So when the kids were babies, I used to wonder when things would get easier. It was tough when they were so helpless and couldn’t do anything but cry to communicate. There was constant nursing, diaper changes, carrying or at least they seemed constant. Then they became toddlers and the crying turned into talking, which was better. The meal times became more normal too if you exclude the need for snacks all the time. Now they could walk around so there was less carrying too. However, the diaper changing turned into a struggle to potty-train and the carrying became less frequent but much heavier. Is it better yet?
Then preschool age came and they started understanding a bit more so we could reason with them. Yet, they didn’t understand enough so the temper-tantrums continued. The potty training was successful but now we had to constantly drop what we were doing when we were out to find public restrooms. We had to stand and wait in the restaurant restroom for them while everyone else enjoyed their meals. We would come out just in time to have cold food and get the check. Shopping became a lot harder because they no longer were trapped in their strollers so we had to chase them around the racks more than browse. Is it better yet?
Now we are at the elementary school age. They can now bathe and feed themselves (though sometimes the feeding can take ages). There are no more strollers and car seats to deal with so things are physically easier. But, there is homework and projects and music and sports practices. There is a struggle to make them do all their work before playing or watching TV. Often the projects become as much work the parents as for the kids. There are always school events to attend and volunteer for. The kids now have a lot more of their own opinions and there are a lot more arguments. There is more talking back and every instruction results in the question ‘why?’. There is suddenly a lot more fighting to referee between the siblings because their personalities are growing stronger and more independent. There is also a great deal of pressure to make them successful in academics and activities. We want the best for them and things are very competitive these days. This ends up making us struggle between turning into ‘tiger moms’ and making sure our kids are happy and enjoy their childhood. Is it better yet?
I’m sure the tween and teenage years have many of their own challenges which I can’t yet speak to. I guess it doesn’t get easier to be a parent, it just keeps changing. I suppose I should enjoy the good stuff and breathe through the rough stuff. I should keep in mind that ‘this too shall pass’, and then it might likely get worse!