Monday, October 1, 2012

Patience Please

It's one of my favorite phrases. I mouth it quietly everytime I find myself in a situation that requires a lot of this virtue. It could be a situation involving N, the kids, the helpers. Anything! I'm a really impatient person by nature. I have a list of pet peeves and these are things that normally press my buttons ... the wrong ones. But I tell you, there is nothing like kids to really test how much patience you have and how far it can stretch.

I've spoken to my children about my illness and how I'm going to need them to cooperate. While Sabine doesn't know exactly what I have (we told her the docs found germs inside Mommy's body and they had to take it out and make sure it doesn't come back), she's fully aware that at this point, Mommy needs to really take it easy. Anissa who's 16, knows every single detail. Nothing kept secret from her. But they're kids and they can't help it sometimes. Without intending to, they continue to "harass" me in ways only my own flesh and blood can. 

Can you imagine being in the middle of a "tug of war"? That's how it feels most of the time. It's like being on one end of a spectrum one minute, and on the opposite end the next. I need to shift from 6-year old to teenager mode back and forth and sometimes it's exhausting! 

The mindsets are totally different from each other, it's easy to get lost in the game. They're also exact opposites in terms of personality. The older one is quiet, withdrawn, keeps to herself most of the time. She will argue and reason out with you (trying very hard not to sound disrespectful) but will hardly slam a door or stomp her feet. The little one is almost the same EXCEPT she will openly show her disappointment and/or sadness when she's reprimanded, to the point of writing what I call a love letter to the offending party (me or N). In these letters, she tells us that she's mad or sad or sorry. 

The strategy I employ for each kid is different. It has to be, because they are so different from each other and their ages are so far apart. This is the only downside I know to having huge age gaps between children. Other than this, it's all good. 

I had to write this to remind me of how blessed I am to have children mature enough to understand the situation we're in. Even if I'm in good spirits all the time, there's no denying the fact : an illness is a catalyst for change. The change can come in many forms ... a strengthened faith, renewed hope, improved outlook. It can also bring about changes in lifestyle, spending and the like. My family is now going through a lot of these changes since the day I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. 

Even if I have reason to, I can't always demand understanding from my kids. I have to let them be themselves and not force these drastic changes on them, and not expect them to question or react. The truth is, motherhood is never about letting go of your responsibilities, not even when you face a crisis. 

So, yes ... PATIENCE is something I pray doubly hard for nowadays. 

It's the month of the Holy Rosary and also Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Have a productive week ahead!

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