Thursday, January 5, 2012

To all those who say "it doesn't get any easier"

To all those who say "it doesn't get any easier, just different."

I say bollocks. And so does Mr Dreaming Aloud. As do many of our friends.

We say - you forget just how hard little children were.

Or perhaps you truly were lucky enough to have little angels. Or perhaps you just had one. Or perhaps you had lots and lots of child care. Or probably you really were the perfect parent. You never slumped on the sofa halfway through a day wondering how you were going to make it through the rest of it.

But perhaps I'm being a littler harsh, perhaps your teenagers breastfed through the night, waking you 8-10-12 times a night, every night,  for 6 years.

Perhaps they lay on the ground in the middle of a shopping mall or car park and kicked and screamed and would not move.

You're right, all ten year olds I know give you stretchmarks all over your body and play havock with your hormones as you gestate, deliver and feed them. All eight year olds are so attached that you lose your body and freedom to their every whim for about two and a half years.

Sure teenage vegetarian phases rival three children under seven each of whom will not eat what the other does, want it cut up in a certain way, and are incapable of feeding themselves so you are morally obliged to provide food otherwise social services will call - even though you know they will not eat it.

If you had a baby or two who slept then bully for you. But we didn't. We don't. And nothing and no one can begin to understand the levels of sleep deprivation under which I and so many other parents live for YEARS.

So the next time you tell parents of very young children that it doesn't get any easier even when they're grown up, just stop.  Please, please look into that parent's bleary eyes, make them a cup of tea, and tell them they're doing a wonderful job and that it will get easier... Even if you're lying through your teeth!


  1. Oh, honey! It gets so much easier! The wonderful moment when you can call from the bathroom, "Hey! Pour the cereal for your brother. I'm taking a shower!" is magic.

    It's coming. I promise.


  2. That's more like it. Thank you Seonaid! Xx

  3. I hear you, mine are night wakers they certainly are not angels, although I still love them with eveyr ounce of my being. I'm waiting for the day it gets easier too and I shall as other friends have babies be the one making them tea lying through my teeth just to keep them sane - wish someone had done that for me!
    Raising my (cold) cup of tea to us!

    Much love X

  4. Oh Amen to this, Amen and yet here we go again! I either have a short memory or am a sadist on some level. It HAS to get easier at some stage, the burning in my bloodshot eyes tells me that.

  5. Thanks Rose. Chai cheers all round. Now off to make supper... Which will go mainly uneaten, no doubt. Theres a Juno article being written about that as we speak.

    But all well here really. Except for very little sleep, and teething baby, and sick boy... Am very excited about imminent e book launch.

  6. Oh, hugs Maria. But it's like SO totally worth it! Really. Totally.

  7. Hi, I understand the sleep deprivation! I have two sets of twins. My eldest are 9 and my youngest are 4 - all home-ed and it's the bloody hardest job I have ever had in my life. I flipping well hope it gets easier. Love your blog :-)

  8. I bet lots of parents are dreaming aloud about the day they can call out stick the kettle on love!

    I was just about to down tools for the day and moan about having to start my other job, but reading this Im reminded that Im lucky to be a mammy! The best job of all!

  9. I just spend the weeked with the parents of a 10 month old + the kid and I totally see you!

    I don't have kids of my own, but I have learned that everything gets easier with time. That's the beauty of being human: we're learning and adapting and growing into our roles every single day.

    Sending love and peace.

  10. if it does not get easier I will hang myself... it has to, this job is inhuman, and mine are not even bad sleepers. But 3 kids under 4 is enough to drive the biggest saint up the wall. September backons me like a shining beacon of hope, at least one of them will start school and the youngest should be able to walk by then and save my aching back. That is what will make it easier for me, have a few hours during the day to recharge... No I don't even get a loo break.

  11. Oh god yes we've had this from parents and I just wanted to shoot them. I mean, why would you say this to someone who is currently going through the hell of sleep deprivation? Don't they remember at ALL what that is like or did they put their child in the annexe for the first two years and ignore them completely (actually I think that may be how I was raised, but that's another matter, lol).

    It all comes back to the competitiveness thing - my kids are brighter/taller/heavier/better behaved and harder work all at the same time than yours. Next time someone says this to you, just walk away!

    And in all honesty I know it gets easier because we're getting there (slowly). The rewards are greater, the challenges are different *and* easier. Although I'm not looking forward to the teenage years....

    You have THREE kids under 5 (I think?!). That's immense and I don't know HOW you do it. Especially whilst still nightwaking and after several years of doing so.

    Actually, no you don't get my sympathy after all because clearly you must be superhuman or have house elves to look after everything for you. I can barely get dressed in the morning, never mind focussing on articles and projects - which is always left until after bedtime by which point I'm so brain dead all I'm fit for is making inane and rambling comments on your posts ;)


  12. Oh Karien, hugs, hugs, hugs, it will get better.

    Zoe, love it! No, no house elves, they'd die of chaos here! We have a cleaner for 2 hours once a week who is an angel in rubber gloved form. She is our luxury who keeps us sane. When I'm rich, ie. when you all buy multiple copies of my books and send them up the best seller list, I'm getting a cleaner every day... and a macrobiotic chef! That'd make me a much nicer mama.

    Grainne, Angela, Marthe - thank you for the empathy - Angela - 2 set sof twins - and you're still alive - wowser, there's a strong mama!

  13. Well hello there dearest, just back from Spain and catching up. There is never a dull moment here at Dreaming Aloud! I want to leave comments on all your posts I've missed but quite simply am emotionally exhausted tonight after a hair-raising plane landing from hell that has left me rather shaken tonight! But what I will say is this. I don't think you are depressed. I think you are feeling, living, experiencing the full emotions of life and motherhood 100%, and that involves feeling the ecstasies and the agonies. sure you could dose yourself up on some kind of 'happy pills' and experience a perfectly sanitised motherhood, feeling neither too happy or sad....ever. Feeling the same all the time?! Big fat boolacks to that I say! Feel it, ride it, say it like it is, like it is for all of us who live out loud and don't apologise for who you are or justify yourself to anyone. You are a wild, gorgeous woman and mama nature is one wild woman too!!!! It can't always be sunny and calm. So many women are loving your honesty and empathise completely, I so feel your every word about wanting to run away, then wanting nothing more than to be with the kiddos again! You are doing a fantastic job just surviving each day, and yes, it honestly does get easier. I absolutely promise! xxxxxxxx

  14. Yo, MF, missed you lots. Missed your tell it as it is feisty, beautiful, accepting self my friend. No I'm not depressed, at times skirting round the edges, but who wouldn't be on this little sleep with as much going on in their world. No tis all good, big wide, full living and feeling here. And lots and lots of happy, rich moments, episodes, every day. So much to sing from the rooftops with thankfulness for.

    Glad you're back xx

  15. Hello, just wanted to pick your brain and thoughts, is that ok? If you have a little time (what am I saying, time, with 3 kids...ahem)
    Anyway, remember a (long) while back we talked schools? We are in the middle of choosing now. Local, walking distance state school vs further afield, brand new, not yet opened free school (montessori inspired) I an leaning towards the latter, but boy, what a tough choice. I just posted a piece about it, the dutch version started quite a debate but I am keen to hear some thoughts from a different perspective. I remember you went for the local option, am I right? This school would be still in town, 10 minutes drive, but the other one is 100 meters from our house, right next to the girls nursery. Dilemma.

  16. Hey Karien, have emailed you x

    Laura - x

  17. I have three kids, aged 12, 9 and 7. And no matter how much I love them, I wouldn't have another baby if you paid me. I had my last child at age 40 and it was the hardest work I have ever done in my entire life. Her first word was the standard 'no' and she hasn't stopped saying it. It was 8 years before I managed to get my own bed back because when one stopped wanting in, another one decided THEY wanted. Fortunately, none of them throw themselves on the floor anymore, or scream continually in the shopping trolley, and they can now TELL me where it hurts.
    Everytime I see a Mum in the supermarket, one child hanging off her leg begging for sweeties, while the other one is crying in the seat, I just want to put my arms around her and say "this too will pass", and make her a cup of tea :)
    xxx Hugs, hon.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...