Predictability? Control?

As human beings, we have a tendency to look for patterns or as they are called in psychology - schemas.

This way of looking at the world, in chunks and in patterns, helps us filter out all that’s happening around us, and helps to focus and understand concepts.

When our baby is born, and we are thrown into a whole new situation which we have never experienced before, we naturally start doing what we do best - looking for patterns and predictability. We try to find pattern to their sleep or feeding habits. We try to make sense of the routine. But what if for one moment, we take a step back, relinquish the control we’re so used to having over everything in our fast paced life, and lean back into not looking for patterns?

Could it be that by going with the flow of the baby and releasing predictability and control, we can actually enjoy the parenting journey a little more?

Trying to find patterns

In my conversations with new mothers, I notice how quick we are to want to hang on to these patterns. A mother to a 3 weeks old baby told me “last week he was sleeping so well and this week he is waking so much more, and is much harder to calm down, I don’t understand what’s happened”.

Babies move forward in their development and are always changing and evolving.

Especially in the third week of life, baby is waking up from the sleepiness of the birth and might start crying more often. Moms desperately try to hang on to how their baby was last week, comparing, and forgetting that this creature is on an exponential growth journey - one which we have long left behind as adults.

A personal story

Here’s a story from my own motherhood journey. Just last month I was nursing my then 6 month old daughter to sleep and just as I put her down to what has recently been a pretty easy transfer into the bed, she opened her eyes, looked at me and smiled. I picked her up, gave her the pacifier, as I have successfully done on recent evenings, but she was not interested and started to play. I could feel myself getting agitated and thinking “why is she not falling asleep as she has done every day now over the past week”.

I felt that I couldn’t handle it and called my husband to be with her instead of me. For the next hour she played in her bed with the lights off. My thoughts just kept going even though I was not with her anymore and I found it hard to calm down. For some reason, this scenario was very hard for me. I was falling in the trap of predictability and control. For one week she was on such a great (e.g. predictable) rhythm that the moment she diverged from it, I began to lose it.

I tried really hard to let go and flow with the baby, something I have been practicing daily. Yet, on that evening it felt harder than usual. In those moments, I aim to reflect and be kind to myself, understanding that there are many factors at play influencing my mood as well as my baby’s.  

What if we took upon us the mindset that we will flow with our babies to the exact places where they wish to take us?

What if we enter with the thought that they can be our biggest and wisest teachers on this extraordinary journey called motherhood?

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