2014-THANKSgiving

Parenting: It Doesn’t Get Better

242 Comments

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.

Comments

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    • 2

      Kristin says

      I thought the same thing!
      All of my friend either have much older kids or no kids at all yet. And all the ones with the older kids have reassured me that it gets easier.

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  1. 3

    Alison@Mama Wants This says

    I’m expecting my 2nd in a few weeks and I already know that with a toddler and a newborn – it’s going to be harder to parent the toddler than the baby. So yes, parenting is not going to get easier, it just changes. Or dare I say, maybe even harder.

    Hey, babies don’t talk back right?

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    • 4

      Stephanie says

      I have a 12 year old, a 2 year old, and a newborn. The newborn causes the least stress, hands down. It actually gets harder the older they get…Mommy kisses soon stop being able to make it all better, and you can’t keep them safe by putting them in a sling or Snugli anymore.

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  2. 8

    Not a Perfect Mom says

    totally…
    I’m way more tired now than when they were younger and all I had to worry about was getting to kindermusic or whatever ridiculous activity I was doing with the first and second born…

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  3. 9

    peach says

    And if you have a child with autism sometimes all it gets is harder. Therapy appointments every week, meetings with the school all the time, explaining behavior to new friends, etc.

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    • 10

      Bunny says

      But you will reap the pure joy. We live next door to 21 severely autistic boy, have for 16 years. Many trying times but lots of joy just watching him. You’re in many prayers.

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      • 11

        pam bailey says

        Hey agree. The boy (now a young man of 15) is also brain damaged, legally blind (he CAN see really well close up) as his optic nerve was damaged, minimal cp (that fellow can RUN) many problems, but to me, as I tell people, he is one of the few people in this world that I have met that makes sense. He’s also a music savant, never forgets anything including noises, (tho he can’t remember his address) and he and I connected from day one. I thank God for the opportunity to have met and known him, I’ve learned more about life from Willie than anyone. I recently moved out of state and I miss him (I was his Personal Care Attendant for 7 years besides knowing from birth). He was born at 1 lb 4 ounces and is pure of heart.

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  4. 13

    Kristin Shaw says

    This sentence right here made me laugh out loud – I’m right there with you!
    “The bags under your eyes and the poochy stomach will go away. They will? Clearly I’m doing something wrong.”

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  5. 15

    Anna says

    i hear you. also, as they get older they may sleep more hours consecutively then they did as babies, but you will end up with spending the same number of hours “helping” with science projects, scale models of historical homes, and my personal undoing: the 3-D pop-up book my child was required to make (she chose janet jackson).

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    • 17

      Beth says

      I thought it was just my house. My 3.5yo sleeps beautifully. Her brother, the 6.5 year old. DOES. NOT. SLEEP. I think I will die if he doesn’t start sleeping soon. Seriously.

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      • 18

        Taryn says

        OMG. my house, too. My almost 9 month old is sleeping wonderfully. My almost 4 year old thinks bedtime = partytime!! I go to work in a caffeinated haze every.single.day.

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        • 19

          Jenna says

          Oh my! My 8 year old is the worst sleeper ever! She slept like a dream as an infant. I long for the day that I don’t wake up to her at the bottom of my bed – she quickly learned that she can sneak in there and mom and dad won’t know unless she kicks. Oh, and dad is notorious for just getting up and sleeping on the couch if she comes to our bed!

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    • 20

      maria says

      My eight year-old also doesn’t sleep. She either needs to sleep with us (we let her every Friday night) or she tosses and turns and gets up to come to our room at all hours of the night.

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  6. 21

    Kate says

    Bags and stomach pooch go away?

    WHO IS THIS PERSON? OMG.

    I’m right there with you. Mine just get larger, and the pooch gets even more misshapen and odd. Not bigger, I guess, just, I don’t know, saggier?

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  7. 24

    Amber says

    Maybe it is because I spaced my 12 years apart, but it totally got easier for me! In fact it got way easier by the time the first was 12 – she was doing her own laundry (since she was 7 – my husband was in the military and forced that) and is a really good kid.

    …and then we went and had another one. The one year old might give us a run for our money. She’s got a sweet-mischievous side that is barrels of fun and has me convinced I’ll never have a clean house again!

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  8. 25

    RachRiot says

    Aw, shitsnacks! I was just hoping to make it out of the “terrible two’s” alive.. My daughter just turned 6 and I see no light at the end of the terrible tunnel. *sigh*

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  9. 34

    Stephanie says

    Uhhhh…maybe with one kid, and even that’s debatable. My twins are 13 months old and still not sleeping through the night, so phooey on that. And the laundry? You’re completely right, it just gets bigger, and, at this point, never makes it back up to anyone’s bureau. Devon, come on over and sleep on my couch for a few days. You’ll be singing a completely different tune.

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