I was teaching a Baby Signing Time Class with two out of three kids in tow, when after class a mama came up to me and said “You’re so patient, I don’t know how you do it!”
I laughed, and replied “Thank you, some days its better than others.”
With three kiddos at home, and another on the way I often get comments about “having my hands full”, especially after people learn about Em being Deaf. But, this particular comment has always stood out to me as one of the best comments ever received.
I am not always a patient mom – I loose my temper just like every other mom. I get hangry, grumpy when I don’t get a good sleep, and overstimulated when I’ve been touched out. There are days I’d rather just hide under the covers and not have to parent.
Honestly, there are times my emotions get the best of me, and I can seem just like my 2 year old throwing a tantrum when things aren’t going well. Despite my best efforts, I yell when I’ve asked my kids to clean up for the 100th time. I get annoyed when someone calls for help with something I know they can do on their own when I’ve just sat down for a rest.
The compliment from this sweet mama reminded me of a secret that helps me try to be a patient mom most of the time and not just in public.
I know I’m not perfect, but I know that I can always wake up the next day and try again.
When I speak to my kids, I want to correct them in a calmer way and get better results because they feel respected rather than intimidated.
I want to get down to their level and speak kindly rather than loom over top of them being bigger and more powerful.
I want them to know that I value their stories and their opinions.
I want them to go over expectations, just like we do before head out to the store or other outing.
That’s the kind of mom I strive to be in my own home.
And the reality is, someone is always watching: our kids.
They see how we handle our emotions. We are their models.
If we want them to be able to control their emotions, we need control ours first.
They are always watching to see how we react to situations, they see our flaws and our strengths. They learn from us how to function with those big feelings that often explode from their little hands and mouths.
Let’s try to show them how to think about our words before we say them to avoid hurting others in our anger.
Let’s try to show them how to own our mistakes, and work with others to find a solution so they don’t happen as often.
Let’s try to teach them to use their words instead of whining, making demands, or yelling.
Let’s try to model mindfulness for them, and teach them to stop and take a breath before reacting. Or stepping away from the situation to cool down before we say something we regret.
Let’s try to show them problem solving skills and working together for solutions just like we do out in public.
Remembering that they are watching, helps keep me in check and drives me to be a better mom.
They are our most important judges after all. Their view matters more than anyone. Their view forms not only the memories of their childhood, but how they will grow and navigate within the world.