Today, I attempted to paint my own nails.
I say attempt because every time I've tried this in my lifetime, I've ended up with one hand that looks semi-decent and another that looks like I painted the nails while on a Tilt-a-Whirl. Which is why I usually leave the job of decorating nails to the professionals at my local nail salon (and only for special occasions). Painting my own nails makes me feel feeble, overwhelmed and leaves me incredibly frustrated.
Today, though, I treated my daughters to an at-home manicure. Well, there was no hand soak or nail trimming involved. I just painted their nails. But calling it an at-home manicure makes it sound nicer, doesn't it? I took my time, and they stayed surprisingly still, because they knew the final product would be fit for a princess. After I completed 2 sets of fingernails and toenails, I was inspired to have some nail decor of my own. Seeing as my daughters were unfit to help and my husband was most likely unpracticed in the art of nail painting, I would have to paint my own nails.
And I did.
And it looks good.
I only had crappy kid nail polish to work with, so it didn't cover well. But I decided to make progress slowly and carefully, taking care with every brush stroke. I didn't let small mess-ups ruffle my feathers, and quickly fixed anything that went outside the lines. The electric blue hue soon covered my enamel, and at the end I felt so proud and accomplished.
It's amazing what you can do when you are patient.
I am reminded this truth today, a Sunday after a stressful and overwhelming week. Hubby and I made some big decisions this week, and had various commitments, responsibilities and deadlines. When the to-do list begins to grow long and there are not enough hours in the day, stress creeps on. Or, rather, cascades like a never-ending waterfall over my mind and heart. I get anxious, overwhelmed, impatient and I take it out on the people I love the most: my family.
As a mom, being overwhelmed and stressed has a direct correlation to your ability to parent gently, patiently and rationally. My wits end was constantly too close, and my fuse burst more times than I'd like to admit this week. Coupled with a 3 year old and a 5 year old who pushed limits, seemingly refused to listen and found every way to do things they very well know is wrong, I hit a wall. I yelled. A lot. I rushed, a hurried, and I didn't savor the moments that I know are passing too quickly by. I shared with a private group of my friends that "I sucked as a mom this week."
I reflect on my ability to be slow, careful and conscious as I painted my nails today, and I wonder how I might bring this qualities into my every day life as a Mom. Perhaps it's reminding myself that this stressful time is a season, maybe I need to come up with a better strategy on communicating and redirecting my girls. Maybe I need to find a quality way to focus on myself, whether it is take "Me Time" out each week or schedule regular Date Nights with Hubby.
Maybe I need to have more secret stashes of chocolate around the house.
The thing is, this post has no moral. I have no answers. If you read the title of this post, hoping I might have some sage wisdom on how to handle stress and be more patient, I am sorry to disappoint.
Rather, I'd love YOUR sage wisdom, tips, advice on how to handle stress and be more patient.
How do you handle stressful seasons? How do you stay calm during tough days with the kids? How do you work on stretching out your patience?
I'd really, really, love your thoughts. Take some time, write up a comment, and push "post." I am already looking forward to hearing new ideas that I can implement. If I get enough good ones, I'll publish a follow-up post with all the great pieces of advice!
Have an UNSTRESSFUL week! :)