I’m going to ask you a question that as a parent, I can almost 100% guarantee you have either been asked or you’ve asked someone yourself – Does it get any easier?
Now of course I’m referring to parenting, does teething ever stop, do the sleepless nights go away, how about the tantrums, worry, crazy hormones? As parents we always seem to be asking ourselves and others if it’ll ever get any easier and of course looking for a big fat ‘YES’!
I can remember so vividly asking others this question and you know what I’ve realised? My answer is different to the answer I was always given. Now this is nothing against my friends or family who were merely trying to sugarcoat parenthood and give me hope, I thank them for the answer they gave me of ‘Yes, it gets better’. Looking at my friends toddler sitting so nicely feeding herself, and then looking down at Jasper who after having thrush, tongue tie and me having Mastitis still wouldn’t latch on properly, I honestly felt so much better to hear that it would get better; I could see the other side – the greener grass.
But then I got to the other side, we stopped breastfeeding and moved towards weaning. Yes it was a relief to not have to deal with the constant battle of feeding but was it better? I had to prepare food, Jasper didn’t always like the food I made, he gagged and choked, he made a mess, his nappies – well, they were gross! There were pros and cons to both sides and as much as I loved having the pains of breastfeeding behind me, I also missed holding Jasper in my arms to feed him.
When he first slept through the night I was over the moon to start feeling less like a zombie but then the worry kicked in – 12 hours without seeing him, what if something happens? I also missed that wonderful unexplainable bond you have at 3am – tired or not.
I guess what I’m trying to say is it doesn’t get easier and it doesn’t get worse – it’s the same. It’s always tough, it’s always beautiful and it’s always the perfect balance of challenging and overwhelmingly rewarding.
That’s what I tell my friends when they ask me, I don’t sugarcoat it for them to only go and hit the next tough stage with an almighty slap and wonder why I didn’t warn them. Equally i don’t tell them how tough the next stage is going to be compared to the stage they’re at. I tell them honestly ‘It’s the same’. I reckon right up until we’re great grandparents it’ll still be the same and that thought is both terrifying and wonderful at the same time.
Thanks for reading,