By Guest Blogger Annah Matthews, author of Things Momma Told Me
It never fails. I’ve just begun a good conversation with my husband, dialogue is flowing, we’re exchanging ideas and thoughts and from the backseat of the car I hear, “Hey Mommy do you know why they call Texas the Lonestar State?” Uhmmm no, but don’t interrupt me right now while Dad and I are talking.
17 seconds later.
Mommy, are you done talking to Daddy because I really need to tell you something.
No, stop interrupting me. You need to be patient.
18 seconds later.
Can I tell you now?
No you can’t tell me now because I told you to be patient and stop interrupting my conversation with Daddy.
But I hate to be patient! he whines.
And to be honest, I hate it too. I am constantly telling my children to wait their turn. Don’t interrupt. Wait until it’s time. Learn to be patient.
But to be honest I don’t always set the best example of that and I am guessing I am not the only one.
Hurry up and get on your shoes, we’ve got to go.
Quick grab your coat, you’re going to miss the bus.
Finish your breakfast so you can brush your teeth.
Get in the shower and stop playing in the bathroom.
Turn off the tv and go straight to bed.
Now I know that I am the parent and that I am teaching them things like first-time obedience, listening to authority, time management, and so forth. But I think that I could do a better job of teaching them patience if I practiced it more consistently.
My husband and I have very different personalities. He’s a morning glory and I am a night owl. He moves quick in the morning. Me, not so much. My children are natured differently too. Some of my children need the time and the space to enjoy the morning. Eat their cereal. Sit in their pajamas for a while. Watch a show without feeling rushed. This is probably a reason kids love Saturdays.
One of my children runs almost everywhere he goes. The other takes his time to examine the sticks, the leaves, the cars and takes a leisurely stroll everywhere he goes.
I tend to get impatient with the leisurely strolling child and rush him along too often. I also tend to get impatient with the runner. Because he often doesn’t want to wait his turn and interrupts. How is it that I am sending them the mixed message of
I don’t know what the answer is but I think it lies in modeling patience for them in my own life and taking some cues from them.
Stopping to look at what is around me instead of being impatient about what should be coming next. Learning to wait my turn. Enjoying the moment. Listening for the answers, waiting for the results, and not getting upset when it doesn’t come immediately.
There has to be room for creativity and play without always having a finished product.
There has to be time to just be free without the frenetic pace of one activity to the next.
There has to be time to just enjoy being together, doing nothing but enjoying this moment.
There has to be a way to learn how to enjoy the journey not just the destination.
Long walks to simply enjoy each other’s company. Sitting in the yard examining the stick collection. Letting each person in the family have a chance to talk and share their thoughts. Embracing the days when nothing is on the schedule and we can just enjoy the day without time limits.
It’s a work in progress – Patience. I need to model it for them and I need them to learn the virtue of being patient people. In our instant gratification society, they certainly aren’t going to learn it anywhere else if they don’t learn it at home.
So it’s time to take a deep breath, Inhale, Exhale, and Just be Still.