There are very few parents (including myself) that haven’t muttered the words “I can’t wait until…”
Then sentence ends with various milestones:
…they are sleeping through the night
…they are walking
…they are done teething
…they are off the bottle
…they are potty-trained
…they drop their naps
…they can get ready by themselves
…And the list doesn’t stop, until - it does - because they’ve grown up.
And when the list stops, we wish for all those moments to come back because we miss them needing us so much. Why do we have such a difficulty being satisfied?
When you have four children it’s easy to see how the saying: “the days are long but the years are short” is all too true. When I catch myself or others saying: “I can’t wait until…”
- stop and reframe.
Don’t allow your mind to think “I can’t wait until…” because this mindset tricks you into thinking right now is NOT good enough. As bad as it can be (and trust me I’ve been there when it’s rotten) – right now IS good enough. You are good enough, your children are right where they should be, and the events going on in your life right now are OK. Even if it doesn’t feel like it.
My oldest didn’t sleep through the night until he screamed for 5 HOURS each night for 5 nights in a row, my second wasn’t potty-trained until he was nearly four-and-a-half (and we are still working through accidents), my third did not talk until he was two, and my youngest wouldn’t take the bottle from anyone else for three days straight! These episodes nearly broke me to my core. These trials were our experiences to own, not wish away. However frustrating it is, it is important to move THROUGH it, instead of deflecting it by
wishing for some future state.
Does this mean you have to settle? Does this mean you don’t make efforts to change what is not working? Absolutely not. We can always shift to change things, but this is not a mentality of “I can’t wait until…” rather, it is a mindset of action that you are taking steps to make those shifts happen that are in your control. What is NOT in your control will change as efforts are made toward that change.
I promise you, your baby WILL sleep longer, feeding WILL get easier, they WILL walk, they WILL get potty-trained, they WILL tie their shoes. Maybe not in the timeframe you are expecting – but it WILL HAPPEN. Perhaps, in some cases, these milestones won’t be met due to extenuating circumstances – but this is still your family’s experience, and it will all be OK.