As moms, we have so many tasks each day. Our duties constantly shift as kids get sick, school lets out early, doctors appointments are scheduled, and wet beds must be washed and remade entirely before evening. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and start snapping at our small charges because we are stressed out about meeting all their needs.
In my 7 short years as a mother, I’ve learned that embracing and exuding patience is more important than completing all the items on my lengthy to-do list. These days, I intentionally keep my list short. Fewer errands and activities allows more time to wait patiently while a four-year-old puts his shoes on the wrong feet and a six-year-old searches the house for her favorite pink jacket.
Taking kids to the grocery store is one of my most frustrating aspects of motherhood. I’ve learned that saying out loud “We’re going to have a good day,” as many times as needed helps boost the morale of myself and my kid crew. Maintaining my patience, which is easily lost among the aisles of glass jelly jars and sugary cereal conveniently placed at kid-level, is more important than running all my errands in one day. For the sake of my sanity and to allow my small kids the grace they need to learn and grow, I usually make grocery shopping the sole errand for one day.
At home, I like allowing the kids enough time to attempt rolling out the cinnamon bread dough and zipping the Ziploc bag closed themselves. Attaining some measure of independence leads to proud exclamations of “I can do it all by myself!”
It is easier to snatch the rolling pin and baggie out of their hands and do it myself. But I know that allowing them to struggle and win will pay off in a few years when they are self-sufficient young men and women who allow themselves time to think things through and solve life’s problems as they come.