Wednesday, May 19, 2010

"It gets easier!"

Parents of older babies/toddlers are always telling parents of newborns, "Hang in there! It gets easier!" I don't get this. Is this a breastfeeding thing? A lack of sleep thing?

I know I have an exceptionally easy baby. He was just as happy to be held as not held. He slept through the night at about 14 weeks, and had only 1 wake-up per night starting around 8-10 weeks. He doesn't really fuss or complain. He's happy to play by himself.

However, now that he's much more aware of what's going on and he's becoming mobile, he is demanding much more attention. I can't just plop him in a bouncy seat and make dinner. To me, it's getting HARDER. (Not that it's hard, really. It just takes a little more energy now.)

Yes, the feedings are less frequent now. But he used to nap ANYWHERE in the infant bucket seat. I could just carry it in the house and he'd continue to sleep. That doesn't happen any more. I can still transfer him from the car seat to the crib and he'll go back to sleep sometimes, but not every time. And as time goes on, this will happen less and less. That's not easier.

I don't get it. What's this "It gets easier!" thing about?


Flying Monkeys said...

I'm not sure. Each stage has it's own "struggles". Maybe it's primarily the sleep thing, when they learn to communicate more (we used signs at first) understanding more of their needs gets easier. On the other hand watching them slowing get more and more independent...not so easy.

DrSpouse said...

I have a feeling this is something parents of school age children say!

Delenn said...

I agree...its not really any easier...I guess it is more that you and the child grow into your routines, etc.

Frankly, to me, each stage of a child's life seems to have those trade offs where some things get easier, but other things...just get harder.

I guess we say those things to people with newborns (especially first time parents) because they are often times experiencing Parent Boot Camp--whereas the rest of us are past that initial shock and awe and unto the trials, tribulations and joys of parenthood...

Sue said...

I think it's always hard - it's just hard in a different way.

Almamay said...

I'm with you on this. Let me know what the answer is.

Anonymous said...

I can totally see what you mean. Now that K can roll, I can't just stick her somewhere and do my own thing. I am sure the more mobile she gets, the harder it will be.

ultimatejourney said...

I was never able to just plop A somewhere and do chores. When she was young, I rarely got through the shower before she was hollering at me. I rarely ate dinner without her hollering at me. Even after she was drinking from bottles and sleeping through the night.

For me, it has gotten easier b/c she is more able to play independently more and more. (This has really only started in the last couple months, and as you know A is 2.) I can't even remember the last time I got hollered at in the shower. Dinner prep is still next-to-impossible b/c A still wants to be held while I do it. But overall, it's easier.

I truly believe it's a personality thing. Some children want what they want and don't back down easily. Others can be distracted into forgetting. I have a friend whose 4 year old daughter has a similar personality to A and she, too, acted this way from a very young age.

There are things I love about being the center of A's universe (other than herself, that is.) But my goodness, it is exhausting!

All this to say, count yourself lucky :)

Anonymous said...

I think it would be more accurate to say "it gets different". Because it does. It might be easier or not, depending on your child.

Since you mentioned it, breastfeeding definitely gets easier. That's an overall easier though, because it's still different - the challenges of breastfeeding a newborn are different to breastfeeding an almost-2-yr-old.

I think that usually it's something to say when things suck. My 6yr old never slept, screamed constantly. It was actually good to be reminded that someday it would get easier. Would've been nice to know WHEN though! Same with the 3 months of BFing struggles with my now 21 month old.

Now, as my 6yr old gains maturity, some things are certainly getting easier, but again different struggles arise.


Robin said...

Getting "easier" must be after potty training... and when you can tell them to go watch TV at 7 am on Saturday morning when you want to sleep and you don't have to worry about them getting hurt or burning the house down.