If I could give mamas-to-be one word to cling to, like an anchor of hope during difficult times, it would be the word persistence. And, if there’s a word that I wish I would have known earlier on, it’s persistence.
So many times after my daughter was born I would try something and it would seem like it was not working. I’d try it once, try it twice, and with no signs of improvement and no signs that it would ever improve, I would give up—try something else.
I wish someone would have told me how persistent I would need to be, to just keep trying, and trying, and trying, and eventually we would get somewhere. Mamas, you have to be persistent, and I promise you, things will change, things will get better. When you’ve done something, what feels like a million times over, just remember that your persistence will .pay.off.
When I first started breastfeeding, it hurt so bad, and it was so difficult. I wanted to quit, but for four weeks I persisted and it got better. Persistence.
When my daughter would wake up and scream every time I laid her down in her crib for her nap, I would pick her up, rock her, kiss her, cuddle her, and when she was asleep again lay her back down. I didn’t want to practice the cry it out method or do a ton of sleep training, so I just persistently loved her to sleep and laid her down. Sometimes it would take three or four times of repeating the process, but then I was able to lay her down in her crib. And, each time we practiced it, for weeks on end, she got better. Persistence.
We’re working on baby sign language and over and over and over again I’ve repeated the same beginner signs to what appears to be a baby who could absolutely cares less. Then, after about a month and a half of observing my constant repeating, she began to repeat one sign back to me. Just one, but one! Persistence.
I have a feeling that this theme of persistence will follow us throughout our lives. We will have to repeat ourselves a million times, but it’s scientifically proven that babies cannot remember things for longer than a few seconds, and though the timespan stretches as they grow, we still have to reiterate and repeat. Then, once their teenagers and should be able to remember what we just told them, they won’t and we’ll have to repeat. Persistence.
It often feels like we’re making little to no progress, but keep trying, keep pressing through. At some point, your persistence will pay off, and it will be the best feeling in the world: to know that you’ve put in so much effort and it’s been worth it.
Persistence: firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.
Keep persisting, mama!
By Holly M.