A Mother’s Patience and How Not To Lose It

Many a times #JasperBean has tested my patience some days, most days everyday… he would suddenly start crying and throw massive tantrums from no where and no matter how much I calmly speak to him, he just wouldn’t stop or even let me know what has upset him so much. He would just constantly repeat “mummy, mummy, mummy”. I’ve tried talking, hugging, cuddling, leaving him alone to calm down, distraction, food, everything, but in those moments, nothing will do. Like many mummies out there, I’ve discovered that I have reserves of patience that I didn’t know existed.

I was and still am a hot tempered woman, just as I was when I was in my teens. I would test the limits of my family, boyfriends, S and even my friends. Nowadays, I am experiencing the same hot temperament from my child. Is this what you call karma?

Unfortunately, as I have found with this new reserve of patience, it does once in a while often run out if I’m taking too much from it and not giving it time to refill. Like the time when he was kicking and screaming in his car seat for no reason other than the sheer fact that he didn’t want to be strapped down. I was only driving to the shops, a mere 10 minutes away. I am ashamed to admit that I lost it and my yelling did not help with the situation. It only made matters worse by not keeping him or myself calm. Luckily, I was still rational enough to stop the car on a side road. How dangerous would this have been if I had not kept my eyes on the road whilst driving? However, my crazy yelling did not stop with my car… Where was my patience when I desperately needed it?


Good Patience

“Good patience involves providing children with time to complete tasks within their developmental abilities.” Dr. Audrey Huberman

We have to acknowledge the fact that our children have their own thoughts and feelings, what is seemingly unimportant to me may be very important to him. When #JasperBean had his meltdown in the carseat, all I wanted for him to do was be quiet and sit still. I failed to acknowledge his feelings. I understand that parenting is not about compliance, but that was all I wanted in that moment of time. My frustration blinded me and I couldn’t see that resistance is normal, I didn’t try to listen or understand what he was trying to communicate.

To a lot of traditional Oriental families, he would just have been seen as being naughty and if I had “given in” and let him “win”, I would be spoiling or indulging his bad behaviour. I know that parenting is not a battle and it’s not about winning or losing and I know he wasn’t trying to be intentionally naughty. I know he doesn’t mean to do it and it is just a part of his mental and emotional development. Many experts of child development agree that young children do not understand how their behaviour impacts others. However, when I lose it, I lost it, all these theories went out the window.

A Mother's Patience and How not to lose it

It happens to the best of us

Remember times when you tell your child to be quiet in a restaurant, on an aeroplane or even when you’re just trying to have a quiet moment? Well, isn’t it convenient that these are the times they choose to shriek, tap or bang on anything they can get their hands on or just scream? Or the times when you’re running late and you need them to move faster? Don’t they start playing with all the things that had been lost underneath the sofa for months or picking books to read from the bookshelf? Yes, we’ve all experienced it.

As human beings, we have the ability to empathise. But when we lose our cool, the emotional centre in our brain is firing out of control and we lose all sense of empathy. We find it impossible to attune to our children in this state and we often find ourselves saying or doing things that we later regret. So what can we do to prevent this from happening? Here are some tips that might help you out.

Count to 10

Slowly counting to 10 allows you to concentrate on yourself and your breathing. This gives you time and the opportunity to turn your anger/frustration back down a couple notches.

Time Out

Time Out Chocolate

No, not the chocolate bar, but having chocolate may temporary lift your mood as it releases serotonin into your brain. But if you find yourself highly irritated and about to lose your cool, stop, take a break and if possible safely remove yourself from the situation. Take a feel deep breaths or engage in an activity that can help you relax, whether this is going for a walk, surfing the web or praying. The importance is to re-balance your emotional centre. Removing yourself from the situation also provides you sometime to reflect on what happened. Ask yourself what bothered you so much that you couldn’t remain calm? Making memories explicit will also allow us to reconnect and feel compassionate again.

Plan your time

Being a parent is already a full time job, there is always a million and one things to do. Planning and organising your day is essential to avoid meltdowns due to over-scheduling. Don’t try to fit everything in, it’s impossible, even if it wasn’t, you would be so stressed that a poke in the wrong direction could leave you spiralling out of control. Remember, you want to experience life with your children, not race.


Recognise your triggers

Recognising what makes you tick or pushes you over the edge is important.

  • Lack of sleep? Definitely.
  • Disagreement with partner? Absolutely.
  • Unhappy at work? Possibly.
  • Housework? Wouldn’t it be great to make it magically disappear?

These are all pretty universal potential triggers, but what about those button pushers that are highly individualised?

For me, it’s when he’s constantly screaming “mummy mummy mummy”, I try and stay calm and ask him what is the matter and what does he want? Does he want me to hold him? To talk to him or just to stop and listen? I tell him that I can’t hear what he wants because he’s screaming, but when all I get is more hysterical “mummy mummy mummy”, I start to lose it.

If I’m home, obviously I can choose to walk away from the situation. Although something at the back of my mind tells me I shouldn’t, because would my child think I’m abandoning him in his hour of need? But removing myself from the situation is far more important than staying in case I completely lose it. So I tell #JasperBean, Mummy is upset and needs to have some quiet time. Sometimes he will follow me, sometimes he would have calmed down by the time I return. Regardless of what happens, understanding and recognising what triggers you is important so that you can predict and plan your reaction.

Laughter

Obviously it would be best if you can completely avoid the situation from being so bad that everyone loses their marbles. So next time you sense something nasty brewing in your child’s mood, try lightening the mood with humour. Crack a few jokes, pull a silly face or sing some funny songs. They will soon forget what they were crying about. Laughter isn’t known as the best medicine for nothing.

Know and communicate your limits

How many times have you sat through Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol, The Teletubbies or endless versions of The Wheels on the Bus? Or countless readings of “Brown Bear”, “Bizzy Bear” or “The Tiger Who Came To Tea”? Only to be asked for more or excited faces shouting “Again, again!” I definitely have been there, done that. After reading or telling the story from the same book for the 5th, I am truly done. I have my limits too, but I know what #JasperBean needs is not an irritated mum, but a happy one. So how do I break away before it breaks me? The easiest and most effective way I have tried is telling him that mummy loves him but needs a break too. Even at his young age, he understands.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word

If we really did lose it, the single most important thing to do is admit it. As adults, we find it very hard to say sorry. We find it embarrassing to admit that we lost it. Many of us just don’t want to discuss what happened, the saying “the past remains in the past” and “forgive and forget” comes into mind. However, learning from our mistakes and not to letting history repeat itself is more important. If we avoid addressing the situation immediately, this leaves our children confused and they will blame themselves for what happened.

You should encourage your child to talk about their feelings too as this will help them understand and make sense of the experience. If they do not want to talk about it, don’t force it. Emphasis should be on apologising and talking through it calmly. Don’t let this turn into another power struggle. Therefore, swallow your pride and say sorry. Apologising for our bad behaviour not only teaches your child about social behaviour/standards but is also important for a heathy relationship and upbringing.

No one is perfect

I’m the last person to claim that I am the perfect parent, but I know I can always be better. If you have read to the end of this post, congratulations! As parents of active and demanding children, we should be proud that we recognise our faults and have taken actions to find ways to deal with ours and our childrens’ meltdowns.

Sometimes our children’s only way of communication is through crying. If we can stay calm and attune to their emotional state, we are far better equipped to read them and handle the situation accordingly. When was the last time you lost it? And how did you deal with it?

Thanks for reading and until next time…

Love MsMamaBean x

A Mother's Patience and How Not to Lose It

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43 comments

  1. Helene

    I like the practical advice here!

    Reply

  2. bethkck

    I TOTALLY needed this right now! It’s so easy to get caught up in the “what about me” as being a mom since we often times feel so neglected. I think our selfish nature is what makes us lose our temper the most! Thank you so much for the reminders that I need….every….single….day!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I’m glad this is helpful to you hun! I agree, we all need a reminder now and then. We’re not super humans and need support like everyone else too! Rather than being selfish, I think it’s because we want to be in control of the situation, of ourselves and our kids that ultimately it’s that that makes us lose our cool! We’re all still learning and this is something that takes a lot of practice. I’m still working hard on it! Hugs x

      Reply

  3. leslie

    Great tips! Definitely need all the help I can get with my threenager, lol!

    Reply

  4. Jen Seislove

    Definitely lost it this morning getting 3 kids ready for school. These are wonderful tips and happy I came across them this morning!

    Reply

  5. vidya tiru

    these are definitely great tips.. and even as a mom to 14 and 11 yo, i know i need to work on keeping my cool 🙂

    Reply

  6. Ashley Feste

    Such a great refresher, it happens to everyone!!!
    -Ashley

    Reply

  7. RawMum

    Great practical and down to earth advice. Must try to remember some of this. #dreamteam

    Reply

  8. Ketara

    I’m not a mom but these are great tips when dealing with children in general!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Sometimes I think these work great on my husband too! 😂

      Reply

  9. Maryal

    I love this post – as so many of the women close to me have become moms in the last few years, I’ve realized just how incredible you all are! You’re true superheroes. It’s mind blowing! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Thank you! We’re not super, just trying to hold onto our sanity 😂

      Reply

  10. Patricia G.

    Good advice, not only for parents, but also for anyone who wants to deal with stress and anger more effectively. I needed this! I will try some of these at work.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Definitely! I feel sometimes when I get frustrated at work, it really helps just to find time to calm down and re-sync myself. X

      Reply

  11. emilynncaulfield

    I will definitely have to keep this post in mind when it’s time to be a Mom. Definitely a great read, will have to recommend to some of my friends! Thanks for posting ♥

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Thanks for reading! Do share and pin if you’ve found this helpful. Even if you’re not a mum, sometimes using these techniques really helps with day to day chaos 😊

      Reply

  12. Sofia

    Such great advice!!

    Reply

  13. athousandmilesfromnowhereblog

    It happens to us all. I wake up every morning and start fresh, it’s all you can do!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Yes! Not dwelling on the past is important. X

      Reply

  14. Kim

    Recognizing your triggers is so important! Once I did that, I was able to handle things a lot more efficiently. I don’t count to 10 (I don’t have the patience…lol), but I do take 3 deep breaths before speaking now.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Taking deep breaths is great too! I do that and it really refreshes the mind

      Reply

  15. Joleen Pete

    Its really hard to keep our patience sometimes but its good to remember your tips and to give ourselves a break sometimes.

    Reply

  16. theterrificfive

    It’s so hard to keep my patience sometimes with my toddlers, especially when I am running on no sleep. Therefore, I agree that recognizing your triggers is super important! It might seem funny but I do sometimes just walk out of the room just to calm down.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I agree with you, lack of sleep can wreck havoc on our lives, but recognising it and doing something about it to keep our sanity in check is important! I’m glad walking out the room helps calm you, sometimes walking away and getting some fresh air does us so much good! X

      Reply

  17. 101foodtravel

    Keeping our patience is not easy to do. But sometimes all we can do is take a deep breath and pretend it didn’t happened . Great advice here.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Thank you! I find pretending it didn’t happen even harder 😂 , so taking a few deep breaths and starting over again with a calmer demeanour is very useful!

      Reply

  18. Flossie McCowald - SuperMomHacks

    Oh, mama, i so can empathize! A mama-time-out is still a personal favorite of mine. I have a special spot in the basement where i go hide when i need a break! And i have two other words for you, fellow mama: EAR PLUGS. They are great for those times when you can’t give yourself a time-out!!! 😉

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      😂 brilliant!!! I never would have thought about using ear plugs!!! Great tip mama!! X

      Reply

  19. nightwisprav3n

    My youngest is the one who tests my patience the most and while it is more and more rare now that he’s older (10 yrs) when he was little it was pretty bad. Sometimes when I put him in time out it wasn’t just a time out for him. I needed the time out. I just needed 5 minutes to calm myself down, recognize my triggers, as you said, and regroup. I found that to be my number one tool for keeping myself in check when he was having a meltdown. I would also tell him that “mommy needs a timeout”. It doesn’t work for every parent but for me and for my son, knowing that he wasn’t the only one in a time out seemed to help him calm down as well. This is a great post! We parents need to know we’re not alone in this losing of the patience. #DreamTeamLinky

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      I am so with you on the one! Many times, I find myself timing out just so that I can remove myself from the situation and clear my mind. If I don’t, I’m afraid I might lose my rag and fly off on a rage! And no one wants that! I haven’t tried the “telling him, mummy needs a time out” yet, but maybe when he’s a little older and understand, then this would come in handy, only time will tell! In the meantime, knowing all mums lose their patience once in a while and are trying find ways to avoid this is comforting too. X

      Reply

      1. nightwisprav3n

        Yeah it’s really nice knowing we aren’t alone in this:)

        Reply

  20. Darlene Dee

    This is all great advice. I completely lost it a few weeks ago in Target (of course) when my ToddlerMonster just wanted to leave but I needed something — halloween candy or something time sensitive like that. I wanted to leave too, but I just got so mad at her because she was making a ten minute stop take an hour. I finally found a bench in the back and cuddled her to calm us both down so we could get the damn candy (or whatever it was I don’t even know now) and leave. You’re right. We’ve ALL been there. xoxo

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Aw hun! Big hugs!! They love testing us at inappropriate times, right? I’m glad you managed to calm your little one and yourself down by cuddling, that is so so sweet!! I’m not sure my one would have allowed me to cuddle him! 😂

      Reply

  21. All She Things

    I don’t have kids so I couldn’t say how I would be but when I look back and think, I realize how much patience my mom must’ve had!

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      We’ve all been that testing kid once!! Mums really have patience of a saint! 😊

      Reply

  22. marilynsocialpr

    YES! And it is like that in many cultures lol… Which barely any take into account developmental stuff. Great ideas and I wish that Time Out candy bar existed.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      That Time Out Chocolate actually exists, but only maybe we call it that here in the U.K.

      Reply

  23. Tosha Ornelas

    Patience and planning everything makes a world of a difference.

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Agree! I just need more time for planning! 😅

      Reply

  24. Heather Keet

    I love your tips for keeping your patience, I use the time out on myself often as I find some people extremely trying. #DreamTeam

    Reply

  25. mummascribbles

    Really great post. I find myself yelling at Zach when I really don’t need to. Most of the time because I am tired! And now Oscar has tantrums I am like, aaaaargh! Great bits of advice to use here. We have to remember they are just little people learning big things! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    Reply

    1. MsMamaBean

      Thanks for commenting! What you say is so true and reminding me that “they are just little people learning big things!”. That really puts things into perspective x

      Reply

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