Let me start by saying that generally I am impatient about most things. Impatient to get the kids out to school, impatient to hear back from a client about work, impatient to get the kids to bed, impatient to get the sodding decorating finished!
I may or may not have inherited this particular trait from my dad who is not the most patient person I know either. But this week has seen my levels of impatience reach a new high (or should that be low?!).
Refusing to Get Dressed
For some reason the youngest, who has always been chatty, over confident and loves pre-school, has now decided that she doesn’t want to go. Her avoidance tactics this week has ranged from refusing to get dressed, to hiding around the house when it’s time to leave the house. I’ve tried to deal with this calmly. I wish I was one of those jolly mums who laughs at such behaviour and joins in the game of hide and seek, but I inevitably end up losing my temper and insist on her getting dressed and going to pre-school because “I’ve got shed loads to do today!”
They’ve always had arguments or bickering, but this past week or so has seen the arguments ramped up to such an extent that the girls end up in physical fights with at least one of them getting hurt. I have been dealing with this in the following way:
- Listen, but don’t get involved as I want them to sort it out
- Realise that one is being smothered or struggling to breathe
- Step in and break up the wrestle
- Ignore wailings of “She started it” or “Alice hit my nose.”
- Lose my sh!t and shout my head off possibly followed by sending them to different rooms
- Feel extreme guilt that I’ve once again lost my temper, handled it badly and that I’m a terrible mum
Yesterday – An Impatient Day
Yesterday was a busy day. I had to do the school and pre-school run and then negotiate public transport into London to meet with a prospective new client. Why is it that the days you need to go smoothly always work out the worst? (At this point I salute all full-time working parents who have to deal with this kind of stuff every single day. – How do you do it?).
After I’d had various “discussions” with the three year old about how she WAS going to get dressed and go to pre-school, I then had to deal with squabbling about which car seat they were going to sit in. Both then decided that on this particular day they didn’t want to go to school and made a huge scene about going in. I gritted my teeth and coped fairly well, all the time thinking impatiently about what time the bus was leaving for the station.
The train was delayed and the client was late for the meeting – cue more impatience (but actually an enjoyable kind of impatience as I had a cup of tea, a newspaper, a croissant and no children to ask me “Is he here yet?”).
Later, I picked the kids up and was hoping to spend some time before dinner playing board games, but this lasted five minutes as they were too busy fighting each other which led to more inevitable shouting from everyone. We calmed it down with a book, but when the youngest started throwing her food around the kitchen and declaring that “it was my fault for making a horrible dinner.” I lost it again and sent her upstairs.
At this point it was 5.30pm and I was wondering if I could put them to bed. Time for a gin and tonic I thought. Got the ice into the glass before realising that not one but TWO bottles of gin had been put back into the cupboard empty! Proceeded to phone the husband and give him what for. Sensing my rage and general demeanour he promised to bring back wine.
When he finally arrived and I had a large glass of red in hand, I poured out my worries to him about how I was losing my mind because of losing my patience. I seem to be stuck in a cycle where I’m shouting at the kids and then feeling guilty about it. Then the kids act up and it starts all over again. I worry that I’m responsible for sucking all the joy out of this family with my complete lack of patience.
We realised that the endless decorating and having the house turned upside down these past few weeks has made us all grouchy. Plus the kids are missing out on time with Dad because he’s been busy with DIY. So this weekend he has promised to spend some more time with them both.
I’m not sure if this will help, but hopefully with more adult support, I might find I regain some more of my composure and have a bit more patience with the kids. A bit.
Failing that, the gin needs to be re-stocked pronto.
Are you a patient person or do you regularly lose it like me? If you’ve got any tips, please do let me know!