Even before having a baby, I already knew that my level of patience was low. Sometimes the smallest thing, like my dog snoring, would trigger an outburst of emotion. I can’t stand traffic, red lights, annoying beeps, rude people and many other things quickly fill me with rage! I have never been able to find the calm nirvana that comes from having a lot of patience.
Enter Archer, my firstborn. An easy pregnancy and birth. As expected, my patience was being tested from the word go. While he is more adorable than I could have imagined, being a first-time mum and not knowing what I am doing has been challenging. After many rough nights, days and some emotional outbursts, I had to find a way to become more patient. It seems that it actually takes some mindful practice to achieve enlightenment.
First and foremost, I began to focus more on gratitude. Grateful for the little person who loves me unconditionally. Grateful for all the time I get to spend with him, even if it is in the middle of the night. Gratitude can help keep you focused more on the present and less concerned with the worries of the future.
ANGER IS A SECONDARY EMOTION
A friend taught me this one. Anger is the secondary emotion caused by the initial reaction to something else. We almost always feel something else before we feel anger. For me, I was feeling angry for being woken up for the tenth/100th time that night when primarily I was frustrated that I couldn’t fully understand what the little guy was trying to tell me. Recognising where your anger really comes from helps to maintain a calm demeanour and a clear mindset.
This one is a little bit harder. Acceptance of the things you cannot control and letting go of the way you expected things to turn out. Archer is a very wakeful baby, getting up multiple times a night. There is no routine no matter how hard I try to implement one. I knew having a baby would be tough, however, I did not expect things to be as uncontrollable as they are! As we take one day at a time, I can accept that this will not be forever, things are constantly changing. I have learnt not to put too much pressure on myself to parent one way or another and I have let go of my previous expectations as to how I would approach motherhood!
Each of the above can be applied to every aspect of life, not just parenting. Patience is born out of the mindful practice of all three concepts. While I am still bothered by a snoring dog and traffic jams, I can now change the way I react. It may take some more practice; however, I am sure I will find my path to patience.
Corporate Services Manager