I would like today’s Blog to address a comment a friend of mine made to me the other day. It went something like this:
“Erica, I have to tell you, I’m losing my patience. I’m yelling at my kids a lot lately. I can’t remember the last time I sat on the floor with them to do a puzzle. I’m short tempered with my husband. I’m pulled in a million different directions, and I’m completely frazzled!”
Can any of you relate? I gotta admit, I can completely relate to this on most days.
As a stay-at-home mom, as a working mom, as a single mom, or as a busy career woman, we are under tremendous strains. Our entire day is planned, from the moment the alarm goes off, to the time we plop into bed at night. We run from thing to thing, from this to that. In fact, I sometimes feel like Thing One and Thing Two from The Cat in the Hat. Look at these two creatures! They look like someone pressed the fast-forward button on them!
Just this morning, my husband looked at me, and he knew I was at my threshold. We have just come off the wedding weekend, with the stress of the grandfather possibly dying right up until the 6PM ceremony. My 6-year old has been home from school for a week with asthma and an ear infection. He finally went back to school yesterday, only to wake up barfing this morning (we think from anxiety. He comes by it honestly, neither my hubby nor myself are Mr. and Mrs. Cool). I had a field trip with my 2-year old today, and I have to practice for my conference tonight. I was feeling totally overwhelmed, totally frazzled.
But I know many of you feel the same. You write in how you feel frustrated. Tired. Unappreciated. And not because your lives are necessarily that bad. Just the toll of the daily grind and daily routine. Husbands that have disappointed you. Children that have disappointed you. Financial strains that are taking its toll on your marriage. The challenges of living life as a single parent. Parents that make your lives harder instead of easier. Jobs that leave you unfulfilled. And the list goes on and on.
So, before you head towards a burnout, let me first tell my fellow moms a few things the next time they take their frustrations out on their children:
There is one quality above all others that influences how relaxed your family will be, patience.
When we lose our patience, we become frustrated. Our frustration turns into anger and resentment. Your family members pick up on such emotions rather quickly, even when you think you’re hiding them well. Eventually, you may find yourself acting out your anger actively, such as by yelling or snapping at your family, or passively, such as by ignoring or avoiding your loved ones.
Children who grow up in homes where they often feel like the source of frustration may develop low self-esteem. Low self-esteem may grow into depression, anxiety, and anti-social behavior. (Kristen Brooke Beck)
Wow, scary stuff!!
So, how do you find the patience? How do you calm the buzzing bee in you?
- Remember what’s important in your life, and prioritize! If you look at the habits of highly successful people, amidst their frenetic paces and frenzy, they’re able to maintain perspective. It’s not about getting MORE done, it’s about prioritizing and choosing quality over quantity. What unnecessary things can you eliminate from your life to make room for the things you enjoy. That nurture you. Things that calm you, and make you less frazzled.
- I wrote a whole blog post on Guilt. I encourage you to read it. Guilt is a major road block for you, Ladies. I promise you, if you ignore your own needs out of guilt, for long enough, you are going to experience a volcanic eruption… and it ain’t gonna be pretty! Stop the comparisons between what you’re doing and what you think you “should be” doing. It’s called realistic expectations! Go and get some!
- Something many women don’t like to do…. ASK FOR HELP! From husbands, from siblings, from friends. Can you ask a girlfriend to do your carpool today so you can take a stroll for an hour, or go get a coffee and visit a bookstore? The superwoman images in the media are not serving us well. Ask for help when you can. Don’t be afraid!
- Learn proper time management. This helps greatly with the frazzled factor. Try not to procrastinate. When you take too much upon yourself, and then leave it for the last minute, the anxiety builds, and the bee starts buzzing around! Keep a journal, diary or to-do list, and manage it daily. Do a couple of tasks each day, instead of leaving them all for one day. Things will become a lot less overwhelming.
So, the next time you feel yourself becoming impatient, or frazzled, please remember the effects it has on your life, and those around you. I am trying as well. It’s difficult.
Do you have any tips of your own that have helped you stay frazzle-free in your life?
Until next time, my friends!