I vaguely remember the early days when my oldest son was born. Like many mothers of newborns I struggled with breastfeeding, battled countless sleepless nights, and dealt with all the anxieties of being a new mom – Is he breathing? Did he eat enough? Did I do enough tummy time today? Then once he started crawling I could no longer lay around with him, I was forced to make sure there was nothing laying around that he could choke on. After the walking started, he wasn’t the only one on the move; chasing a toddler around is exhausting. Then the picky eating and tantrums lead to negotiations and questioning, all the way to straight-up defiance.
With each stage and phase people would comment, “Don’t worry, it gets easier.” Well now that my baby is 4 years old and a big brother to 2 year old twins, I’m really wondering – When does it get easier?
Right now, at this point in my life as a working mother of 3 little one’s, I feel like it’s got to get better from here…. Each day is a constant struggle of balancing my family, work, and sense of self. I feel that once one thing gets easier (my twins are napping for 3 hours a day) something unexpected pops up causing me stress (all three kids refuse to eat anything other than french fries).
I’ve somewhat come to terms with the fact that it’s never going to get easier…just different. No matter what we do to change things, life goes on and our children will grow and change. I can either accept this or slowly drive myself insane. So…here are a few ways I’ve been dealing with the question of when it gets easier.
I take lots of deep breaths! Of course I can yell and scream after the fifth time I’ve told my big boy to clean up his toys. Of course I can complain about random strangers constantly reminding me, “You’ve got your hands full.” Of course I can stress about my little guy refusing to go to sleep. But guess what? It’s not worth it! It’s just a little blip in time and someday I’m going to miss a messy house full of toys and the late night snuggles.
Talk it out! Lately I feel like I’ve been complaining about my kids, but it’s different when you are sharing your feelings with other moms who are going through similar experiences. It’s such a reassuring feeling to know that you are not alone.
I’ve lowered my expectations! Hear me out on this one! I’ve decided to cut myself some slack; I’ve given up on the idea that I can do it all. Some days it’s okay to leave the house a mess, or run the same load of laundry through the wash 3 times because you keep forgetting it’s in there. As long as my kids are happy and healthy my job as a mom is done!
Think about the future! Sometimes I get so stuck in the day to day life of being a mom that I don’t think long term. Right now the thought of potty training my twins seems near impossible, but in 15 years the thought of my children as teenagers gives me heart palpitations!
So, it might not get easier anytime soon, but it will definitely get a lot more interesting. I just hope I can enjoy each phase and stage and the unexpected journey that life is guaranteed to bring?
What are your thoughts? When does it get easier?