Patience has never been one of my strong points.
I like things done when I want and how I want. I guess my lack of patience really comes down to wanting to stay in control. If you’re having to wait longer than expected for something then you’ve lost some control over the situation.
When my daughter was born, the hardest thing for me to adjust to was a lack of control and learning to develop some degree of patience. I got my first taste of it when my due date came and went. You’re always told not to fixate on the one date; it’s really just an ‘at best guess’, but I couldn’t help it. I was given a deadline, so that’s what I worked towards: 12 December. D Day. Everything was ready – the nursery was set up, the clothes washed and ironed (for the one and only time),and my husband had started his paternity leave. But in the end we had to wait six more days for her to arrive. Writing it down now it seems like nothing but, at the time, it was agonising, especially for someone as impatient as me.
I should have known at that point that losing control was something I’d have to get used to.
That patience was a virtue I’d need to learn. But I didn’t and I struggled. I struggled impatiently with waiting to feel strong enough to take my baby girl for a walk. I struggled impatiently with how long it took for me to go anywhere or do anything with a newborn in tow. I even struggled impatiently for my daughter to hit the usual milestone, such as supporting her own head, sitting up, walking or talking. But slowly I learned, as each day passed, to relinquish a little more control, to accept my daughter’s and my new pace of life and to be a teeny bit more patient – in parenting at least.
And that has made a difference to this pregnancy. I’ve been a little less militantly organised in my baby prep (as previous posts have shown). I’ve avoided telling people my exact due date to avoid a barrage of calls and texts when the day arrives and I’ve decided to try not to rush through the baby milestones as though parenthood is just a race to the next tick on a chart. Because, as I sit here, writing this on the eve of my due date with not even the teeniest of a labour twinge, I know that, even if I hadn’t learned a degree more patience in the last three and a half years, it wouldn’t matter.