My son is my world. I love him beyond belief. I love him so much that sometimes, when I think of him, I can feel my heart swelling and growing, filling with bliss. I enjoy his company; my miniature buddy, with his running commentary on our daily lives and all we do. I delight in his laughter and am in awe over his passion to learn. I worry, I protect, as much as I am able, and I try to keep him from harm’s reach. The joy this little being has brought into our lives is insurmountable, and the love we have experienced, because of him, is unimaginable.
Yet, even knowing all of this; I lack patience with him. Proof that even if you love, and have wanted someone, so much; it doesn’t always come naturally.
I know I’m not alone. I know we’ve all been there and I know it can be completely circumstantial; a bad night, feeling under the weather or simply just getting out of the wrong side of bed in the morning. There doesn’t have to be a reason.
And it’s not just the bad day mama barking! My son is a complete chatterbox. I love this trait about him, revel in his news and stories, and it gives me utter jubilation to hear him nattering away. However, there are times when I’m just not sure I can listen anymore, feign surprise, or wonderment, or answer why? Moments when I crave a spot of peace and quiet and my responses simply aren’t the patient replies I’d, ideally, like them to be.
These days, I don’t feel like the worst parent on the planet when I snap too soon, or, seemingly, admonish again and again and again. Nor when I give a frazzled response or, after listening to his repeated rendition of the alphabet song, for the hundredth time, ask for just a little bit of shush in the car. I’ve learned to accept that it happens. It’s human. It’s everyday life.
I’m actually very much at peace knowing that my son is secure in the knowledge that he is loved, even if I do grouch. But it makes me feel sad. Disheartened that I’ve let myself and my values down. Each time leaving me to question: How, if I love you so much, can I lack patience with you? It goes against everything I could ever possibly want to be for my child. Yet the frustration is somehow, regrettably, more instinctive, and easier, whereby humility takes effort.
Being a parent definitely brings out the best, and the worst, of my personality. I love being a mother and can be hugely patient and understanding. I like to think I’m kind and thoughtful, constantly putting my child’s needs ahead of my own. I’m a good mother to my son. But, like so many of us out there; I have a limit.
It’s saddening, but I can’t always stop the harsher than usual tone to my voice. Or the heavy sigh which escapes and, if the truth be told, can sometimes sound more like a growl! I’m also self-aware that the exasperation is a result of annoyance aimed inwardly too; disappointment in how I’m not always, inherently, the serene force I aspire to be.
I might not continually be the calm parent I hope to be but, I am good at saying sorry, at giving out cuddles, freely, and telling my son that he is loved, deeply. I’ll happily admit that I didn’t act as I’d wanted to, attempting to do better next time; life is, after all, a long journey.
So what can I do? How can I magic up, limitless levels of, patience on a daily basis?
The answer is; I can’t.
There’s no wand, which can be waved, or dust which can be sprinkled over me in my times of need. There’s merely me, my tolerance and my will to try. And so I need to keep on breathing. And learning. And persevering. Saying I’m sorry, that I care, that I’m not perfect, but my love for you is. Whilst hoping that, as he matures and masters this world, so too shall I: It’s about how I move forward and grow too, and how the person I, am yet to be, evolves.
And perhaps, from time to time, also reminding myself of that wonderful Winnie the Pooh quote:
“If the person you are talking to does not appear to be listening, be patient. It may simply be that he has a small piece of fluff in his ears.”
I’m all in favour of blaming the fluff!