I used to think I was a patient person. The laid-back type. Always chillin’ and always smiling. You know, the kind of person that doesn’t get rattled by much. Not even by copperheads in the wood pile.
Nowadays, I don’t feel so patient anymore. By the end of most days, in fact, I honestly feel pretty frazzled and very much at my wits end. Not at all patient. This end-of-the-day state-of-mind set me to thinking…
…My kiddos wake up, on normal days, about 6 am. Ira is often up shortly after five. They are normally in their beds (maybe not always asleep, however) by 8:30 pm. This evening I broke out the calculator and found that is approximately 870 minutes of waking hours for each child every day. I estimate that my name, or rather, the name my children know me by- “mama”- is spoken or murmured or screamed by at least one child, on average, of once per minute throughout the course of the day. (Often with some request attached to it.) Sure, sometimes there will be quiet stretches, smooth sailing on calm seas… but then a squabble will unfurl it’s nasty head and then the “mamas” really start flying, two or three at a time, making up for lost time. Maybe I’m exaggerating a hair. Some days I don’t think so, though.
It’s no wonder I sometimes feel like I’ve got a visible eye twitch.
I know all of you mamas out there get what I’m saying. If you are not yet a mama but are considering it, think about having your name spoken aloud 870 times each day (and often in the middle of the night, too!). Well. You might want to consider contraception.
My children are truly the best. My life would be incredibly boring if not for their precious existence. They bring me to my knees over and over again, but they are awesome. I know I am blessed to have them. They do challenge me, though. In ways I never, ever would have imagined I could be challenged. My twenty-something pre-mama idealistic self really had no idea.
Tonight, as the kids were brushing their teeth and putting on pajamas and I found myself telling Livi that I would read a “short” bedtime story… it was then that I had a realization. I realized that in the past, before i had children, there was nothing that really challenged my patience to the extent that it is now challenged. Nothing was constantly asking me to grow and stretch in ways that might not always feel comfortable. Nothing was in my face like a swarm of hornets all of the freaking time. Nothing could or would compare to the persistence of my own offspring. Nothing like looking straight into the eyes of your own reflection… and seeing a light bulb click ON.
Ahhh. A good, old-fashioned light bulb moment. What a blessing.