“Mom, I’m bored!”
“Mom, I need a snack!”
“Mom, he’s bothering me again!”
We’re only a few days into summer vacation and I already find myself counting down to bedtime each day. This is not how I intended for our summer to start out. I was looking forward to them getting out of school so that we would have one-on-one time together again. I’d have all three kids with me for three months, with no set schedule, coming and going as we pleased.
In my mind, I was winning the lottery.
But in reality, I’m biting my lip because my patience is wearing thin. Already. The arguments they are getting in, the constant need for my attention. I can’t find a minute for myself — and it’s taking a toll on me.
I knew it would be hard, having all three with me while balancing my full-time job from home. I knew it would be stressful, but I still expected our honeymoon period to last a little bit longer than two days. I try to keep us all busy and them entertained, but it always ends with the same result; me feeling frustrated and on edge with very little patience.
Sometimes I’ll respond in a way they don’t deserve and will immediately regret it — making them the victims of my outbursts. Most of the time it’s for something small that don’t warrant that kind of reaction from me. Even though I know that, I still find myself yelling at them because they left their shoes in my room.
Before having kids, I always pictured myself as a different kind of mom — with a lot more patience. Especially during a time when we are supposed to be creating these really incredible memories as a family. My fondest memories of my childhood are the ones during the summer with my family. It’s those memories that inspire me to make the most of our summers together — to make them something that they will want to tell their children about someday. But if I’m yelling at them the entire time, the memory I’m making is not the one I intended.
I put the kids to bed each night and after we say our prayers, I apologize to each of them for snapping at them that day. I tell them that tomorrow I’ll have more patience, and yet the same thing happens over again that very next day.
We have a long time until summer comes to an end and if I keep letting my patience wear thin as each day goes by, I’ll have none left by the end.
It’s time for me to let go of the picture-perfect way that I imagined our summer to be and let the kids take the lead. Maybe if I let go of my expectations and rules, I’ll have less stress and more patience for my kids, and we’ll have more fun as a result.
After all, that’s what summer is really all about.More On