Keeping Your Patience: 4 Moms

Do I really have to talk about patience?

Often when people hear that we have ten children they say, “You must have a lot of patience!” I’m sure there are a lot of reasons that God blessed us with a large family, but I can say with a good bit of confidence that it was not because I was patient, perhaps because I needed to learn patience, but not because I had already had it.moms of many manage

Welcome to 4 Moms, 35 Kids: How Moms of Many Manage.  This week we’re talking about patience.

I am more patient now than I was before we had children, but I still have a long way to go (a very long way to go).

When I think about patience and avoiding losing it, there are two main ideas that come into my head. One is avoiding situations where my patience will be overly taxed and the other is managing in the midst of those taxing times. For me it’s important to utilize both.

Flee temptation 

or avoid situations that will unnecessarily test patience

We train our children to obey quickly, cheerfully and completely.

Often when I begin to get frustrated it’s because I have allowed a pattern of disobedience to emerge. (“I’ve asked you to pick up your room three times already.” which means that I’ve already allowed three instances of disobedience.) This type of repeated and/or consistent disobedience is frequently a result of my laziness and failure to consistently train my children in the discipline and instruction of the Lord. (“Children obey your parents” is His standard, not just mine.)

I try not to over commit or over schedule.

Kids are kids and they need me, my love and my attention, lots of it. Spending a day (or an hour) on a project may be a necessity, but spending three days (or three hours) on a project may be provoking your children to anger (Col. 3:21).

You know your children and you probably already know that they function better when you’re not running from place to place, activity to activity, but are able to slow down and spend time focusing on them.

I give myself extra time.

When we have a deadline, I try to plan for an extra half hour to meet that deadline. This allows us to handle a blowout diaper, a disobedient child, a lost shoe, another potty break or whatever else comes down the pike. It’s when I face all of these (and twenty more) at the same time that I work on keeping my patience, because it happens and those stressful situations are sure to come, no matter how many children are in your home.

Cope in the chaos

Despite our best efforts we will face situations that test our patience to the limit. Here are some things that I do/keep in mind that help me handle the tough times in a biblical manner.

There is never an excuse for impatience.

It doesn’t matter what situation I face, I have no right to respond with impatience, no matter what the ‘world’ (and even our Christian friends) may tell me.

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1 Cor. 10:13)

Pray for patience

And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Luke 11:9)

Pray without ceasing

It’s very difficult/impossible to get frustrated or angry if I’m in the process of praying.

Focus on the goal

Generally my impatience comes when I’m focused on me and what I want to accomplish (dinner on the table, clean house, laundry folded). In these instances I view my children’s interruptions as a hindrance to the goal, but I have it all wrong.

Dealing properly with my child’s interruption is the goal.

Peace, love, kindness and regarding others as more important than myself is what I say my goal is and having children gives me a multitude of opportunities to demonstrate the truth of that. When I remember that my goal in life is to serve Christ by serving these children, then I’m able to have a right view of the interruptions, messes and chaos that come my way.

Stop what you’re doing and look at your child

Think about the situation from their perspective.

With ten children I am frequently asked the same question multiple times simply because several children need to know the answer. I’m often sorely tempted to reply with impatience when I’m asked, “May I go play outside?” for the seventh time in 3 minutes, but when I stop a moment and look at my child, I realize that this child has not yet heard my reply, they’ve done nothing wrong and are simply asking me a question. Responding with impatience would certainly be provoking my child to anger.

Take a break

It can be something as simple as sitting down and reading a picture book or as elaborate as taking the kids to the park for a swim and a picnic, but sometimes you just need to take some time to remember that it’s fun being a mommy and these kids are some of the best gifts that God has given.



When you lose your patience and respond to your children in a sinful manner, then be quick to repent and ask their forgiveness and God’s forgiveness. I always use the words, “I was wrong”. I tell them in what way I sinned against them and I ask them to forgive me.

What strategies help you to keep your patience?

You may also be interested in:


Be sure to visit the other moms of many to read their thoughts and ideas:
Smockity Frocks
Life in a Shoe
The Common Room

For more Moms of Many posts visit the 4 Moms page.

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29 Responses to Keeping Your Patience: 4 Moms
  1. ali @ an ordinary mom
    September 1, 2011 | 8:00 am

    Oh, Kimberly, I could’ve written that 1st paragraph! It’s so true! I hear it all the time too, and I’ve been told “You must be the most patient woman in the world!” and it convicts me to my core as I think “Well, no, actually, it’s probably more near the opposite…” My family, my children, have been the means of my refining in so many ways, perhaps most of all in this area!

    Excellent post- your strategies are such good food for thought for us busy and sometimes overwhelmed moms!



    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Oh Ali. I just want to let you know that we are praying for you and Ian and your whole family daily. God has particularly pressed you on my mind and heart and I have wept with you as you’ve been chosen to walk this difficult road. But this I know, God is good and He is faithful. Praying for His peace and comfort for you all.


  2. Tiana @ God Made, Home Grown
    September 1, 2011 | 8:45 am

    Children are such little Refiner’s fires, aren’t they?

    A verse that often comes to mind when I’m coping with the chaos is,

    “For this is the will of God, your sanctification,” 1 Thessalonians 4:3a

    He’s using these little ones to purge me of my selfishness and impatience, and to make me more like Him.



  3. Janet @ Preparing the Soil
    September 1, 2011 | 9:08 am

    Thank you for always being so honest in your posts and not stepping lightly over sensitive topics just because they may make people squirm. When I have told people that my goal is to ALWAYS speak in kind and gentle words and never raise my voice children, they look at me like I am crazy. As a homeschooling mom to five living overseas, I don’t have any really like-minded women around me. I appreciate women like you who have similar hearts for purposeful parenting.


  4. april
    September 1, 2011 | 9:26 am

    Much wisdom dispensed here–I found it particularly interesting that you listed dinner on the table and laundry folded as things “you” want to accomplish–I would not normally group those tasks under the heading of “selfishness”, but rather under the “chores kids best help with if they want to wear clothes or EAT” category…

    Mulling that one over today.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi April,

    I list these things because I tend to be task oriented often to the detriment of my kids. And these are my most common tasks.

    And yes, in our house these also fall into the category of “chores kids best help with if they want to wear clothes or EAT” category. 🙂


  5. Whitney @ Whit's World
    September 1, 2011 | 9:53 am

    Ah patience, I too am more patient after becoming a mom but still have a very long way to go. With an aspergers child and a very wild toddler I find myself letting the devil allow my anxiety to rise and patience to lessen. I have to constantly remind myself to lean on God, he will ease my burden if I am honest with him and myself. Thanks for your honesty and guiding words, following your blog now.


  6. Dawn
    September 1, 2011 | 11:47 am

    Wow. I needed this today. I am convicted that my example to my children flat-out stinks, and I am grateful to you for this great reminder. Thank you!


  7. Gwen
    September 1, 2011 | 12:23 pm

    “I could never have a big family – I’m not patient enough!” This response from people always results in me laughing hysterically.

    Yes, first time obedience is critical in this!

    Singing is often a good remedy for me (and the children) when things are chaotic – there is something about it that invokes a peaceful atmosphere.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Yes, singing is another great way to promote peace.


  8. Heidi
    September 1, 2011 | 1:26 pm

    Great post. Thank you.


  9. Tanya
    September 1, 2011 | 2:00 pm

    I LOVE this post!! God bless you Kimberly, and your beautiful family!



  10. Jenny
    September 1, 2011 | 2:57 pm

    Fabulous! I love how you are always able to put things in such clear terms!!! Thanks!


  11. Dawn@OneFaithfulMom
    September 1, 2011 | 3:10 pm

    As another mom of ten, I am guilty of the one where 5 kids ask a question, and then the sixth one to ask incurs the “wrath of Mom”. It mostly happens when they want to know what is for supper. I think I need to put a white board on the fridge and just write it on there!


  12. pink cloth microphone
    September 1, 2011 | 3:28 pm

    Your post was so timely.

    Of late, I’ve been honestly so impatient with the behaviour of my first-born. It’s like I know it’s so wrong but I just cannot help it.

    And then your post popped up in my mailbox. =) And I’m reminded and thankful for these tiny blessings that God has given to me to steward.

    Will be giving him a huge hug tomorrow.
    God bless!


  13. patty
    September 1, 2011 | 5:50 pm

    thank you so much for this post. God knew that i needed to hear this today. i have been getting so frustrated with my kids lately because of their constant lack of obedience. it occurred to me while reading your post that the reson they are constantly NOT obeying right now is because i am not constantly being consistent. i am wanting to get done what i’m doing and don’t want to be bothered by having to discipline–therefore, i am disobeying God’s command to train my kids in godliness. i’m so glad we serve a forgiving God who loves us despite our mess-ups! i love your blog and have been so blessed by it. thank you!!


  14. Donna
    September 1, 2011 | 7:21 pm

    Wow I love your thoughts!! Now to put them into practice! Thanks for the insight!
    I added a 5th mom blogging on patience, but I only add one kid, which is a whole different perspective, but patience is still important!!


  15. Anna
    September 1, 2011 | 9:14 pm

    Yeah, just two little boys so far, and plenty of opportunities to work on growing patience around here. Thanks for your advice, I still have a long way to go in a lot of areas.

    By the way thanks for blogging and sharing what God has taught you about being a mother over the years. I have found it hard to find many women willing to teach the younger women in the faith in real life and have been blessed to discover some online.


  16. Shannon
    September 1, 2011 | 10:02 pm

    And, again I am reminded that our Lord brought me to your blog and that of the other mom’s of many for a reason! Little did I know it was not the reason I first started reading!
    As I go and repent, and strive to do better tomorrow.


  17. Celee
    September 3, 2011 | 8:39 pm

    I am constantly in prayer for patience and gentleness- especially when it comes to school. I have one daughter in particular that I have a hard time helping with math. It’s like my husband can see this vein throbbing in my neck and he knows I can’t take much more. He’s been helping her lately and he’s so good with her. I’m better than I used to be, but still have to constantly pray for more patience and remind myself throughout the day that whatever it is that’s making me crazy isn’t nearly as important as my reaction to it.

    Thanks for sharing your tips. I think planning and prayer can help us avoid or handle many of these situations. You’re very wise.



  18. stephenie
    September 3, 2011 | 10:27 pm

    I love the way you write. I am encouraged so much by you, thank you.


  19. Avery Copeland
    September 4, 2011 | 9:26 pm

    My strategy for keeping my patience: I plan my day on paper the night before, making sure I leave “slop” for the children’s randomness.


  20. c.s.
    September 6, 2011 | 2:28 pm

    I love this post! SO, SO fitting for my heart this past summer! God is still re-fining me!

    We have been studying the Fruits of the Spirits with the children, and this week happens to be patience…so I will apply!


  21. c.s.
    September 6, 2011 | 2:29 pm

    Thank you for your honest insight!


  22. Susan
    September 12, 2011 | 1:58 pm

    Thank you for those words about patience. I have four children and patience is something that I feel comes and goes with me. I will take your suggestions about continual prayer and looking at triggers to help. God is working in our lives, but there is so much for us to learn. Thank you to all the moms for such honesty, it is encouraging.


  23. cindy
    September 21, 2011 | 12:42 pm

    I just read about patience with our kids and the part about saying thins 10 times then exploding is definately true for myself. my biggest problem is that I can’t handle when my kids fight and say they got hurt by the other one. I am a person that doesn’t get mad easily but with that I can’t control myself, it gets me so angry that I lose me temper and start screaming. I have tried punishing them and disciplining them but nothing seems to work. any ideas would be appreciated.


  24. Jen
    September 27, 2011 | 9:15 pm

    I’m late reading this, but I definitely needed to! I’ve printed it out to peruse often as a reminder!


  25. JC
    August 21, 2012 | 1:58 pm

    Earlier today, I was struggling to remain patient with my children. After apologizing to them and asking for their forgiveness, I did a quick google search on “keeping patience with your children”. I was hoping to find some encouragement from a biblical perspective. There are nearly 6 million results on the topic! Thankfully, your post was at the top! 🙂 Your words of wisdom are challenging and a good reminder. And as always, getting into God’s Word will renew my focus and calm my heart. Thanks!


  26. Irene
    March 20, 2014 | 6:56 pm

    You wrote this article in 2011 and I thank God for it. I just went online to find help with patience I seem to get extremely angry (I did not know I was capable of this) at my 11 month old baby wh I love with all my being at bedtime! I just want him to settle quickly so I can go do some form of housework or eat or just chill by myself them afterwards I am filled with so much guilt at my emotions. I used to think I was patient and now I know I lack this virtue and praying for it. Pray fore too xxx


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