The Art of Patience for Parents-in-Waiting

The Art of Patience for Parents-in-Waiting

10:46 29th June 2021 | Infertility - Stress

Parents in waiting trying to conceive ttc Patience

We all desire to have good things in life. 

For some people, one of those good things is having children of their own. When trying to start a family, some may experience a slight delay while others may have to wait a long time. In both situations – waiting is one of the hardest things about the journey.

A parent narrated it this way:

“We waited for test results - then we waited for the stimulation to work. We waited, sleepless, in the middle of the night, wondering if there was something more we could do. We have never felt more powerless. 

We attended a meditation seminar, seeking answers–"

“Can you offer anything to help with the difficulty of waiting?”  The response - “You will get the answer after the break” but… the answer never came. Even the people who are supposedly trained to help were utterly clueless, treating waiting with waiting. 

At another seminar we were told to “Let go of the story - live from moment to moment”. A good but still incomplete attempt at a difficult question.

Waiting for anything requires patience - waiting to be served a meal at a restaurant, waiting to board a plane, or waiting to get that promotion etc. 

So how should one wait? Wait with the attitude of patience.  

Patience is the key to unlocking that ability to tolerate a delay calmly without letting it affect our emotions, mental state and well-being. 

Patience is sweet to have but tough to nurture. However, it can help us persevere without giving up. 

A client put it this way:

“The waiting room was our personal nightmare. Sitting there we felt in perpetual limbo. We lost count of the many appointments where we just waited to be summoned. 

Somehow our patience grew without us realising. We became more intimate with each other and our love blossomed. We were able to lean on the unwavering support of our network: family, friends, colleagues, clinicians, counsellors and even fellow patients in the waiting room. 

Learning to be patient, though tough, helped us learn to live moment to moment, believing that the best was to come and it did! We are now parenting with patience and joy!”.

How can we wait patiently?

Patience is a skill requiring development and mastering. 

Waiting patiently is a choice – so we need to: 

  • Watch our attitude: How you perceive waiting determines your experience of the entire process. If waiting is seen as an “experience” and not a problem, you will be able to wait patiently.  Negative attitudes stir up negative emotions and these will not make the process go any faster.
  • Look at things objectively:  Emotions cloud our judgement and we lose the ability to make the right decisions. You need to obtain the facts and suspend judgement to make informed decisions that will enable you to have a better experience.
  • Look at the bigger picture: At each step of your journey, look beyond the current situation and remind yourself of the reasons why you embarked on your quest to start a family.  You are not a victim so stay focused on your end goals. 
  • Relax and take breaks: The saying “a watched kettle never boils” comes to mind. When we anxiously want something to happen, paying too much attention to it and stressing over every delay will just make the process seem longer. Instead, do something else during the waiting periods. Engage in activities that are productive, creative or just make you happy. These could include exercising, helping a friend, re-decorating the house, taking a course to gain a new skill, etc. 
  • Talk to someone: Sometimes we just need to air out all our frustrations in a safe space. It helps to meet with and talk to people who have gone through the same thing but were successful. 

It also helps to speak with a trained counsellor who can help you navigate the murky waters of your emotions and bring you out to the other more positive side. They can help you develop the skills necessary to cope with your emotions for a calmer and healthier experience.

So… when you must wait - wait patiently. 

Image credit: Google

By Etang Abang, Head Counsellor

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