Do You Have to Be Patient to Be a Good Mom?
Stubborn, strong-willed, pig headed, pain in the ass. These are the words I would use to describe Noah on a bad day. Sometimes, even on a good day. Don't get me wrong. I have been blessed with a wonderful child, but man does he have a devilish little streak in him.
I recognized it while he was in-utero. If we had left it up to him, I'm pretty sure he would still be in there. He had no intention of leaving anytime soon and I tried several times to convince him otherwise. I was always met with the same resistance. He wouldn't drop into "position." In fact, he would do the opposite! He would put his little hands on my hip bones and actually push himself up into my rib cage. Forcefully! He was telling me, "Listen here lady I will leave when I am good and damn well ready." Well, all in al,l he had his say, I had mine, and the doctor eventually had to settle the score and out he came.
You would think that this would have been a really bad omen of the days to come, but other than being rather impatient when it came to breastfeeding, he was a wonderful little infant. He followed a schedule like nobody's business and was sleeping through the night before we knew it. He just recently dropped his morning nap, and sometimes his afternoon nap is three hours! I mean, seriously! I do realize how lucky we are. But then there are times when he lifts his little chin defiantly at me when I tell him no or stop him from doing something, and I am astounded at the determination in that little body. I'm also embarrassed and dumbfounded when I recognize myself.
Let's just say this pregnancy has left me a little, shall we say, hormonal. Actually, that's not incredibly accurate. I should back up. BN, or Before Noah, I was probably one of the more patient people that ever did exist. I could stand up for myself when need be, but for the most part I was pretty good at just letting the little things go or turning the other cheek. When Noah was born, it was like he yanked all that patience out with him. How's THAT for a visual! I think I can actually hear Eric groaning as I type this. He hates when I'm graphic about the birth and such. But really he did!
Ever since he was born, I have been searching for my long lost patience. My #1 prayer, when I get the chance to pray, is for God to grant me patience. I was telling this to my church circle back in Jacksonville and one of the ladies joked that I better be careful what I ask for, because He may just take that as a request for more situations that test my patience! My first thought was, "Oh Lord, if that's the case, man you have a sick sense of humor!" But regardless, as Noah grew and I got more sleep and I eventually quit my job, I felt some of this patience return. Not a lot, but some.
Well then I had to go and get knocked up. If there is anything that will not help you be more patient with your toddler, it is pregnancy hormones. Oh and then add in moving out of state and basically starting all over. New house, new friends, new sitters, new doctors, new church. This list is still not checked off. I am so very hopeful, and definitely praying, that once these pregnancy hormones are gone I will be more patient with Noah, and Bryce of course.
I guess I have come to equate patience with being a good mother and I don't feel like I have been lately. I am ashamed to say that I have yelled and screamed at Noah and thrown things across the room. To some that may sound horrible and to others you may say, yeah so what. But, to me, it's just not me. I've pounded on his high chair tray when I have had to bend over -- no easy feat these days -- and pick more food off the floor that he has thrown. And the look in his eyes makes me so very ashamed. I always immediately calm down and apologize to him and explain what he did that was wrong and that it was wrong for Mommy to have acted that way and that I love him. But, it doesn't make it ok.
Just today he wanted to shut the door to the bathroom and I told him he couldn't. He walked across the room, picked up a plastic bottle off the edge of the tub and glared at me and threw it! He never broke eye contact with me! He just poked out his little lip and scowled. I, of course, knelt down and explained that we do not throw things when we are angry. But hey, Monkey see Monkey Do!
The good news is that I am getting better. It's getting easier to stay calm. I'm not sure why or how, but I'm not going to tug too tightly on that thread. I will just accept what the good Lord is offering me right now. My greatest fear/hope is that it won't all come crashing down around me once Bryce is born and I am tugged in two different directions on zero sleep. In the mean time, all I can do is take deep breaths and try to set a good example for Noah -- and pray.