Wednesday, October 23, 2013

It gets easier, and it doesn't

I once thought having an infant was difficult, but now I realize that when I had an infant I didn't expect very much from myself.  I slept instead of staying up to read.  I napped when the baby napped.  Despite having a 6-year-old who wakes me like a baby, I don't give myself permission to be a tired momma who does nothing and doesn't feel like a sad sack of stuff because of it.

I once thought having two little boys age 2 and under was exhausting, but now I realize that having a 6-year-old and 4-year-old is more tiring because some tissue paper and measuring cups isn't fascinating to them anymore.  They need to be "entertained" in a way they didn't when they were smaller, and that requires more effort on my part (or more guilt if I just let them vegetate in front of the tv for awhile).

I once thought being with my children all day long, 13+ hours, listening to them fight, having all 3 of them talk to me at once would be easier once I only had one to deal with most of the day.  I thought that my energy reserve from not being with all three of them would allow me to function more gracefully in the 6 hours of the day that I am with them.  But I now realize that having 3 children with me, who fight with each other and all talk to me or need things from me at the same time, is just plain tiring, whether it is 12+ hours or half of that.

(Sometimes I think the daily "break of one child" is a curse because I forget the chaos of morning only to remember it when afternoon chaos commences.)

I once thought (because I'd heard some urban legend) that parenting gets easier as kids get older, but I haven't found that to be the case with kids 9, 6 and 4 years old.

It simply gets different.  

1 comment:

Kelsey said...

I think it might be less physically demanding (they don't screw w/ your sleep as much) but I also think it feels more stressful because all the decisions seem bigger...