Love is patient

16 Jun



I take Maura out to Target, where she finds a big Ariel plus doll. She is thrilled. Ariel is her new friend. But once home, she starts whining because she can’t find the matching little plush Ariel doll. I tell her to look in her room. I tell her again. I try hiding from the constant whining from my daughter because it’s sending me over an edge. Finally, I tear apart the house, looking for the damn doll because otherwise, Maura will never let up. I shake from the effort of not letting it all get to me. But I don’t yell at the girl, because I know she can’t help her spiraling any more than I can.

Love is patient. 

I finally find the damn doll, in her sister’s room. Her sister’s awful, messy, totally normal teenage girl room. I want to yell at my daughter for the state of her room, which is now a black hole sucking in other people’s belongings. Instead, I look at her, the girl who’s been studying for finals and putting together projects and worrying about her own friends, and I say “You know what kiddo? I don’t want to scar you for life. We’ll deal with your room later when I’m not so cranky.”

Love is patient. 

My husband walks in from a full day of work. The house is a mess, there’s nothing for dinner, and I’m slightly catatonic on the couch.

He doesn’t get mad, or angry, or fed up. He asks “Are you okay?” – because he knows I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster.

Love is really freaking patient.

I walk into my kitchen in the morning, and realize it’s a total disaster. No one has cleaned up after themselves – not teenagers, not parents. I watch as my husband goes off to work another day, and the age-old guilt of not pulling my weight tries to fall over me. He’s working hard, and isn’t even coming home to a clean house or meal.

And then, I decide not to feel guilty. Instead, I load the dishwasher as I make myself more coffee. I make myself a plan for the day. Just one. Because overwhelming myself won’t help me any more than giving myself a guilt trip.

Self-love is patient.

And as I think about all this, I realize how true that one line is. Love IS patient. Love is kind, yes, but love needs patience.







7 Responses to “Love is patient”

  1. Jill June 16, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    You are an unbelievably strong mom, wife and woman. Your posts give me inspiration to not yell at the black hole or feel guilty for not working outside (or sometimes inside) the home.

  2. Charlie Shotsky June 16, 2016 at 11:58 am #

    Realistic, Understandable and Touching. I love that you do NOT love your daughter despite her needs. You love her despite your needs. Enjoy every day you have with her…and sometimes enjoying means lying on the couch while everyone else gets their own dinner.

  3. Bren June 16, 2016 at 12:28 pm #

    Definitely needed this today….so much so that I might print out and stick it on the refrigerator. Thank you!

  4. Marisa June 16, 2016 at 4:18 pm #

    I love this. While I don’t have a kid, my boyfriend and I both just started small businesses this summer, and we are being really freakin’ patient with one another about taking out the trash and doing the dishes, and vacuuming. (The vacuum hasn’t been plugged in over a month.)

  5. Josephine Cox June 16, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

    Love this, Phoebe. be OK.

  6. MizTrouble June 18, 2016 at 12:35 am #

    My husband, teenager, and I are getting ready to move to another state in just a few short weeks. We are all saying goodbye to all we’ve ever known, and the stress is high. The process has been a great teacher in patience. My tolerance is not what it once was, but patience has taught me to pick my battles. I ask myself daily, “Will this matter once we’ve moved?” Helps me keep things in perspective and not go ballistic when the teenager won’t deal with their blackhole, or my husband forgets to put food away. Thank you for this.

  7. allthesekidsanyway June 18, 2016 at 1:41 pm #

    love this! love takes sooooo much patience!

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