On patience and forgiveness

07/05/2012 at 3:36 pm | Posted in Motherhood | 12 Comments

I can’t stop thinking about these words from one of Laura’s latest blog posts:

“… most days i wake up hoping for patience and most nights i go to bed asking for forgiveness.”

So very true.

I never thought it would be so difficult — such a huge, daily emotional test — to raise two little girls.

The three of us can’t escape a day together without this scenario playing out at least once: Sophie starts crying. I pick her up to comfort her. She keeps fussing and squirming. Lily starts whining, usually about something she wants RIGHT THIS SECOND. For me to reach a toy, turn on the T.V., fetch her a snack. Sophie screams louder. I can’t hear Lily. So she whines louder. Bouncing Sophie on my hip, prying Lily from her vice-grip on my leg, I snap.

And I hate myself in those moments.

Guilt washes over me, and I long to erase the memory from my girls’ minds of Mommy losing her shit. It doesn’t last long, and I’m usually able to calm everyone down pretty quickly. But I wish I could figure out how to keep it together. Or, at the very least, lose my shit in private.

I work hard on this every day, coaching myself to stay calm. To ride out the trigger and hope it eventually becomes numb.

I want to be a haven for my children. Every single day — as often as possible — I shower them with love and affection and happiness and laughter. We are silly together, snuggly, and I can’t stop kissing and squeezing both of them. I’ll do anything for a belly laugh.

But those tiny moments of turmoil fracture our bliss.

I know they’ll never really go away (especially as Lily and Sophie become teenagers — oy), but I’m working my hardest to make them as small and infrequent as possible.

Pray for patience. Beg for forgiveness.

My daily ritual.



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  1. You are not alone friend. I think the very fact that we are so aware of it and are always striving to give our children the best parts of ourselves means we’re good parents. Of course we will fall short and slip some days but we keep going, hug them a little tighter and move on.

  2. I am right there with you. Yesterday was a particularly trying day at our house. Ian was only using his selective hearing and was bouncing off the walls. Little Cole was unusually cranky. During dinner, which is a rough point in the day anyway, Ian was jumping up and down on my last nerve. I lost it and told him to “shut up and eat.” Ugh. I regretted it the minute it left my mouth. I do apologize and tell him I am wrong to lose my temper when it happens. I just wish I didn’t have anything to apologize for…

  3. You’re SO not alone, mama. I feel you – I hear you – I AM YOU. And I only have one kid! Oy is right.

    Sending you hugs and a thank you for admitting something like this. The honesty is real and raw, and reminds the rest of us we’re not alone. Not at all.

  4. Oh mama…with you…and I don’t have 2 yet! Last weekend I yelled at LT so bad after he went noodle on me while trying to get the dog in the year. When I picked him up, he tried to bite me and pulled my hair. I was livid. I forced him to his room and slammed the door. Then I sat down and cried. I went in and got him and we rocked together snuggled in a chair…even with a giant belly. He told me he forgave me. They can’t really switch on you. But Joanna is right, we are good parents because we realize these things and want to be better. We are also human.

  5. You are not alone! And boy did I need to read this today! So thank you 🙂 I have a 2.5 year old (Ashley) and a 4 month old (Brock). I am in the middle of potty training Ashley and my patience has grown thin. She always has to go potty right when I’m in the middle of nursing Brock. You can imagine the scenario – whiny toddler who has to go potty, or so she says; I stop nursing the baby to his dismay; rush the toddler to the bathroom, sit with her while she tries to go; the baby is crying; toddler won’t let me leave, wants me to read her a book over and over again; the baby is now screaming; and the toddler says “all done potty” and doesn’t even go potty!! Ugh! Aside from potty training, I feel like a day doesn’t go by when I am not raising my voice at someone. If not Ashley, then the dogs that are driving me nuts. I wish I had more patience, and like you said, could lose my shit in private. I yell, she cries, I cry, I wish I could rewind and not act that way. Pray for patience, beg for forgiveness. That should be written on my wall.

  6. Sitting here nodding my head emphatically at my monitor. Yep. That scene you described is exactly what happens daily at our house too. It sucks. I just hope when they grow up and look back, they remember the good stuff more than the “Mommy losing it” stuff.

  7. Okay, I see both sides here.
    Yes I have these moments and I feel bad.
    Yes I have these moments and I don’t feel bad because kids need to know that people, even parents, are human, and they have limits. When we are perfect all the time for our kids, we set the example that perfection is normal.

    The other thing with two kids that was hard in the beginning is that there is going to be more crying because you can’t meet everyone’s needs all the time. For us, we started with two so we have a lot of years of practice under our belt.

  8. maybe this will give a little perspective: my friend ann is mother of her own four and foster mother of 96 !! earlier on in the fostering she took them in with her own four despite total lack of cooperation from her then-spouse who gave little or no help with his own four…oh yeah, she fostered only for special needs infants and toddlers…most of muti-racial backgrounds…many of these she kept for years before they were finally adopted…i remember feeling maxed out sometimes with my two, but here’s an otherwise normal human being who had 100…ususally four at a time…looking forward to being with y’all starting a week from today xx oo

  9. oh man — I have days like this all the time; today in the library, alex was being a normal toddler (running around like crazy, making noise) and I was just so snappy and not nice. You are not alone!

  10. Even at seven weeks in, I so feel you. Enough that I wrote a post venting my current thoughts & feelings after not being able to get this post of yours out of my head. So thank you for giving me the courage to say you are definitely not alone & that I can continue to work on patience.

  11. I meant to comment the other day. This is SPOT ON for me. I just wish it weren’t. I wish I didn’t lose my patience at all and that there was nothing to forgive at the end of the day. I try so very hard to keep my cool. But sometimes I just get too frustrated. I ask God for forgiveness every night for any mistakes that I’ve made.

  12. […] 9, 2012 by Suz | 4 Comments I just read my sweet friend Suzanne’s post on asking for patience in the morning & forgiveness in the evening after a day with her two […]

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