Parenting: It Doesn't Get Better
I read a post today that was directed towards new moms in the midst of sleepless nights and incessant diaper changing and sore nipples. In an effort to comfort these struggling moms, author Devon Corneal wrote that "Things will get easier. Things will get better… You just have to get through the first year."
All the power to Devon; clearly she's a glass half full kind of girl. My glass, however, is always half empty. And, full of backwash from my disgusting children.
It's true: You won't always be walking through life in a complete haze or sterilizing baby bottles for the rest of your life, but in my brief experience, parenting doesn't get any easier. I look back on those days of schlepping around an infant carrier and complaining about spit-ups as the easiest I'll ever have it. I'm sorry, new moms. Truly.
Your child will eventually sleep through the night. This may be true, but you will never get a full night's sleep again. I'm constantly awoken by bad dreams and wet beds and dread the day I'll inevitably stay awake waiting for my teenager to waltz through the door three seconds before curfew. Sleep will never be the same again.
You will not have to do three loads of laundry a day forever. Oh, how I wish this were the case for me. Sure, you won't need to wash out baby puke and clean up after explosive diarrhea which seeped out of the diaper, but your kid will suddenly stink up his or her clothes. They'll change 16 times a day. And trip on the grass. And play sports. And eat like a pig. The laundry doesn't stop, and the clothes get a hell of a lot less cute to fold.
You'll get rid of the infant seat altogether. How I celebrated that beautiful day… Until I attempted to transfer a sleeping toddler inside without keeping her in the same comfy position.
Your baby will stop staring vacantly at the ceiling and will smile at you. The smiles are indeed glories. But, then come the scowls and the frowns and the pouts. Vacancy is far preferable.
If you're breastfeeding, you'll be able to stop. … And your boobs will look like deflated tube socks.
You'll learn what all the different cries mean. And, each and every one of them will cause you to go a little more insane.
The bags under your eyes and the poochy stomach will go away. They will? Clearly I'm doing something wrong.
Slowly but surely, the claustrophobic bubble of parenting that consumes you when your kids are infants will burst. And, once they start making friends of their own, you'll wish for that bubble back.
So, no, I wouldn't say that parenting gets easier. It gets different. It gets fun. It gets fulfilling. It gets amazing.
But, easier? In my dreams.