Parenting: A job that gets easier or harder?

 

Most things in life  gets easier as we do them longer but not parenting. In fact, I’m becoming more  and more convinced that the year of infancy when they cry, never sleep through  the night, and need you to do everythingfor them is the easiest year. I even recall  older parents telling me to enjoy that year because it just gets harder. Lucky  for me my girls were both amazing night sleepers. My oldest was an easy baby, and  even though my second was a little more difficult, I’m becoming convinced they  were right. They don’t move. You can put them somewhere and they don’t move.  How much easier than that can we get, right?

 

Now I have a four  year old and a one year old. If I want them to stay in one spot, I better buy  them their own individual doggy crate. Not only are they mobile now but they are  into everything. They can take a room and flip it upside down in record time.  Yes, they are more independent, but even though you’ve celebrated that they’re  potty trained, those of us new to this point in parenthood didn’t realize this  was just the start of the “Mommy, come wipe my butt!” phase.

 

Then with that level  of independence comes their decision making process. This is always a  fascinating one to me. My daughter never ceases to amaze me with this one. The  other day she was playing outside with her boy cousin, who I guess decided to  just pee outside. A few minutes later she comes up to where the adults are  sitting on the deck and says, “I pooped behind the tree.”How do you keep a straight face  to that? What do you do? Knowing my daughter she was probably telling the truth,  but I wasn’t about to go down there and look for it. My sister in law came to my  rescue with, “Well, did you wipe?” Of course she said no, so my sister in law  replied with, “I guess you better go do that.”

 

Yes, they can talks  so that should be easier, right? Except now they can lecture you too. My  daughter loves to remind me that I shouldn’t use bad words, which I don’t often  but damnit, I cannot break myself of the word damnit. My husband tells her every  time I let it slip I owe a dollar to the swear jar. Guess they can look at it  this way. By the time we’ve all survived their childhood, I will have enough  saved in that swear jar I can take us all on a first class vacation.

 

As they get older  they develop this thing called a mind of their own. And that mind of theirs  doesn’t always agree with that mind of ours! They get set on things, like a  binkie or not sleeping in their bed, and then we have to do this thing called  real parenting. And real parenting is way harder than just feeding, changing,  and holding them because that’s all we have to do for the most part that first  year. Now you have to let them know that everything is not their way (it’s my  way J ) ,  that we have to have consequences for our actions even when they’re looking at  us with those big pretty eyes and fat tears.

 

But we also have to  teach them. We have to teach them about fairness with their friends and  siblings, about disappointments and how to handle them, about helping others and  doing their homework, and how to be a good person and friend. By the time we’re  done, that first year of parenting is looking more and more like a piece of cake  compared to this real parenting thing.

 

As time goes on and  we butt heads over our differences but share in the joys and the troubles of  their journey of childhood, we realize with each day we love them more than the  day before. Maybe it’s the intensity of that growing love that leads to probably  one of the hardest parts of parenthood-the one that requires us to let them go.

 

 

 

Angela @ Time with A & N (A blog about motherhood one crazy step at a time where sometimes you laugh and sometimes you cry)

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