Anyone who says being married takes a lot of patience, has never had kids.
Let’s rewind a few years… I was, for all intents and purposes, a mess of a human being. I was single, after a long relationship. I filled my spare time up with playing music (be it gigs, sitting around my house, or jamming with friends), work, and drinking..
I did whatever I want, whenever I wanted… and I was still unhappy!
Then, August of 2013, my life changed drastically. I met the woman who is now my wife, and not too long after, my first two kids! I was now suddenly a 25 year old, who knew nothing about raising children, and I guess didn’t quite understand the gravity of what I was doing. My wife is a patient woman, she’s a great mother, (we’re on our way to our 4th daughter), and she’s a patient wife.
I know I’m not easy to live with… I can be loud, I can be distant, I don’t do well in large crowds of strangers (says the guy in a regionally popular rock band.. but more on that some other time), and I had a lot to learn when I first took on being a dad… on fact there’s always more to learn!!
I grew up in a very non-traditional way.. my parents trusted me, expected me to carry my weight, be responsible, and let me fend for myself… I didn’t get handouts, hell i never even asked.. it was disrespectful, in my mind.
So, naturally, I grew into a very stubborn adult.. Until this point in my life, I did things my way.. Surprisingly, I never failed to feed myself or have a roof over my head…
Now, here I sit on my couch with my almost 2 year old, trying to keep her comfortable and quiet… since 4AM, when her older sister (4Y.O.) woke up in a panic from a bad dream/having to pee…
If you would have told me, 5 years ago, that I would be in this situation today, I would’ve laughed in your face… I never was going to have kids… It was nothing but a hinderance in my mind…
Boy, was I wrong… I love my children, more than words can describe… raising them has taught me so much. I am more patient and calm, then i ever was.. I still get to be a musician (by the grace of my awesome, patient wife.), and there is nothing like the feeling of being wanted, as much as those children want you to love them.
It truely is the greatest job in the world.
Now, on to my patience… I was raised with discipline… Sometimes more harsh than it should be… but, ya know, it was the 80’s and 90’s and a totally different era. In my mind, quick and harsh was the best way to scold… (like ripping off a verbal band-aid)… It didn’t take me too long to realize how ineffective that is. Especially with daughters (i was raised around my younger brother… little girls were always a mystery until now..)
It’s more effective to calmly explain to a child that they are disappointing you, rather than explode… Being put in the corner for a REASONABLE amount of time (my wife suggests 1 minute, per age year) is more effective than yelling or threatening with a spanking, and temporarily losing priveledges is way more effective than a spanking.. regardless of what level of discipline is required, the most important thing I’ve learned is to sit down, after the fact, and explain why your child is being punished, and make suggestions to how they can avoid a reoccurance.
Who would have thought?! It all makes sense… It’s logical and has taught me a level of patience and underatanding I never thought possible…
I hope any young or new parent can take something away from this… I’ve only been doing it for 4 years, and I have learned sooo much in such a short time!
Thanks for reading.. I’m still sitting on the couch, unable to fall asleep, so I figured I’d jot down what was on my mind!