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Today I Will Practice Patience

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Tiaras and Trucks

Monday, October 3, 2011

Today I Will Practice Patience

Months ago, I agonized over choosing a preschool for Abbey.  Using an evaluation scale involving recommendations, observations from classroom visits, pros and cons lists, and sheer instinct, a system more complex than the current gymnastics scoring system for the Olympics, Ryan and I finally decided on a school we felt would work for her and for Dylan in a couple of years.

Five minutes after we dropped her off the first day, I doubted our choice, worrying out loud over coffee with a friend, our younger boys playing happily, but a little aimlessly, confused without their ever-present older siblings.

I fretted to friends on the phone, quietly talked to Ryan about it at night, hurriedly whispered my concerns to my mother as Abbey and Dylan ran around on the mall playground, thankfully oblivious to my overactive dramatic gene, the one I thought I retired at sixteen.

I would have poured out my troubles to the mailman, who seems like a kind man, but Abbey was listening, and the one thing I worried about more than if I had made a mistake was that she would hear me talking about it.

Because I have chosen my friends wisely and got lucky in the family department, every person listened calmly, withheld their admonishments of my particular brand of craziness, and gently reminded me to give the situation some time.

Last Sunday, Abbey cried about preschool for the first time.

She cried because it was Sunday, not Tuesday, and she hadn’t been to school, “…in such a long time!” and wanted to go immediately instead of waiting a few more days.

This week, Dylan, my mom, Nan, Ryan, various stuffed animals, and I have all attended school, where we’ve been asked to call her Ms. Mary, her teacher’s name.

Finally, this Tuesday, I will be able to kiss her good-bye with real enthusiasm to match her own, trusting that she is enjoying her first foray into education.

Give it time.

I have needed that reminder my whole life.

Be patient.

I battle impatience daily.

Seeing my girl excited about school, despite my worries, is another gentle shove, prompting me to take a breath and pause, to slow down.

I will close my notebook and go to bed, warding off burnout with fewer posts and resting at night so I can enjoy fall without a fog of exhaustion clouding my head.

I will buy a few pretty things that fit and make me smile, realizing I can’t remake my closet in a season, at least not without the help of a fairy clothesmother like Stacy London.

I will keep running, slowly, and keep eating birthday cake and balance it all out with smaller portions and a genuine attempt to stop fixating on a number, neither on the scale nor on the tags of my clothes.

Today, I will practice patience.
Abbey on her first day
see the name tag?
one of my concerns was that they hadn't used "Abbey"
it's been fixed

This week at Just.Be.Enough. we wrote about something we knew we had to do.

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Be part of carrying the weight of confidence, empowerment and share our mission
to empower, inspire, and remind women, parents and children
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  • At October 3, 2011 at 1:09 AM , Anonymous Mama Wants This said...

    Patience is one of the virtues that I scrabble for constantly. Something that I hang onto with dear life when I find it. I'm so glad Abbey loves her school!

  • At October 3, 2011 at 1:22 AM , Anonymous dosweatthesmallstuff said...

    What you said: "...and the one thing I worried
    about more than if I had made a mistake was that she would hear me talking
    about it" really hit me spot on!  I could so relate to that feeling!  It's true, sometimes we just have to give it time.  To wait patiently, and not insist on being so certain of everything. 

  • At October 3, 2011 at 6:30 AM , Anonymous Mommy's Paradise . said...

    I hope my tot will be like Abby when his time comes and love the preschool. But I've realized that the older he's getting, the less patience I have. Or maybe it's because I'm repeating the same old every day for countless times. Sometimes I just have to force myself to step back, let the chaos rule and have a coffee in a quiet corner. Patience is a virtue, right?

  • At October 3, 2011 at 8:23 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    My patience waxes and wanes.  Some days I feel like I've done a good job, and others, I feel terrible about how I've lost my patience.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 8:24 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Isn't that funny?  I was so concerned she would hear me talking about it and internalize it somehow!

    I am NOT good at giving things time.  I am trying; truly I am trying.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 8:25 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I'm glad she loves it, too :)

    My mom is so unbelievably patient, yet she talks about how she isn't a patient person.  She makes me realize that I can practice and get better and at least fake it enough to distract people from the fact that I am the most impatient person alive ;)

  • At October 3, 2011 at 9:15 AM , Anonymous Tatter Scoops said...

    Aww that's so wonderful that she loves and enjoys school. It's a battle here in my place, because my boy isn't a morning person but he does enjoy his school just not the waking up and getting ready part lol. I too felt the way you did :) Thanks for the reminder of being patience that's something I need to master myself.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 10:02 AM , Anonymous Kir said...

    I have no patience. NONE. It is the one thing that I need to hone and practice and quite frankly pray for...but when it came to picking a daycare/school for them, I never doubted our pick. It has been the one decision that I made with a full heart and never regretted.
    I am just so glad that she is enjoying it so much, it definately makes the doubts recede when you realize that they are learning, growing and enjoying themselves.

    Plus I also ask everyone within a mile about my decisions, but I do it in front of the boys sometime too..which I guess is not such a smart thing to do as they grow and understand. I honestly need to "shut my mouth" more often than not.

    You're a GOOD, no GREAT mom, Angela. I really respect the way you make decisions and handle your job as a parent. it's truly inspiring me, since most of my parenting is done by the seat of my pants and my gut/heart telling me what to do..instead of my head.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM , Anonymous Taming Insanity said...

    Patience is my least favorite virtue because it's so damn hard to cultivate.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM , Anonymous shellthings said...

    Oh, how I stress about the school decisions!

    I am NOT a patient person at all. 

  • At October 3, 2011 at 12:51 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    In some ways, I think it would be easier to have only one or two options.  I KNOW it's not the best thing for our kids, but it would still be easier :)

  • At October 3, 2011 at 12:52 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I try.  But I am always one step forward, two steps back with it.  Grrr.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 12:53 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    You are much too kind about my parenting skills :)  I think the gut/heart method is often best.  I try to be thoughtful and logical, but I will go with a gut instinct, even one that might not make as much sense!  

    I am so happy for you that you have a place to send the boys that makes you feel safe and secure.  I think they can sense these things and probably love it all the more, because you love it!

  • At October 3, 2011 at 12:54 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I don't like the waking up part, either :(  Unfortunately, my kids don't mind waking up at all!

  • At October 3, 2011 at 2:00 PM , Anonymous Liz said...

    I think all the scoring and weighting and pros and cons just means you are a good mom.

    And aren't tears like, "I want to go back to school NOW" some of the best kind of tears around?

  • At October 3, 2011 at 3:13 PM , Anonymous Sara said...

    I am pleased that Abbey is happy. I know that eases your mind:~) Patience is one of the hardest lessons for parents!

    Wow. It's been a long time since I dealt with preschool. My girls had such different reactions. My eldest took it like a duck to water; my youngest held on my legs and refused to let go until I was practically dragging her out. Both, however, loved their schools and the teachers. BTW they went to different preschools as they're five years apart and we wanted both to have their own experience.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 3:24 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Patience was hard for me even before I became a parent :(

    I'm glad your girls both loved their experiences, even at different places!

  • At October 3, 2011 at 3:26 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes! Those tears made me happy.  Well, you know, as happy as tears can make you :)

    I love the list making.  It is a compulsion.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 4:41 PM , Anonymous Kimberly said...

    So glad to hear that Abbey is happy in school! Patience is the hardest thing for me to learn. I'm still working on it. ;)

  • At October 3, 2011 at 7:44 PM , Anonymous Paula @ Simply Sandwich said...

    Oh I just do not like that "p" word. Everytime I ask for patience, I end up with more opportunities to use it! :/ Abbey is a doll and I am happy that she is excited about her new adventure! :)

  • At October 3, 2011 at 10:05 PM , Anonymous jentos23 said...

    It's so great that Abbey is so excited about school!! Trust me, it's SO MUCH BETTER than to have one that is NOT excited about school, because every morning you go to drop them off, they cry and beg you not to leave them. (I had one of those, but thank goodness he is over that stage). It rips your heart out. 
    Great post :)

  • At October 3, 2011 at 10:51 PM , Anonymous Galit Breen said...

    Oh patience is hard- so, so very hard for me. I love how very much you packed in here, girl. Patience with yourself shines through to me here.

    Go you, and go Abbey!

  • At October 3, 2011 at 11:19 PM , Anonymous Emily @ My Pajama Days said...

    I love this, "my particular brand of craziness". Apparently you and I shop at the same crazy store. What a blessing that Abbey loving school has forced you to take a good look at your own life, and take a deeper breath. I'm right there with ya' lady - I just bought some new pants this week. It's better that they fit than what size they are! Some days are easier than others.

  • At October 3, 2011 at 11:20 PM , Anonymous Elaine A. said...

    I'm so glad she's loving it and in turn you can feel better about your decision. :)

    And I needed those last few reminders at the end there myself... xo 

  • At October 4, 2011 at 12:02 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I hope your training is going well :)

    I do feel better...until I figure out something else to worry about, of course.

  • At October 4, 2011 at 12:02 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Yes, I need some new pants :)

    I'm glad that someone else has picked up my kind of crazy!

  • At October 4, 2011 at 12:03 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Maybe this isn't the right thing to say, but it makes me feel slightly better reading that you and other women I consider to be excellent mothers are talking about having issues with patience, too.  I struggle so much with it, and I feel guilty about it a lot.

  • At October 4, 2011 at 12:05 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Hangs head...I don't do drop off.  It works out, timing-wise, that Ryan takes her on the way to work.  It's nice to not bundle Dylan into the car, plus they get some daddy-daughter time.  I would be so sad to see her leave crying every day, though, so I'm glad she doesn't.  I am glad you survived your poor crying drop-offs :(

  • At October 4, 2011 at 12:05 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    I am glad I'm not the only one.  I guess we just keep trying, right?

  • At October 4, 2011 at 12:06 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Maybe it's one of those things that we NEVER have enough of :)

  • At October 5, 2011 at 4:03 PM , Anonymous Missy | Literal Mom said...

    Hurray!  I'm so glad that giving it time worked out for the best!  

  • At October 8, 2011 at 1:01 PM , Anonymous Debbie @ Day in and Day Out said...

    We mom's certainly wrestle that darn demon patience don't we? This is a very poignant post and a wonderful memory to help all of us to remember to slow down and let things happen before we respond.

  • At October 8, 2011 at 3:50 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    It's my most difficult thing, trying to be patient.  I'm learning, but it's taking a lot of work!

  • At October 8, 2011 at 11:16 PM , Anonymous frelle said...

    thank you for letting us into your head and to understand what you were thinking and why.  And for being so gentle with yourself. *HUG*

  • At October 9, 2011 at 1:36 AM , Anonymous sweetbutterbliss said...

    I want someone to nominate me for what not to wear. They can throw away all my clothes for sure! I'll nominate you and you can nominate me!  I think patience is important, but when it comes to being a mother overreacting is the name of the game. It's hard to remember to just let it go when it comes to our babies.

  • At October 9, 2011 at 9:50 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Sigh.  Wouldn't that bank card be lovely?  Not to mention a weekend of pamering :)  And LOL, overreacting is definitely the name of the game in motherhood!

  • At October 9, 2011 at 9:51 AM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks for the hug.  It's an endless struggle for me, the patience!


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