Finding Patience In Perspective

So, last night was a rough night. My little guy has been sleeping better lately, especially during naps. But we still have some nights in a row where he will wake up at a God forsaken hour and decide he wants to play for a couple more hours. To a mother who hasn’t slept normally for almost a year, this is insanity.

I’m sad to say that last night, my attitude wasn’t stellar. I raised my voice a couple of times, saying “WHAT DO YOU WAAAAAAAANT” over and over, while he kicked and squirmed out of my arms and fought to get to his play area. When you’re tired and sleepy and aching, wrestling a baby at 2 am is going to wear your patience thin.

After an hour of fighting, I finally took him from my frazzled husband (who was trying to rock him to sleep with no success) and plopped him down onto his play area and let him play it out. I sat there, watching him, quietly fuming and having thoughts of running around screaming in the street.

But while playing, he would walk over to me, give me a quick hug and a nuzzle, before going back to walking around and clapping his hands (a current favorite activity). Each time he came to me, I felt a little better, a little more pacified. An hour of that, and he was finally ready to go back to bed.

Last night was an example of a mother being human, but I woke up today feeling extremely crummy about how I acted. As our helper took him out for his morning walk, I spent some time in prayer – a quiet moment I was desperate for. As per usual, God was spot-on and here is the verse I read:

Galatians 5:22-23
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

I was reminded that no matter how hard I try, my human nature is geared towards the sinful and worldly. In other words, it’s easy to lose your temper, give in to impatience, raise your voice. We know this, and at the moment it feels good to give in to anger and shout and swear and stomp your feet.

Thing is, regret comes after and you end up beating yourself up for not doing better.

The verse reminded me that asking God, his Holy Spirit, to come and change this nature, is the only way to overcome it. I can’t, and should not expect myself to be able to keep it together 100% of the time. Thankfully, God doesn’t need sleep the way that I do, and I can always go to Him when I am feeling frayed at the edges.

It took a while, but I forgave myself for last night, as I have to do several times in a week. And hold on to the truth that I am a work in progress and God always, always finishes his work.

Also, it helps to remind myself that Elon is little for such a short time. He’s going to need me this much for only a few more years– I should embrace it while I can.

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