Sometimes, people believe that patience means that nothing ever bothers us, but that just isn’t very realistic. As parents, we’ve all been taken to the edge of sanity just trying to get our children ready and out the door on time in the morning. Your 4-year-old is in a bad mood and acting defiant to your every command. Your 12-year-old gets upset with you that her favorite pair of jeans is in the wash and now she “has nothing to wear.” To top it off, you knock over your perfect cup-o-joe while frantically trying to find your car keys.
Is it even possible that you can make it through a morning like that without losing your temper? Here are 3 key things to remember in the moment:
1. Take Some Credit for All Your Hard Work as a Parent
You made it through that stressful morning – even if you didn’t handle it exactly the way you wanted to. You’ve made it though many stressful situations with your children. So, give yourself credit instead of beating yourself up. Learn from those moments, acknowledge that parenting is hard, and move forward with the confidence that you are a fantastic parent that is always improving.
2. Find a Better Way
Once the drama dies down, you can see things differently and more clearly. Try visualizing a scenario where everyone was happy, dressed and ready to go. Next, take action to create that perfect stress-free morning. Can you plan each morning ahead of time? For starters, you can have your kids pick out their outfits the night before. Would setting an extra alarm help so you have more time in the morning? Finally, look for things that you can stop doing in the morning and make the necessary changes.
Get your kids involved in the planning so that they have some skin in the game. It’s also fine to admit to your kids that you’re all learning together. You might even be able to find some humor in the situation to get everyone laughing and light-hearted. You can kick off the planning conversation by saying something like, “It was a really stressful start to the day, wasn’t it? What do you guys think we can do differently for tomorrow so we don’t have so much stress?”
What is causing you the most stress and how can you help yourself alleviate some of that stress? Is there something you can let go of or someone who can help you?
Give yourself permission to find patience by dialing down the stress bit by bit. Find ways to take care of yourself so that you aren’t at the stress level of blowing your top every day.