my mom’s illness. I’ve paid more attention to little everyday things and to being with the kids. Like you said–I don’t want to just “get through” these days, I want to live in the moment more often so I can remember them.

    Sounds like you’re doing your best to enjoy where you’re at. You’re a great mom and your girls love you. :)

    • Jen

      August 18, 2011 9:48 pm

      A planner?? NOOOO ;) We’re like two peas in a pod, girl. ha

      That’s exactly it- making sure I’m not just surviving the days but enjoying them (well… most parts, anyway. ha) and cutting myself some slack. Hard to do. bah!

  10. Jayna @ Yankee Drawl

    August 19, 2011 12:28 am

    Oh, the noise. THE NOISE! It will only get louder – I’m sorry :-) E and MJ love to sing for me, which translates to yelling at the tops of their voices. All I want to do is shush them and bury my head under a pillow, but so often I have to remind myself that this is just one of those things that comes with parenting two little girls. And that if my ears weren’t ringing, it would be cute and memorable and all that jazz.

    So often it takes getting to that moment where you’re sitting on the floor, looking around on the verge of some terrible, no-good, door slamming moment to see past it all and find the groove again. It’s just an added bonus if the patience part comes with it :-)

  11. Lea

    August 19, 2011 12:59 am

    This is so absolutely appropriate for me today as Asher was under the weather and we stayed home allllll day long, and my husband didn’t get home until 8pm. Yeah, I may have had a dinnertime meltdown as Ava was crying in her highchair and Asher was whining (for the millionth time today) about not wanting what we were having for dinner. Yes, I want/need more patience all the time. Always working on that and trying so hard to enjoy the moment.

  12. K

    August 19, 2011 2:32 pm

    Being a mom has made me not like myself on a few/many occasions and this is a bummer if I think about it too long.

    Praise Jesus that motherhood doesn’t resemble “Groundhog Day” otherwise we’d all be driving off cliffs. New days, new starts are what keep us ALL sane.

  13. the ambitious mrs

    August 22, 2011 6:06 pm

    I am so with you, I yell and I throw and I’m not proud of it. What else can I say, this is a hard, hard job. Just wanted to say, I’m so with you!

  14. rachael

    August 26, 2011 11:54 am

    my x used yelling against me in our Divorce last year.
    He called it verbal abuse when he did all kind of abuse to me.
    More men get Kids in Divorces now cause of them working us at home with kids. Yes he got are kids and the Home.

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