Patience – core values at Hushabye

Patience features a lot in my job – whether it’s waiting for a newborn to be ready to sleep, a one year old to overcome their shyness or a toddler to stop making silly faces and give me a genuine smile. Anyone who knew me as a child, wouldn’t have said I was a girl who was good at waiting, just ask my mum and dad! So, whenever a parent comments on my patience, I smile to myself, because it’s easy to be patient with your gorgeous children. Also, I had a good teacher.

I learned a lot about patience from my father in law. He lived with cerebral palsy his whole life, having been born very prematurely. He loved to tell the story of how the doctor made a bed for him in one of their dresser drawers and told his mother it was unlikely he would survive the night. Well, he did, in fact he lived to be 87 years old. I knew Colin for nearly 30 years and for all that time he had difficulty with his mobility, needing a cane, then later a walking frame and eventually a mobility scooter to get around. From aged 16, I knew that an outing with Colin would take a little longer than usual, might even be frustratingly slow but that it would also be accompanied by a twinkle in the eye and some truly terrible jokes.

Colin had to be patient, growing up in the 1930s and 40s when attitudes to disability weren’t what they are now. He was patient with people who underestimated him and excluded him, when most of us would have just been very angry. At the same time, he counted himself lucky to have married the woman he loved, brought up two sons and foster children too, as well as having 4 wonderful grandchildren.

From 2010-2017 Colin lived with us – that was the time I learned most about patience, I think we both did. Caring for someone and sharing your home with them, requires flexibility and understanding but being cared for and having to live in a home that’s not your own needs exactly the same things. Every time I felt myself getting impatient or annoyed, I tried to remember that; it didn’t always work but it really helped to put things in perspective.

Feeling impatient is perfectly natural, whether you’re sleep deprived, have a toddler who insists on counting every leaf between the shop and home (true story) or a teenager whose bedroom is constantly messy. So, here’s a couple of tips to help you stay patient and  at least appear serene

  1. Take deep breaths and count to 10, this will slow your heart rate and relax your body
  2. Force yourself to move and speak more slowly, which will make you appear calm and in control until you actually feel it; this really is a case of ‘fake it ’til you make it’
  3. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes and imagine how they’re feeling. Changing your perspective might highlight a solution
  4. Remember, if you’re dealing with young children, this really is just a stage, little ones love to move the goalposts and everything could change tomorrow (for the better)

If all else fails scream into a cushion, walk into another room and jump up and down, confide in someone to let off steam but don’t beat yourself up about it – you’re only human.

I am so happy that I get to work with you and your children, if that sometimes mean we have to wait a while for them to be ready, then so be it – patience, trust and telling your story are at the heart of my business.