Deliberate Motherhood: The Power of Patience | Occasionally Crafty: Deliberate Motherhood: The Power of Patience

Tuesday, March 4

Deliberate Motherhood: The Power of Patience

Welcome to the Deliberate Motherhood series!  If this is your first post, you can see
the rest of them here.  There are 12 Powers that help bring peace, order, and joy
to mothering.  We're focusing on one each month.  You don't need a book to join the discussion-
I'd love to hear your thoughts on each issue.  But if you want one, you can order it here.

Oh my.  This "deliberate mothering" is harder than it looks!  Last month I was trying to focus on the power of "love"- showing love to my children more and beginning my mothering/household tasks with love for my family in mind.

There were some successes-- moments of snuggling, tickling, and playing that I otherwise would have probably put off, a few extra hugs and kisses, smiles instead of lectures when lectures weren't really needed, and more.  Sadly, I failed in a lot of instances.  It's hard to be loving when frustration sets in.  It's harder to do tasks in love than I thought it would be.  So I learned last month that I still have a lot to do to be a more loving mother.

This month, it's all about patience.  Oh boy, do I ever need this one!  I have struggled my whole life with patience.  I want something done NOW.  I want things to go perfectly THE FIRST TIME.  I want to be good at everything right away- I don't like things if I struggle with them (which explains why I don't crochet or knit!)

Do you know when my patience is the thinnest?  Late afternoon to evening.  Those are the hours when everyone is tired, I'm trying to throw dinner together after our afternoon activities or after my piano students have left, one child is usually STILL doing homework, another is running around the house singing "Let it Go" at the top of his lungs, and the third is whining loudly that someone broke his Lego tower earlier that morning.  

The phone rings, I'm missing an important ingredient for dinner that I swear I bought, the house is a mess because I was too busy/tired to straighten it up, my husband comes home, the kids double up on craziness, and I just want to scream.

Sound familiar?  I can't be the only one who dreads these hours of the day.  This is when we need to take the advice in Deliberate Motherhood

 "Pause.  Deep Breath.  Walk away for a minute.  You can handle this..."

We need patience the most in these moments where we are provoked.  It's not just going to kick in- we have to TRY to BE patient.    "Patience is a process.  It is discovered as we use it, much like a muscle....Patience doesn't simply appear when we need it.  It must be cultivated. (DM, p48.)

I love this quote included in the book, and goodness knows I need this in a prominent place on my refrigerator!

The author of this chapter, Catherine Arveseth, lists several steps to developing patience, and I'm going to quickly recap them here:

1.  Give in Without Giving Up: I really think this goes well with Acceptance.  Sometimes e have to re-evaluate and adjust our expectations so they are reasonable.  

2.  Know Your Triggers:  For me, it's overly loud noise, fatigue, and being late.  When my house or car is so loud I can't think, I lose it.  When I'm exhausted (which is mostly due to my health and not my sleeping habits,) I get short with everyone.  When we are running late- watch out!  Since I know my triggers, I can do my best to avoid them or anticipate them so I'm less likely to lose my mind on my kids.

3.  Slow Down- When we are too busy and we have too much to get done, I definitely start losing patience.  It's a good reminder for me to schedule my kids less and to take advantage of down time when I can.

4.  Look Before You Lose It:  Have you ever gotten really upset about something (or at someone!), then later realized the circumstances were totally not what you thought?   This helps us "examine what has really gone on, to ask questions, and to determine intent.  It helps us better understand the offender and the offended...It also helps us see what is happening in our children's heads and hearts. (DM, p54).

5.  Set the Tone:  When I yell at my kids, I almost immediately feel guilty.  The message of yelling is "Please someone calm me down becasue I can't calm myself down." (p.55)  When we raise our voice, we often get MORE angry.  It's time for us to learn to manage our voices.  We can speak sternly, without yelling, and get a better response, both from ourself and others.

6.  Dig Deep: On the most difficult days, in the hardest moments, find the reserves that help you do what seems impossible.  For me, I draw on my faith.  I remember that I want to be Christlike, and that means being loving and patient.  

I know I can be more patient.  These six steps will help me this month.  I just may print them out and post them somewhere.  If you'd like to as well, you can click here for a printable version, or just right click the image below to save to your computer.

What are your patience triggers?

P.S.  I shared this at the How Do You Do It? Parenting Link Up

HDYDI Parenting Link Up Party

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  1. Great post!!! I feel the same way in the afternoons-- they are the hardest time of day! I realized awhile ago that I was in total denial about how our afternoons actually went. During the earlier parts of the day, I would tell myself, "Oh, I'll finish that task as I prep dinner" (such as finishing the dishes or moving the laundry). What was happening is that our already busy time of day was becoming busier! Our toddlers may be overtired depending on if they napped or not, our preschooler is begging to go to the park, and my pregnant self is TIRED thinking about the dinner I need to prepare, the sports class a few short hours away, and then the monstrous task of getting all the boys in bed (which lately has taken even longer as our toddlers are potty training and one of them has been having an asthma flair up). So what I've switched to now is getting things done when we are all feeling great-- not procrastinating. We do all the dishes BEFORE we leave the house. The first couple times we did run later than usual, but now we have worked it into the routine. When we come home from errands, the kitchen is clean. We move laundry when it needs to be done, no carrying baskets to the laundry room or hitting "fluff" on the dryer. A big step for me is extending this to putting away the laundry. It is amazing how much LESS time this stuff takes when I stay on top of it. (I'm hoping this helps us form some good habits as we have another baby due early this summer and I'm sure our days are going to be crazy again!) This has really helped our afternoons. Now I don't feel nearly so stressed when our boys all bum to go to the park instead of hanging out inside. I can relax on a park bench or on our back patio watching them play for a few minutes before dinner. We have time to snuggle up on the couch in the afternoons now and time for the boys to help prep dinner. Anyways, that has helped me have far more patience in the afternoon. :) Looking forward to more deliberate mothering posts!

    1. Kimber- thanks for taking the time to comment! Thanks for sharing what works for you. I definitely need to stay on top of laundry more! Hope you're feeling well and all goes well with this baby!

  2. This is a great post! I will be featuring it on the HDYDI link up next week. Such a great reminder. And I hear you on the "witching hours" before bed. They are crazy. I love your description on what's going on in your house. Best of luck to developing more patience this month. I haven't had much myself lately either... Thanks for the help.

    1. Thanks for the feature, Katelyn! Here's to more patience for us both!


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