Have I literally run out of patience? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 10-10-2012, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Gah!!! I used to be insanely patient (though my older son has always been very easygoing and a great sleeper, so I cannot take all the credit). I think the first time I ever raised my voice at my kids was probably only a couple of years ago and they are 9 and 3 1/2. But now I feel like I have none whatsoever. I am getting frustrated at them over everything and even having mean thoughts -- like I see one of them get hurt and my first thought is not to feel bad or hope they're ok (well, if something serious happened I'm sure it would be) but I think something along the lines of "well that's what happens when you throw yourself into a wall!".

I feel as if I had a limited supply of patience and now I've used it all up. And I can't see how I can be a loving parent while I feel this way. Well, I am as long as nothing irritates me, but totally normal kid stuff is really irritating me.

Has this happened to anyone else? What can I do? I'm already in therapy and they are both in school (1/2 day for little guy), so it's not like I don't have any time away from them.

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#2 of 15 Old 10-10-2012, 07:43 PM
 
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No advice, just wanted to offer hugs. I have been that way since day 1, so the fact that it's taken you 9 YEARS means either it happens as you age (I'm an "old" mom) whether you like it or not, or ... something else. I think I used up all my patience with waiting, TTC, going through the adoption process, etc. I was done by the time DS came home.

 

And as bad as I feel about that, I don't think it's right to say that you can't be a loving parent when you are feeling low on patience. It certainly is harder to act that way and remember to show your love instead of your impatience, but it doesn't mean you're not a loving parent just b/c you're an impatient one.

 

And yes, that IS what happens when you throw yourself into a wall. What other reaction is there? ;-) I try to use natural consequences, but I see your point, that they could be reinforced with a bit more love and understanding than that...

 

If your therapist has any great ideas for developing more patience/getting yours back, please post an update. I have not been successful to date. (Been told that I am who I am and that doesn't make me a bad person or a person who doesn't love their kids as much as others. That's all fine and good, for me, but not so much for my kid. Also been told that I won't be so disappointed if I lower my expectations. True, but they're still annoying little creatures at times.... And expecting them to be annoying doesn't alleviate my annoyance.)

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#3 of 15 Old 10-10-2012, 10:12 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 even having mean thoughts -- like I see one of them get hurt and my first thought is not to feel bad or hope they're ok (well, if something serious happened I'm sure it would be) but I think something along the lines of "well that's what happens when you throw yourself into a wall!".
 

 

 

I've gone through phases were I felt completely out of patience. I'm actually kinda burned out on the whole parenting thing right.

 

BUT, if  I don't see the big deal in your example. They are supposed to learn from this stuff, and I'm not convinced that over coddling them when they do stupid stuff as they get older is in their best interests.

 

To me, it seems like the kind of thing that a mom of a small child(ren) would see as harsh, but moms of older children / teenagers grow thicker skin.  They aren't babies anymore. They need to think and not be expected to be rescued or fussed over every time they do something stupid.

 

I don't think we need to keep acting or feeling like they are helpless babies when they no longer are.

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#4 of 15 Old 10-10-2012, 10:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Infertility is a big crazy head trip.  I can totally see how you would run out of patience.  It took us 4 1/2 years to conceive number two and that was pretty awful.  I imagine it's even worse when you're working on your first.  Hugs to you, too!

 

I am older, too, 43.  Maybe it is age.  And ya know, this school year is the first time I've felt really sleep deprived.  My older has to be to school a lot earlier this year and I just can't seem to get enough sleep.  If I get up super early, I feel like I need *more* sleep.  Maybe I am just old and tired.  :(  

 

You are right, I can be a loving parent even if I'm rolling my eyes.  I am a lot of the time, I think.  But, omg, once I get frustrated with them  --  and it's almost always very normal every day kid stuff that gets me  --  it's so hard to get out of it.  I wish I could just be sweetness and light all of the time.  

 

I'll lyk if I figure anything out with the doc.  


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#5 of 15 Old 10-10-2012, 10:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post

 

 

I've gone through phases were I felt completely out of patience. I'm actually kinda burned out on the whole parenting thing right.

 

BUT, if  I don't see the big deal in your example. They are supposed to learn from this stuff, and I'm not convinced that over coddling them when they do stupid stuff as they get older is in their best interests.

 

To me, it seems like the kind of thing that a mom of a small child(ren) would see as harsh, but moms of older children / teenagers grow thicker skin.  They aren't babies anymore. They need to think and not be expected to be rescued or fussed over every time they do something stupid.

 

I don't think we need to keep acting or feeling like they are helpless babies when they no longer are.

 

Well, I'm happy that my example doesn't sound so bad to you guys.  I feel mean when I think that way.  Instead of having any sympathy at all, I am just like, ugh, really?  the wall again?  rolleyes...  then I feel guilty, try to say something nice that I don't feel, wish I could just get the dishes done, or whatever.  I don't think I was ever that way when my older one was 3.  I don't think I fussed over him a ton (he almost always got up and brushed himself off and moved on, and my little one now is not too bad on that front either), but I had genuine care about every little bump.  

 

When I'm feeling this way with them, I don't feel like I'm depressed, but now that I'm writing this I'm wondering if that's the case.  I feel sort of flat.  :(  


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#6 of 15 Old 10-11-2012, 05:47 AM
 
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Oh honey, no, no your example of "mean mama" does not sound horrible to me. That sounds like parenting burn out and we all know how it feels. I find that it just kind of comes and goes. I hope it goes for you quickly.

Linda I'm in the same place. hug2.gif
 


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#7 of 15 Old 10-11-2012, 04:57 PM
 
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It doesn't sound so bad to me either, but I can relate to how you're feeling. 

 

When I only had one child, I was much more patient, and even these days when I have one-on-one time with one of my kids, I'm quite patient. A huge percentage of the time, my impatience/irritation has to do with sibling stuff. I feel like my DD (who is the younger of my two kids) has a totally different perception of me as a parent, because at least DS got those 3.5 years of experiencing me as a patient, happy, loving mommy instead of the harried, annoyed, impatient one I feel like I am a lot of the time now.

 

One thing I do is make sure to spend one-on-one time with each kid at least once a week, so that they can experience the feeling of my undivided attention, and so that we can do things at exactly their pace, with no sibling interference and associated irritation on my part. That may be something that could help you out too, and that time really is invaluable -- I've had some pretty incredibly talks with my kids during those outings alone together. 

 

In any case, I bet you're doing way better than you feel like you are -- we're so hard on ourselves, but I bet your kids love you to pieces just the way you are. Just the fact that you think about this stuff and want to improve is a sign that you're a good mom. 


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#8 of 15 Old 10-12-2012, 12:53 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the kind words, limabean.  I hope you're right!

 

I think there is a lot of truth in the your thoughts about there being two of them.  When I had one child, I always felt on top of everything, and always very patient and never feeling critical of him, and then sometime after my second was born  --  I'm good during the infant phase, but like when he started to move, maybe  --  I felt like I lost control and have only been able to barely hold it together since.  I'm not even sure what it is that I've lost control of, but, you know, I can't get anything done and feel like I'm constantly having to play catch up and attend to immediate needs rather than some larger plan.  I am somewhat better when it's just one of them.  I do get to spend some time every day alone with my little one, before I pick up my older from school, but not really with my older one much.  He did just change schools and at this new one they give tons of homework (so wrong for a 9 yr old, imo!) and I've been spending a couple hours a night really focusing on him.  Sometimes that leads to terrible anxiety and frustration, but sometimes its nice and I can feel that, when it is nice, he soaks it up.  

 

I also have to say that I have been really thankful for cosleeping because I feel like that is sweet and non-stressful no matter how crazy or frantic I feel during the day.  They go to bed in their room (dh put his foot down not too long ago, blah), but they are usually both in bed with us by two.  I think that really is quality time somehow.  

 

So, dh left town this morning for a few days.  Gah!  lol  But I did pretty well tonight, trying to remember that I can choose to let things roll off my back.


Jayne, sewing up a storm mama to ds1 9/03, ds2 2/09, and 2 sweet furbabies.

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#9 of 15 Old 10-12-2012, 07:18 AM
 
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I too am amazed that you have lasted so long! I have just one kid (who is 3.5) and I think I was out of patience by the time he was 5mos old! But then again, he was/is very high needs. I turn most of my impatience inward -- there might be a bit of outward yelling/frustration but very little, the impatience is more a feeling inside me that no one else sees. I wonder if perhaps that's the case for you, too?

What helps? Getting lots of time to myself. Commiserating with other parents. Taking time to meet my own needs -- I often find I'm most impatient when I'm hungry or tired or dealing with some unrelated emotional situation. When I take the time to eat regularly, process emotional stuff, etc. then I have a thousand times more patience. When I rework my schedule so we are not rushed (a simple thing like giving DS breakfast before I get in the shower instead of when I get out, so he has an extra few minutes to eat), I don't feel so much urgency and I am more patient.

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#10 of 15 Old 10-12-2012, 02:26 PM
 
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I wasn't always patient, even with ds1 (mostly because my personal situation - financial and marital - meant that I never had enough time for everything that needed to be done, and moving at "toddler speed" drove me nuts...even though I really enjoyed on the rare occasions that I wasn't hours behind schedule). But, I have no doubt that it's easier to be patient when you're younger, and less tired...and less pulled. With ds1, it was mostly easy to focus on him - anything else i had going on was lower priority, yk? Once you have more than one, the conflicting priorities can get crazy.

 

Everyone's situation is different. I'm sure ds2' special needs (whether he ends up diagnosed with Asperger's or something else), homeschooling, etc. all contribute to the craziness around here. But, simple age and multiple kids pulling me in different directions have definitely helped to erode my patience. And, I also agree about other life factors - c-section related PTSD, infertility, miscarriages, losing Aaron, etc. have all been part of it.


With all that said....yeah, if my kids runs into a wall, I'm going to say, "I did tell you to stop that", and I'm not coming running for cuddles....maybe with dd2, but the others are old enough to know better. Maybe your patience has been eroded by having too high expectations of yourself? That can put on a lot of pressure.

 

Hang in there, mama. Parents don't have to be perfect saints every minute of every day, yk?


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#11 of 15 Old 10-12-2012, 02:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by rubidoux View Post

 

When I'm feeling this way with them, I don't feel like I'm depressed, but now that I'm writing this I'm wondering if that's the case.  I feel sort of flat.  :(  

You mentioned in an earlier post that you're feeling sleep deprived for the first time. And as someone who has experienced major, major sleep deprivation on my parenting journey (which is finally starting to subside now that DD is 4 years old), I can say that sleep deprivation can mimic depression. And it's almost impossible to be patient when you are sleep deprived. So, figuring out how to get more sleep (or just accepting that that's impossible for now) may be the key to feeling better.

 

ETA: I also agree with everyone who says that cutting yourself some slack is a good idea. There are worse things to be than impatient.


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#12 of 15 Old 10-16-2012, 08:55 AM
 
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rubidoux my thought when i read your title was - well if she has two kids that totally makes sense. 

 

bow.gif for just now yelling at your kids. 

 

everyone has said all that i thought, but i was wondering - its early i know - but you couldnt be starting on your perimenopause could ya?

 

that could do it!!!!

 

with me honestly - i have moments of losing patience. mostly because my plate is REALLY full and i havent had time to myself. none of my needs had gotten met. nowadays i'm pretty good at identifying these feelings to dd so she doesnt get unduly yelled at. she calls me on when i go a little overboard. she's actually been calling me on it since she was 5. 

 

BUT i think she has learnt and does the same - to understand that sometimes life is just hard - no matter what the reason and people struggle then = so she never holds her friends responsible for their actions. and she is sympathetic towards them when they are being a pill. 


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#13 of 15 Old 10-21-2012, 07:23 AM
 
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lol...your a patient one... having your kids reach 9y.0 and 3 1/2yo  not yelling at all...That is really something!!

Well don't worry if you are yelling to your kids now but I just had an advice....when you are really into yelling ...RELAX!..make a deep breath and calm down...lol easy to say,.

I have a 18months and I must admit in the last 3 months I had started to yell at her and believe me,.it is really tiring. Before I was not yelling at her and she was listening but last 2 months she was not listening to me anymore and I was getting so irritated(making me feel stupid feeling irritable with an 16months babyangry.gif) . So I needed to change my strategy,.when she done something that is making me irritated I will remember her in the hospital before(due to pneumothorax) or when she had a convulsion... and eventually I will RELAX!..make a deep breath and calm down... instead I will call her,. explain her softly I want her to know and don't want her doing and effectively,. she listens more!! And she had been so sweet again. Hope this helps!

 

By the way,. may sister's mood towards her kids this past few months is being so rude,.yelling all the time (due to some financial problem) and the kids are so hard-headed now and believe me,. my 2 nephews are being so hard to disciplpine now. So you choose which one you would like to do with your kids.Hope this helps! Goodluck!!


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#14 of 15 Old 10-23-2012, 07:15 AM
 
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I know this could be taken too far, but, within reason, I think it is a good thing when kids see that their frustrating behavior brings out the worst in parents. That is real-life natural consequences. If you act like a jerk, you get treated like a jerk. In grown-up situations, we don't expect our boss for example, to be patient and understanding if we are rude, lazy, or incompetent. In a moderate and loving way, I think it is fine for kids to learn that other people have limits to how much nonsense they will take. You are not a bad mama, just a real human!winky.gif
 

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#15 of 15 Old 10-23-2012, 04:08 PM
 
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I know this could be taken too far, but, within reason, I think it is a good thing when kids see that their frustrating behavior brings out the worst in parents.
 

 

 

I agree. I also think that no matter how patient we are, some kids just need to figure out where the patience ends. shrug.gif

 

I'm all for being patient and gentle. Really. I've worked at it a lot. But I do have an end point, and in some ways, that's not worked out to be a bad thing for my kids.


but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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