Three Ways to Grow Patience

Alone with three children all day is not something I would think of as truly difficult...ten years ago.  When I dreamt of staying at home with my future children at age 23, I thought I would bake chocolate chip cookies while they played in their rooms, we would practice manners around a quiet and calm dinner table, and we would sit and read books on the couch for hours on end, laughing and having the best time.  Well, I do make cookies and we do practice manners and read loads and loads of books, but it doesn't quite look like what I imagined in my head at 23.  It's more messy, dirty, crazy, and loud than my naive self thought it would be.  

This week is my first week home alone with all three of my babies.  And now I would most definitely describe this job as 'difficult', in the absolute best, life giving (and, let's be honest, sometimes life draining) way.  It is my most favorite job I have ever had and I love it, but this week has taught me something.

I am going to have to grow some patience.

Like literally, grow it.  I currently don't have enough to navigate Luke and Lily arguing over the Star Wars book while nursing Jude, Lily refusing to eat anything at lunch, and putting in Jude's pacifier 38 times in 10 minutes while trying to get lunch on the table.  I just don't have enough, friends.

This week I tried a few things to grow my patience so I am not constantly using the verbiage 'NO', 'Don't do that', 'Don't touch that', or my polite 'Please stop that' a thousand times all day long.  I came up with three strategies to grow my patience with my three babes at home.  (I am going to be coming back to read this post daily for awhile...)

Close My Eyes

This seems silly and maybe won't work for everyone.  I know some people say to count to ten when dealing with a tough situation and I will utilize it as well, but closing my eyes to what I am seeing in front of me helps to respond with a clean and clear mind.  When little footsteps come racing down the hall calling out 'she won't get out of my room' for the tenth time in ten minutes, I close my eyes, clear my mind, and try and respond with love and empathy and not with the anger and frustration I would like to respond with.

Take A Break

I have realized it is okay to close the bathroom door and not have my kids in there with me all. the. time.  You mommas out there know what I'm talking about.  Since having children, 90% of the time I spend in my bathroom is not alone.  Privacy and taking a minute to breathe is healthy and so necessary when raising littles.  

I have also discovered driving into Starbucks while Kevin watches the kids for a few hours is so life giving and necessary for my sanity.  I need to refill my tank so I can fill the tanks of my littles and my husband all day everyday. You need to be filled to fill others my friends.

Be Ready

Setting myself up for success all day long is vital for me to have a good day and not be impatient with my babes.  For me, this means getting up a bit earlier to shower before they get up, making my bed, and doing a quick devotion or getting a few things checked off my to-do list for the day.  Guys, this is not easy.  There are days I want to push snooze over and over and over again. And sometimes I do.  But, I have found my day goes much smoother and I have much more patience to give if I am ready for those three babes when they decide to open their beautiful blue eyes in the morning.  What are some things you want done before your babies get up in the morning?

This mom gig is hard.  It's feedings at three in the morning, wiping bottoms, cleaning up a kitchen table three times a day.  It's navigating sibling disputes and wondering why your most favorite blanket is the one that always gets a nose wiped on it.  #gross  

But, with a little bit of courage and perseverance and a whole lot of patience, I know that my 23 year old self would be pretty darn proud of my 33 year old self.  Even with the messy floors, the dirty fingerprints on the windows, and the sweet babies racing down the hallway yelling for me to chase them.  Yes, I think she would be pretty proud indeed. 

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