One of my biggest weaknesses is patience. I have been impatient most of my life…I don’t like waiting and I don’t like enduring, and when I get upset–whoo boy step aside!
It’s not that I’ve considered patience being weak, but apparently some people do. Some people see having patience as being a pushover, being passive. But that’s not true at all.
The past few years, I’ve been trying to work on my patience. And, it is hard. Especially as a teacher dealing with angsty preteens! And being a mom! And, now, this year, having the most immature group of 7th graders I have ever seen (all the junior high teachers agree!).
With teaching, I used to pray for my students’ hearts to soften, for them to realize how important their education is, for them to be responsible, for them to be respectful, the list could go on and on. I realized that wasn’t the right thing to be praying for. So, I started praying for myself to show patience towards them. And, for the most part, it helps. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ve become an “anything-will-go-in-my-class” type of teacher or a pushover. No. If there is misbehavior, I sternly and quickly take care of it, typically removing the situation, but I am able to keep my cool and carry on smoothly with a smile most of the time. But, there are still some days where it is extremely hard and I end up giving lectures on behavior and responsibility.
It has also been difficult being a new mom. The first time someone told me how patient I am was a a few weeks after Rhys was born. I was having trouble nursing him the first few weeks, in a lot of pain, and trying different things to help Rhys get enough milk. Even with the fussing and the not wanting to latch, I calmly and quitely soothed him and kept helping him try. My mom watched and told me how patient and loving I was. She has never really told me that before–like I said, patience is a weakness–so it came as a huge compliment. I don’t function well on little sleep, so when Rhys has trouble sleeping at night, I’m a little worse for ware towards him and my husband. Rhys sometimes has trouble napping and sometimes refuses to drink his bottles. These frustrate me because I worry so much about his physical well-being. Sometimes, I am embarrassed to say, I lose my cool. I clench my teeth and feel the blood boil. I know it’s not fair to be upset at a baby, and I try not to be, but I just want what is best for Rhys. So, I’ve spoken very sternly to him a few times, but mostly, if I feel this happening, I put him in his crib and walk away. Or, if Justin is home, I go on a walk or a drive to cool my head.
I’m trying very hard to be more of a patient person. I don’t want to yell at Rhys or any other children I have. I don’t want to be the mean teacher. I want to be patient, long-suffering, enduring. I constantly pray for help in that area and am constantly working on it. That is why the following quote from President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, the 2nd Counselor in the General Presidency of the LDS Church hit me so hard. Patience isn’t being weak. It isn’t doing nothing and letting everything else happen. It is hard and it does take practice and time. It is being anxiously engaged and constantly working towards something.
Hopefully, those who know me well have seem (at least in the tiniest amount) a difference in my level of patience in the past few years. I know I still have a long way to go. So, on my journey to be more patient, please be patient with me.