A binky seems like such a simple thing. It is a replacement when nursing ends ,or at least when it isn't happening in that moment, but mimics that same comfort. But between the binky stage and adulthood we have to find other ways to comfort ourselves.
There are stages of comforts and there are degrees of comfort needed depending on the situation. And throughout life we lose other comforts and have to find new ones. I know for me my mom is still one of my biggest comforts. I know that some day she may not be there and the thought is utterly terrifying. I think of my other comforts, from other people to gratitude to making a blanket cocoon, depending on the situation at hand.
There are other comforts some people seek through escapes. Some people are able to zen their way through a situation or talk it out while others need some kind of tangible comfort. I'm sure, like me, most people have a variety of types of comfort depending on the situation and vulnerability level.
After four days of Christmas celebrations and two days of large groups I have watched my daughter struggle at bedtime. The schedule is thrown off, she is overtired and overstimulated. People say, "yes, it is so hard at this age." In reality I feel the same. I love seeing family and celebrating to the max but I too feel the vibration of overstimulation, struggle to sleep, and seek extra comforts to unwind again.
It is harder at two-years-old because your resources are fewer. And what a time to have to go without your main comfort object! So as a parent how do we help teach our children healthy comfort practices? I laid in my daughter's bed for fifteen minutes last night modeling a "woosah" calming breath to remind her to just breathe as she had herself all worked up. Eventually it "worked" enough for her to tell me "mommy quiet. hold my hand." Haha!
What works for us doesn't always work for someone else. She didn't want a lesson she wanted me to be present. And I can definitely respect that. We held hands for just a couple minutes and she was out like a rock.
I admire her awareness for her own needs and I'm so grateful she can communicate that to me. I'm grateful to let go of what I think I know or what I think is best when she tells me otherwise. I'm grateful to respect that even at two she knows what she needs. I'm grateful to be here for her as she shifts her comfort skills. I'm grateful to give her models of different types of comforts and I'm grateful to step back and let her choose what works. I'm grateful to recognize and read my own energy and see where it is not just my toddler overtired and overstimulated. And I'm grateful to have a bag of tools to use to help myself rebalance.
What are some ways you find comfort? Are they supportive in helping you achieve your goal? Do they restore balance or just get you through the moment?
May today remind us we all share some core challenges and we all have our own ways of getting through them. May we seek and find what works for us and find comfort and balance in the process. Have a beautiful day!