Your 3-year-old is grouchy and dragging his feet. Your 6-year-old is upset that her favorite shirt is in the wash and now she “has nothing to wear.” You can’t find your keys. And to top it all off, your son knocks over your cup of coffee and now you need to change your shirt.
You’re trying to get everyone ready and out the door quickly, but it’s as if the kids are conspiring with the universe to make you even more late! You’re so frustrated, you’re about to blow your top.
- Give yourself credit. To start, give yourself credit for getting through that stressful morning – even if you didn’t handle it exactly the way you wanted to. Beating yourself up makes it hard to move forward. You want to take a moment to acknowledge that parenting is hard and that you are doing your best.
- Do some problem-solving. When you’re not stuck in a struggle and pressed for time, you can see things differently. You might even be able to find some humor in a difficult situation. Is there anything you can do to make your morning less stressful by planning ahead of time? Maybe setting an extra alarm could help so you have more time in the morning. Choosing outfits the night before can also help prevent the morning rush. Sometimes taking something off your plate in the morning is a welcome relief.
- Communicate. It’s OK to admit a mistake – it shows our kids that we are learning, too. It can be something as simple as, “I’m sorry I lost my temper this morning. It was a really stressful start to the day, wasn’t it? Here’s what we are going to do differently tomorrow…”
Sometimes, people believe that patience means that nothing ever bothers us. That isn’t very realistic! We know that you might be coping with some very serious and stressful situations. Instead of trying to make it so you feel NO stress, use your stress response as important information.
What is causing you the most stress and how can you help yourself alleviate some of that stress? Is there something you can let go of or someone who can help you?
Give yourself permission to find patience by dialing down the stress bit by bit. Find ways to take care of yourself so that you aren’t at the stress level of blowing your top every day.
For more tips on how to have more patience as a parent, this is a great resource: 4 Steps to More Patience as a Parent
How do you handle your parenting stress? Share your tips for other readers in the comments below!