I thought I’d be better at this.
One thing’s for certain, I’m not a patient person. I envy those who are. Those people who can get stopped at all the red lights day after day and not bat an eye. Those who can wait in lines at the grocery store and just chat it up with the people around them. The moms who always are sweet around their kids, who never raise their voices, who you think of and say, “Wow, she was meant to be a mom.”
I’m not one of those people. I’m stressed up to my eyeballs, and it doesn’t take much to push me right over the edge. I swear (when I’m by myself) in the car when I’ve hit the 15th red light in a row. I impatiently check my watch over and over when I’m standing in yet another line. I snap at my kids because they bicker all day, scream when they can’t complete a task on the first try, and run around like maniacs…even if they’ve been running around all day. They have endless amounts of energy. And I just don’t. I don’t have the energy for any of it. Not anymore.
I’ve tried it all.
I used to be a stage manager. I actually got paid to tell people what to do, and for the most part, they listened to me. Now, I tell people what to do all day, don’t get paid, and it’s like I’m not saying a word. I thought stage-managing would prepare me for parenthood. Spoiler alert…it didn’t.
I’ve also tried the nonchalant, let them work out their own arguments and skip naps type of parenting. That doesn’t work either. My kids need structure, but that doesn’t calm them down either. It’s my literal paid job to be an expert in child development. I tell parents all day long what’s “typical” and what’s not, helping them fix whatever parenting challenges they have. I hate yelling, but sometimes I try and try and try all day long with my own kids, and it doesn’t do any good. It’s my job to know how to handle this stuff, and I just can’t. I can do it all day with other people’s kids, but I’m failing with my own.
But maybe my expectations are too high.
I’m prepared for everything…my mom calls it my “Millennium at a Glance.” But nothing could prepare me for how hard motherhood would be. A master at multitasking, fairly creative, master’s degree holding person, I thought I’d be good at this. I thought I’d have more patience. I thought I’d be able to handle everything that was thrown at me. But the truth is, trying to be patient and handle it all really has backfired. Maybe trying to be patient with my kids is the wrong goal. Maybe I just need to be patient with myself.