Purposeful Parent Tip: Be aware of the different ways you’re being taught your life lessons.
I am not a patient person. When I have an idea or want to do something, I want it to happen quickly. As far as I know I have been like this my whole life. Many times it has served me well, especially when I was in my corporate career and had the ability to get things done quickly and efficiently.
However, there have been times when my lack of patience has cost me dearly in
that snap decisions or poor choices were made. I can however think of two times
when this was not the case.
My mother knew this about me. When I’d speak of having children, she pointed out to me that this endeavor requires a lot of patience. (She was blessed abundantly with this gift). Given my thin skin at the time of her comment, I took this as a criticism that I didn’t have enough patience to raise children and perhaps should rethink this goal. I’m certain she did not mean it that way but rather was sharing her own experience raising six
children. Now THAT takes a lot of patience!
And so I did what any self-respecting Type-A girl would do in order to accomplish her goals. I came up with a plan. In order to get more patience, I’d simply ask for it. So I began to pray. I thought if I didn’t have enough of this key ingredient for motherhood, I’d just ask our dear Lord to give me more. Then I’d be all set. As you might know, it doesn’t quite work that way. We don’t always get what we ask for, but we always get what we need in order for us to grow.
I needed a lot of patience when I was trying to conceive both of my children. I thought that since I had all the “working parts” that this should be easy. It was not. But as you can clearly see, I have two children, so it did eventually work. Like many new moms, I fell in love with my children at first glance. Crazy in love some would say. And even on their (or my) worst days, I still am so very grateful for them and love them more than words can say.
I’ve learned more from my kids in the past several years than I’m sure they learned from me. Clearly I’m getting the most out of this relationship. For today’s post I’ll focus on my son, Christopher and save the lessons I’ve learned from my daughter Kaitlyn for another time.
From the moment he was born, I and everyone around him knew there was “something” about him. He did not cry when he was born, but rather looked around the entire room taking it all in as if to say, “Ok…this is not so bad. I can work with this.” My mother, upon seeing him for the first time said “He looks like a wise, old man.” She was right.
I could not get enough of my son in those early months of being at home with him. And while I admit to not knowing what to do with him those first few days, it became apparent to me that there was no other place I’d rather be than with him. I had felt that I’d found my ‘calling’ – to be a mom.
What better job is there? You get to influence and guide a little one to find their place in the world. They love you unconditionally – even with those extra 10 pounds of pregnancy weight (ok..twenty…yeesh!) and hair that would challenge even Phyllis Diller. They smile when you enter the room. And the best? They nuzzle their little faces in the crook of your neck in a way that makes you never want to put them down.
That’s how I felt about my son. I cared about nothing else really. Yes, I did eventually go back to work and my “pre-baby” life, but truly the only thing that kept me going was knowing I could come home to him and the cares of the day would melt away.
Not to paint a June Cleaver picture here, there were many, many days and nights where I questioned this mommy thing, especially when I didn’t get a full night’s sleep until he was nearly a year old. There were also times when he’d have a crying spell where I could not calm him. And of course the times when I struggled to feed him or potty train him. That’s when I really needed that extra dose of patience I was praying for.
But as I said, we don’t always get our prayers answered the way we intend all the time. I asked for patience and God blessed me with a little boy who would give me opportunities to practice patience every day. I had to learn how to be patient first then more would come to me.
I think of this lesson somewhat like a new lottery winner. If the lucky recipient of Powerball never knew how to handle money, then guess what? They are likely to lose it very quickly due to poor money management skills. We see this all the time – how lottery winners end up bankrupt. But, if they are good stewards of their money to begin with, then their windfall will be secured for a long time.
As the old adage goes – be careful what you wish for. You might just get it. Well, I got what I wished for. A dose of patience wrapped up in a beautiful little boy who to this day makes my heart sing.