One moment at a time….
Moving through life, birth, and motherhood in its own time
As a mother of three, I often find myself standing in front of a laundry basket full of clean clothing waiting to be folded and put away into their appropriate homes around the house. Folding is not one of my favorite chores, and I am happy when my husband shares the load with me. But, as I am often the one home during the day, the task often falls to me.
The folding in itself isn’t hard. It is the thoughts of everything else that needs to be done that leads to my aggravation. The other day while folding a basket of underwear (aka matching sock roulette) my mind was busy calculating what else I could get done in the next hour. There was dinner to prep, an assignment to finish, an email to send, a Bible study to read, dishes to put away, and much more. I started worrying that I wouldn’t be able to get everything done in my self-imposed time frame. And then I looked down and realized I still needed to first finish this one load of laundry before I could move onto anything else.
Labor can often feel like this as well. The contraction comes, you take a deep breath and feel the pressure build. You blow out your breath and take in another as the tension starts to release. “How many more of these do I need to get through?”, you wonder. “Is it time to go to the hospital?” “Should I eat something?” “Did I pack everything in my hospital bag?” “I didn’t sleep well last night, will I have enough energy for later”? And then another contraction comes and you repeat the process all over again. Sounds overwhelming, right?
Luckily it doesn’t need to feel that way. I often tell my clients to stay in the moment during labor. You are only asked to get through one contraction at a time. Not worrying about the contractions that came before, nor the ones yet to come; just breathe and move through this one contraction. By focusing on this one moment, it is hard for all the other distractions and concerns to crowd in bringing along with them their feelings of stress and anxiety. Having a supportive birth partner or doula can help protect this space. Fears can be calmed, logistics can be handled, moments of peace can be offered while you focus on labor one moment and contraction at a time.
I have realized a long time ago that there will always be another load of laundry, another round of dishes, and other things that will be asking of my time. But I have also realized that worry gets nothing done, but taking it one load (or sock pairing) at a time will get me ever closer to my goals.
Oh, and for those new mothers out there with little babes that insist on being in your arms always….
Those moments don’t last forever either. Accepting help from friends, family, partners, or a postpartum doula can enable you to stay in those precious moments a little while longer. Take it all one moment at a time. After all, that is how time works anyway.
Gracious Hands Doula Services
Gracious Hands Doula Services