Do you use mantras? I used to use them while running long distances and found them really helpful. (I no longer remember what running mantra I used – probably time to come up with a new one as I start training for a half marathon again, EEK.)
Since becoming a parent, I’ve found myself turning to them again because, yes, parenting can be pretty hard sometimes. Here are three mantras I use regularly that help me keep my cool and keep things in perspective:
I have All the Time I Need
This is the one I use the most. I tend to race around doing things quickly and sometimes I realize I am unnecessarily frantic. I find myself cleaning the kitchen at breakneck speed after dinner when there is really no reason to rush. I find myself stressed about getting stuck in traffic when we don’t need to get somewhere by any particular time. I need to remind myself to slow down because sometimes it’s better to do something well (and dare I say, enjoy doing it) than to do it quickly. I often say this aloud and it instantly helps me calm down.
The Days are Long, but the Years are Short
I believe this is a common phrase, but I got it from Gretchen Rubin, I believe from her book the Happiness Project. I heard it related to parenting, but I think it could really be used for any stressful, but enjoyable job. Honestly, lately our days have mostly been really enjoyable, but there have definitely been times over the past year when the day seemed to stretch on endlessly (mainly when James wasn’t napping well). This little phrase helps me remember what countless people have told me since I first got pregnant – it goes by so, so fast, don’t wish it away, not even for a moment.
Some Day He’ll be a Teenager
This is similar to the one above. When James wakes up at 5 AM and wants me, I remind myself that someday he’ll be a teenager sleeping until noon and I’ll wish he’d wake up and want to hang out with me. When he’s clingy, I remind myself that someday he probably won’t want anything to do with me (tear). When I wish we could go out at night, I remind myself that someday he’ll be the one going out at night and we’ll be at home wishing he were here with us, where we can peek in at him and know that he’s okay. This is nothing against teenagers, I think they get a bad wrap, but it reminds me that while yes, it’s hard to have someone need you so much, some day he won’t feel like he needs me at all and that will be even harder.
These three phrases help me slow down and appreciate even the hard days.
Do you have a favorite mantra?