Motherhood is patience

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The loud ring of my alarm tone rudely woke me up. Squinting my eyes open, I stretched out my arm lazily and stopped the alarm clock. The time showed 6:am. I decided to lie down for a little while before I finally got up to start my day.

I must have dozed off, because when I rolled over and powered on my phone to check what time it was, it showed 7:50am. I jumped up from my sleepiness, stumbling out of bed hastily.

Church started by 9:am, and it took us fifteen minutes to drive there. How was I going to get three children ready in an hour, including making breakfast?

I sped to the children’s room and abruptly woke my teenage help to start bathing the kids, then I dashed into the kitchen to start their breakfast.

I rushed through the spaghetti, constantly checking up on the kids. I was yelling at my help to be faster, and even though she was practically running around to meet my yelling demands, It still didn’t feel like she was doing enough. I was frustrated at myself for sleeping in past my set time, angry at how late we were going to be at church and irritated at how slow I felt the kids were being.

My help had succeeded in bathing my first daughter and getting her dressed. She grabbed the second child out of sleep and dashed to the bathroom to start bathing him.

I finished making the spaghetti and began to feed the kids hastily, screaming at them to eat faster, then I dashed into the bathroom to have my bath, afterwards encouraging my husband to get ready as well.

By the time my household was ready, it was 9:20am. I sat squeezing my face as my husband drove us to Church. My makeup was poorly done, I was sweating on top of it all due to the rush. The kids looked upset from been abruptly woken from their sleep and rushed through their food, and I was feeling particularly bad for yelling at my kids again.

That wouldn’t be the first time I was been impatient and frustrated with the children. Between having to rush to meet up with time, repeating the same instructions over and over again, having the kids pester me with “Mummy this, mummy that!” when I really just wanted to have my rest, I got overwhelmed many times and snapped more often than I should have. Many times it was not even about what they did wrong but my transferred aggressions from the things that had gone wrong with my day.

Then in my solemn moments, I remind myself that there are just children, who simply want to play and have a good time. They cannot do things as fast as I would do them, they don’t even know anything about meeting up with time. There are not deliberately trying to annoy me either, there are just being kids! Kids play around, kids break things, kids run around laughing when you are seriously beckoning to them to stand still, kids are not time conscious, kids are just kids.

I know that yelling at my kids unnecessarily always leaves me feeling bad about myself, and it makes them walk on egg shells around me, feeling too scared to be free with me and oh! how that breaks my heart.

So instead of being impatient, snapping, and yelling unnecessarily, I figured out ways to handle these chaos that comes with motherhood. While I have not gotten a total hang of it, there are positive steps forward:

• IGNORING – My mother in law would say, “You cannot follow children and their wahala”. Remembering that they are just beings kids and not intentionally trying to annoy you helps. Ignore most of their short comings, you don’t have to attack every wrong thing that they do. I know this can be hard especially when you see a floor you just swept being littered or things being thrown around, but ignoring some of these things would actually do you good as well and you would feel less stressed.

• IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM – Even though not every situation can be prevented, you can try to identify the situations that frustrate you and nip them in the bud before it nips you. For example, ever since that Sunday’s incidence, I stopped keeping my alarm clock next to me while I sleep, to avoid reaching out and putting it off, then “sleeping small” which usually leads to over sleeping. So I put the alarm far away from my bed, sometimes even on top of my wardrobe so that when it goes off, I would have no choice than to get up from bed to stop the annoying sound, and that little walk to the wardrobe helps to rid my sleepiness.

• DON’T SPEAK IF YOU HAVE NOTHING GOOD TO SAY – Yes mum’s, this rule applies to us too and not just to our kids. Speaking when tensed sometimes leads to saying very mean things to our kids, which can affect their self esteem and in turn leave us feeling guilty. So, when your child is being over bearing and you sense yourself about to loose it, take some time out. Sit somewhere, walk away, breath in and later re visit the situation, lovingly letting your child know where they went wrong .

• REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR ROLE AS THEIR PARENT –  Your child does not posses half the knowledge that you do. They need to be nurtured and taught. So, whenever your child goes over board, remind yourself of your role as their parent which is to guide and correct them. When you let your frustrations get the better part of you, you yell out corrections instead of speaking them solemnly in love, and it is hard for kids to receive advice when it is yelled at them, because they would be too busy being scared of how angry you look and imagining what your next move may be.

• PRAY – This may be lastly mentioned but it is definitely not the least. If you make it a daily habit to pray to God for patience, he would grant your request. The Holy Spirit is a friend who stays with us at all times and He would definitely help us in our times of need.
So the next time you begin to feel frustrated, take some time out. Learn to correct your children in love. The less you shout, the happier you would be, the less headaches you would have and the more freer your kids would feel around you.

Written by Ogbugoh Terundu Joy Esq.

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