I have heard it many of times, and honestly I have said it myself many more times. Will it ever get easier? You know that point where you are running on zero sleep for at least a week, (although it feels like it’s been a year) or surviving the lovely temper tantrums of our three year olds where we just want to curl up in a ball and hide until that stage has past. Looking back on it after it’s been a while, that stage doesn’t seem so scary anymore.
Let’s be brutally honest, does it get easier? No I’m sorry it doesn’t. The best part is it changes. Whatever stage you are struggling to get through, you will get through it. You may even get a couple days of comfort before a new stage and challenge starts. Now, don’t get mad at me. I’m not here to make you think your job as a parent is always going to feel like it’s so challenging you will never survive.
Newborn stage – you have these little bundles of joy that are so adorable and smell so nice. These lovely little bundles tend to sleep in short amounts at once. You spend a lot of time with sleepless nights, and if you’re anything like me you get a child who tends to vomit at least twice a day. I had one of my twins who vomited after every feeding for 10 months. That was his normal.
Infant – your cute little bundle is growing faster than you ever thought possible. Enter cranky nights of teething. Add in the lovely challenges of mobility. My youngest has started to pull himself up on anything and likes to reach way up high. So that glass ornaments you put up so he wouldn’t reach it, yes he can reach that you might want to go higher.
Toddler – this is where my daughter is. She is full of energy and personality. It’s great to see her growing as an individual. That individual can throw full out temper tantrums over the weirdest of things. Her socks didn’t match, that was a tough one today. The other day it was the fact that she couldn’t make her mitts work when they were on the wrong hands but how dare I mention to her that she could put them on the right hands.
Preschool – independence kicks up a notch but capability isn’t quite there. I see my daughter entering this quickly. That one where they are going to do everything humanly possible to do it BY THEMSELVES oh wait ‘mom can you help’. That moment when you need to be out the door five minutes ago and your standing their waiting your child to do up there jacket all because when you went to help you were stopped with ‘ME DO ME DO ME DO’ Ok got it you do.
Child – I am into this stage with my twins. They are completing Grade 1. I am seeing the effects of friends loud and clear. They want to fit in. They are being introduced to things I would have never imagined (good and bad). They want to learn. My biggest challenge here is keeping them on track. One of my guys wants to read a big chapter book. He’s struggling with sight words. Trying to keep him on track with the smaller stuff so he can get to the big stuff, that’s a hard one for me. My other one loves science. He wants to try anything with a science aspect. How do I manage to find all these things to keep his mind growing? That might be where Pinterest has come in handy a time or two.
Pre-teen – I’ll admit I’m not here yet. I have friends who are here and I’ve watched them though. That point where hormones are possibly starting.
Teen – I also haven’t done teens yet myself. But I remember being a teen. That point in my life where I knew everything and no one was going to tell me how to do anything. That didn’t get me where I wanted to but I sure tried. I’m not sure I am prepared to be a parent of a teen yet.
Young Adult – I am helping my partner through this. He has three in this category. They are out on their own. It is their choices to make we get to stand back and watch. It can be tough watching them make choices different then what we would. But it’s THEIR choices not ours.
Ok so I have just torn about pretty much every child stage there is. Why would anyone agree to put themselves through it? Well that is simple. It’s worth it. With each challenge is something new. You watch your newborn or infant grow mentally and physically in so many ways. They learn so fast and it’s amazing to watch. You watch your preschool child show their personality and see a little person start. You see your school age child learning things at school and the feeling of accomplishment they have. One of my boys has learned to do the laundry at it amazes him that he can help out. Or my twin who is starting to read, although it is the smaller books compared to what he wants, he’s getting better and he loves to show me.
So all in all being a parent is pretty great! It may not get easier. But the challenge you are fighting through now will not be the same challenge later. Remember to ask for help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to cry. At some point you will look back and realize the good parts too.