‘It takes as long as it takes.’ Such simple, yet meaningful words to me. I repeat these words every day. Multiple times as day. They are my mantra, my affirmation, and my saving grace with having two young children. I was comforting my daughter, who unexpectedly woke up after sleeping for a mere 30-minutes tonight. I heard her cry out to me on the monitor and sighed. I had work to do. Immediately upon picking her up, she melted into me. Her breath so soft, her cheeks so warm, she found her comfort in me and I found mine in holding her. My work can wait…again. It takes as long as it takes to soothe her, to help her fall back asleep, for me to just be there. At nearly 14-months, she wakes up multiple times a night. I don’t count anymore. I don’t look at the clock. I just repeat my affirmation and reassure myself that I cannot rush this process of her growing up. Her mind and her body are figuring things out, too.
My older child, my son, slept in 45-minute increments the first four months of his life. I most certainly did not always have this patience…err, attempt at patience…with parenting. Let’s be real. I was a sleep-deprived zombie mom and it took nearly a year for me to get back into my groove after having him. My poor child. My poor (yet, amazing) husband. Now, I face things like ‘Toddler Time’, with my thriving three-nager. He must put on his shoes by himself. He must climb into the car by himself. He must pick out his own clothes. He must have privacy when in the bathroom. Each action seems to take for-friggin’-ever…and most of the time, that’s okay. I remind myself that it takes as long as it takes for his little self to mature, master a new skill and get it together to get out the door to preschool already. 🙂
When I rush the process, the baby senses my distress and won’t settle or my son seems to reverse his already remarkably slow Toddler Timeframe. I know you know what I mean! When I remember to accept what is, by allowing my children and myself as a mother the freedom to take and give time as we need it, I end up with overall happy, secure and well-adjusted kiddos. I’m a happier me.
I discovered this affirmation during my second pregnancy. During my first pregnancy, I diligently downloaded all the top-rated apps for my phone, attentively checked what size fruit my son was each week, read every article I could about every lower-than-low possibility of whatever condition I was convinced Dr. Google told me I had that week. Because, you know, that left side pang could mean I ate a bad taco or I had kidney stones…or my ligaments were just stretching and that was…*gasp* normal. In truth, my first pregnancy was not for the weak and my husband was sure a trooper to go along with us having a second child. I assured him I would be less neurotic and I was, probably because I sorta knew what to expect and because I was busy waddling after a quick-footed toddler all the time. My birth recovery was faster the second time around. I lost weight more quickly. Instead of directly focusing, I mentally repeated to myself, ‘It takes as long as it takes.’ I learned that I had to let things go and accept a sense of patience, of peace with things not being on as much of a schedule…or not as much on MY schedule.
As a Type-B personality (I have kids now, it’s impossible for me to maintain the Type A status…you should see my laundry pile), I really try to live more in the moment with my family. Of course I plan things, but try to keep in mind that those unplanned hiccups and tiny lasting moments add up to our lives.
So tell me, what affirmations help you during your pregnancy? During your birth? During your everyday life?