My oldest sister is 39 and childless. She will remain that way, by choice, for the rest of her life. The other day she told me, “I’m not patient enough to be a mom.”
I laughed. “Me, either,” I said. “Before I became a mom, I didn’t have half the patience I do now.”
Nobody has enough patience for motherhood until they become a mother. The virtue is cultivated over years of interrupted sleep, handfuls of spaghetti thrown onto the floor, diaper blowouts when you’re late for church, and answering “Why/how/when/where/what/are we there yet?” 5 million times.
Patience is learned on the job. Love is all you need to get a lifelong gig as a mother; all the other attributes of nurturing can be added later. I used to feel irritated when my first baby cried after I put her to sleep for the night and laid her down. I tended to her needs, but I felt aggravated that she randomly interrupted my sleep. By the time my third baby came along, I expected his cries and calmly picked him up each time.
The constant stickiness, neverending interruptions, noise, and chaos of motherhood increase a woman’s patience by a thousandfold (at least) once she becomes a mother. We raise our children, but they help us grow, too.