"Patience is a virtue."
"You can learn many things from your children. How much patience you have, for instance." - Franklin P. Jones
Before I had kids, I thought I was the most patient person in the world. I rarely (if ever) lost my temper. I didn't really know how loudly I could yell. I was the very picture of "peacemaker" - the number 9 on the Enneagram. I was a virtuous person indeed!
Then I had my lovely children. My darling, sweet, wonderful, creative, happy, delightful children. My infuriating, wild, whiny, must-be-hearing-impaired, arguing children. And I lost my cool.
Now I work very hard on being patient. In fact, I'd say it is the primary thing I work on as a parent. How to say things without yelling. How to encourage without being bossy. How to let them do things for themselves when it would be faster and easier for me to do it myself. How to convey the importance of our rules without beating them over the head with them (figuratively, of course).
But I have some words of encouragement for myself and for other parents here. We all struggle with this. I've discovered that it is a universal theme among parents who give a damn about how they parent. If you struggle with this, it means you care. It means you are trying. It means you have your children's best interest at heart. Even the coolest and most-easy going of my friends have shared this struggle with me at various times. So, soldier on, dear parents. You are not alone in your quest for patience. Keep fighting the good fight within yourself so that you don't fight the bad fight with your kids.