A Lesson in Patience

We move in two days. Everyone is stressed and the kids feel it. Yesterday their behavior got the best of me and I snapped.

One of my goals for 2015 was more like a vision.

I had a vision of myself mothering with the patience of an unflappable nun: hands folded calmly in the face of chaos, voice smooth and undeterred as she administers grace and restores peace.

When I lost it with the kids I most definitely did not look like that unflappable nun.

Snuggling with the kids after we’d exchanged apologies and received forgiveness I realized the flaw in my vision – and no, not the part about nuns not having kids.

I can’t imagine I will be calm in difficult situations if I am not calm in normal situations.

An unflappable nun doesn’t run about her work like a chicken with her head cut off.

When I do my work that way I put myself under tension, primed and ready to snap.

As much as you know this is obvious, please tell me I am not the only one who thinks she can work like mad and be saintly when necessary.

There’s not much left to 2015, but I yearn to live a revised version of the unflappable nun in my mind’s eye.

She goes about all her work with serenity, treating each task with care, making each movement deliberately.

She is beautiful when she cleans toilets and cooks dinner. She is unflappable in the quiet moments as well as the chaotic ones.

Life is a ritual. Sacred. Beautiful.

Only from that place of peace will I learn to be the unflappable nun in the stressful moments.

Wish me luck!

2 thoughts on “A Lesson in Patience”

  1. I have the “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” song in my head now. 🙂

    I have a different take on this. I don’t think it’s always wrong to lose my patience with the kids. Sometimes, they are purposely antagonising, and I truly have no patience for that. And so I yell, or inflict punishment, or withdraw a treat, or whatever.

    However, sometimes I lose my patience when I shouldn’t. I always try to ask myself, “Is this situation better or worse after I yelled?” Sometimes, it really is better. They understood I meant business, and they calmed down, ceased, or desisted with whatever nonsense they were up to! But sometimes (most times), a lost-patience-reaction is inappropriate, and if I use that reaction anyway, I cause damage- hurt feelings, loss of respect for me by the kids (and myself), etc. Unfortunately, it is hard for me to pre-judge and react appropriately. All I can do is look in hindsight and ask myself if my reaction was right for the situation. When it wasn’t, I try to apologise.

    Best of luck with the move!!!

  2. Thanks for digging into the definition of “yell.” Speaking loudly isn’t the problem, as you point out. When I say I yell it usually means it invovled the loss of respect you mentioned. I can see the damage I’m doing, and that’s what I want to stop.

    We survived the move and are getting back on our feet again. Slow and steady!

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