I get frustrated often. I overthink everything. I constantly feel like I’m doing everything wrong. This is the combination that destroys me. In my job, in my marriage, as a mom: these are the things that constantly have me worried.
Having time off after my first son was born was supposed to be relaxing and give me time to really dig into my marriage and this whole being a mom of two thing and make me feel like a whole person again. Instead, I spent time stressing out about going back to work, about not getting quality time with my husband even though we were actually under the same roof at the same time more often than before, and about whether or not I was screwing up our son one day at a time.
I’m sure these thoughts run through everyone else’s minds as much as mine! One thing I’m trying to learn is patience (and acceptance, but then that would be two things and the sentence would need restructuring. And, I feel like those two often go together anyhow). I am not a patient person. I seem to be very aware of this, but I must be pretty good at hiding it from those around me. My students actually laugh when I tell them that I have the mouth of a trucker on my way from work most days. This is usually how the conversation goes:
Student: Mrs. Y, I don’t know how you put up with us all day without losing your mind. I couldn’t do it, that’s for sure.
Me: It’s really rather simple: I put up with you all day long, and then I have massive road rage the entire drive home, so that I don’t take it out on my husband and children.
This is often followed by laughter and a few special students saying “I can see that” under their breath as they smile at me. Some kids just get me!
“Patience is a virtue!” To this day I can still hear this phrase running through my mind in the obnoxious way my High School Algebra teacher used to say it 1,000 times a class period. However, it’s a phrase I find myself constantly repeating day after day. How can I become more patient? I hold it in all day long and then my poor husband becomes my punching bag at home. I’m often frustrated and this is the number one cause of my impatience: I’m a perfectionist. There, I said it! I’ve finally admitted it. I’ll never have patience, am I right! I believe, this is where it begins.
In my mind, it’s easier for me to do 100% of everything because I know exactly what needs to be done, when it needs to be done, and how it needs to be done. Now, if I only had the time for that. Why on Earth would I wait around for someone else to do something when I know I’ll just end up redoing it? That’s my normal thought process. Why don’t I just let someone else do it and be thankful that they were willing to help? This should be my normal thought process. Why the heck do I have to ask someone for help?! For Pete’s sake, we’re married…why can’t you read my mind?! Why, after almost seven years of marriage, thirteen years of being together, and two children, can you not read my freaking mind and know exactly what needs to be done and how it needs to be done? I’ll tell you why. Because we can’t read minds. That’s the simple answer. But, the real answer is because after years of being corrected, my poor husband just lets me do what needs to be done because it’s less stressful. In reality, it’s more stressful. I huff and puff to myself while doing said task about how I have to do everything, and ‘why is it so hard to offer help’, and ‘it must be nice to just do whatever you want whenever you want’, and ‘I do this all day for my students and come home to another one’. And here we end: me- left with no patience, almost in tears, exhausted, and ready to go to bed without another word, but not just yet because I haven’t had sufficient snuggle time with D and J, and you- getting ready for work with no idea that I am upset. So, you see, patience is what I’m currently working on.
Why do we let these ideas fester until we lose our minds? I mean, seriously, one night I lost my patience so much so that I got irritated that my husband, whom I had not seen all day, was laying in bed next to me watching TV. You see, he went fishing with our neighbor earlier that morning, and the trip took much longer than we both expected. He came home and apologized and actually was upset that the trip had taken so long. I was okay with it. I wanted him to go. I wanted him to have fun. I didn’t want his phone to die, and it would have been nice to have a time frame, but those were little things. However, I had spent the entire day with an exhausted 1 year old because we had just thrown him a birthday party the day before. So, when my husband walked through the door, D was clinging to my leg, screaming at the top of his lungs, and throwing a carrot while I was trying to finish the last of the thank you cards. So, naturally, the ‘little things’ had worn me down (aside from the aforementioned meltdown that was currently happening). Needless to say: patience level= zero. All I wanted to do was get D to sleep, crawl into bed, and binge watch Netflix until I fell asleep.
I hadn’t seen my husband all day, so the thought of him snuggling in next to me sounded great. But, because my patience level was at zero, when he crawled in and flipped to something I’m not even remotely interested in… my switch flipped. How do I kindly ask my husband, whom I haven’t seen all day, to get out because I want to relax and binge watch Pretty Little Liars instead of snuggling in for Son’s of Anarchy or Best in Show?! Why didn’t I just soak it all in and doze off? Because I have no patience, that’s why. And that’s why I’m writing today. Because, if I hold myself accountable for writing out the ridiculous antics of my life, then maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to work on myself a little faster. Because, if I openly admit that life is not all roses and butterflies, maybe some of you will realize that you’re not the only ones feeling this way. Because, maybe we all need a story to laugh at and relate to, and I’m willing to be that real person telling their real life.