I have this vivid memory of something my midwife said to me while I was in labor with my son which has really stuck with me – I remember her telling me, “rest between contractions, don’t anticipate the next one just enjoy the break.”
This applies to parenting beyond the birth process – We have to learn how to rest and enjoy the breaks.
Being able to anticipate your child’s needs is such an important skill as a parent. Parents need to be two steps ahead – able to see what situations are going to be difficult and then prepare for them.
Parents who have experienced a lot of challenges often become especially good at anticipating what the next hurdle might be.
The problem is, when we get stuck in anticipation mode all the time it can make it very difficult to be present with our children and celebrate their success. And it can be very hard to truly rest.
The skill of anticipating your child’s needs is essential but what I often see is that some parents get stuck in this anticipation mode where they are always thinking about the next challenge and the cost is missing out on enjoying the good moments.
Parenting is filled with ups and downs; it’s crucial that we can really enjoy the good moments without getting stuck in the anticipation of the next challenge.
Noticing your child’s progress and looking for those special moments can be a great practice. When your mind pulls you away to some future concern, bring yourself back to what is happening here and now. Pause and be fully present to enjoy the moment.
Let go of the anticipation of the next struggle
Be here now
Celebrate your child’s success
Notice the good
Rest between the contractions