Learning Curve

May 18, 2012

I have never been a very patient person when it comes to myself. I worked in daycare and was a high school teacher for years, so I have some amount of patience for others, but when it comes to myself? I want to get it right, do it now, check it off my list.

This is a personality trait that has only become more intrenched in me as I age, and it’s not one that works particularly well for me. If things don’t happen like I want them to, in the timeframe I want them to, I get frustrated. Mostly because I don’t ask for much, I’m not trying to move mountains here, I’m just trying to take care of my family and write some books.

Still, frustration does not get either of those two things accomplished. In fact, it usually ends up with a lot of yelling and/or crying. Not good. Not productive.

My Husband works twelve hour shifts, but days/nights rotate. For the first time since Baby#2 was born, he had to switch shifts. I knew this was going to be a challenge and I knew if I made a plan and got frustrated when it didn’t work out, it wouldn’t be good for anyone. So I went in yesterday with no plan. I went in yesterday telling myself it’ll take a few days to figure out how this is going to work for everybody. I went in telling myself that the kids are going to get cranky, struggle with the change, but ultimately a few days down the road everything would be fine.

And yet…

And yet I got really frustrated last night. No matter how many deep breaths I told myself to take, no matter how I reminded myself that this is par for the course, that it’ll get better, I was extremely frustrated it wasn’t easy. Everyone else makes it look so easy! Why can’t it be easy for me?

It’s not healthy thinking, and it’s not helping me when I think that way, but no matter how I gear myself up for a challenge, there is that whiny part of me wondering why someone else is so much better at this.

I feel this way with my writing sometimes. When the responses don’t come as quickly as they’re supposed to, or with the words I want to hear. I get frustrated. I think about the people who have it easier than me, better. I keep telling myself not to feel that way, but I’ve started to wonder something…

Sure, feeling that way all the time isn’t productive, but sometimes, maybe it is. Maybe it’s part of what drives me to keep writing, to keep trying to be a better mother. Other people can do it, why the heck can’t I? As long as we don’t wallow in it, maybe sometimes these feelings of inadequacy or jealousy or just plain frustration are part of what helps us strive to be better.


3 Responses to “Learning Curve”

  1. taristhread Says:

    You have your hands full with 2 little ones, and one a newborn. Shift changes affect everyone, and can be very challenging. I think it’s okay if you’re frustrated…I agree with you that that frustration does push you to be better. It sounds like we may be alike in this way.

    Over the years, the one thing I have learned is that I don’t think anyone really has it easier than anyone else. We all have different challenges, some parts of our lives come easier than others, but we all have challenges. Sometimes we just don’t see the challenges other people face. Maybe we;re not part of those areas of their lives, or maybe they had their challenges, but as you get to know people, you will see that they do have challenges, or have had challenges that might surprise you. I’ve learned to be content with my own challenges…and keep trying to overcome them, frustrated (and I get very frustrated) or not!

    hugs to you Nicole, Really wish I was nearby to borrow the babies from you every now and then!!

  2. I agree 100% with Tari.

    Over the years I’ve learned if it’s not one thing it’s another. There is never a point in my life when I’m completely frustration free. Maybe a few hours or a few days, but before I know it, something is clogging up the creative juices, something like worry or stress or paranoia or sickness…

    The only thing constant in real life is change. I think that’s why I like to make up worlds I can control.


  3. You know I used to work to schedules, had to have organisation and everything had to be in its place for me to feel calm, collected and happy. Then baby came along and all of a sudden my organised world was replaced with one of chaos. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a good kind of chaos, but sometimes I do find myself wishing I could do things better. Everyone else seems to cope, even my friends who have more than two kids and I wonder why the hell I seem to get things wrong when I only have one child to cope with. I guess sometimes we want everything to be just right and when it isn’t….well maybe we just put too much pressure in ourselves. Sometimes you just have to say, you know what, I might have baby sick on my clothes, I might be running late for the tenth time this week, I might have burned the dinner, I might not have touched my manuscript in over two weeks….but I’m doing my best and that’s all I can do. I feel your pain!

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