Hang On, Mama! It Will Get Better

by Susie Johnson
Originally Published: 

If you are breastfeeding your newborn and your nipples hurt like a motherfucker and nobody warned you about that part and it’s almost time for a feeding and you don’t know if you can deal with the pain, it will get better. I promise.

If your kid isn’t sleeping through the night and you are wondering if it is possible to actually die from exhaustion, it will get better. I promise.

If your 2-year-old’s response to every single request you make is NO!, it will get better. It probably won’t be until she is five or six. But it will get better. I promise.

If you have signed your kid up for basketball but he is just too terrified to participate and you fear he will never, ever take part in a team sport, it will get better. I promise.

If your kid is starting preschool in three weeks and he pees in the potty but will only take a shit in a Pull-Up while he is hiding in the back of his closet or behind the couch and you are sure that you will be wiping his ass until he is in middle school, it will get better. One day, when you least expect it, he will go poop in the potty. I promise.

If you have had to replace more than one toilet because your kid flushed a fucking Duplo block or pair of scissors or a Fisher Price action figure or a toothbrush down the drain and it became lodged in a spot where you couldn’t get to it no matter what you did, it will get better. I promise.

If your kid gets carsick and you have to travel with multiple sets of clothing, towels, washcloths and garbage bags in your car at all times, it will get better. Your kid will probably grow out of it. And if he doesn’t, eventually he will at least be able to tell you that you need to pull over so he can puke. I promise.

If your kid, out of nowhere, at 7 or 8 or 9 years old has started wetting the bed at night, it will get better. It is a phase. It will end. I promise.

If you can’t even consider jumping on a trampoline because even the slightest breeze past your nether regions causes you to pee your pants, well, actually, unless you have surgery, that won’t get better. But you are not alone. I promise.

If your kid begins to cry hysterically in the babysitting room at the gym the second you hand her to one of the babysitters and someone comes and gets you off the treadmill ten minutes after you step onto it, it will get better. As long as you keep going. I promise.

If you have sworn off going to the beach because your child crawls directly into the ocean and eats sand by the fistfuls, and you can’t even get your butt down on a chair for five seconds before she is about to choke on a shell, it will get better. One day you really will be able to sit and read a book while your kids are playing and not constantly in imminent danger. I promise.

If your child’s favorite activity is to splash around in the toilet bowl or the dog’s dish, it will get better. He will move on to less annoying things to play with. I promise.

If you hate going to the pool because you spend the entire time walking directly behind your 18-month-old in an effort to prevent him from flinging himself into the water, it will get better. I promise.

If a trip to the playground means you spend the entire time alternating between pushing your kid (who you are positive will never learn to pump her legs the right way) on the swings and standing next to the slide so she doesn’t plunge to her doom off the side of the thing on the way down, it will get better. Someday you will be able to sit on a bench and just watch her. I promise.

If your 3-year-old took a clump of hair from the middle of her forehead and chopped it off with scissors three millimeters from her scalp the day before you had scheduled your family photo shoot, it will get better. You may cry the day it happens. But eventually, you will laugh about it. I promise.

If, while in the grocery store, your son asks the lady in front of you why she has a beard or the dude behind you why he has boobs, that feeling of nausea will pass, your heart rate will return to the double digits, and it will get better. And one day when your kids are grown and your friend with the 4-year-old tells you how he pointed at the overweight woman and screamed out WHY IS THAT LADY SO FAT?, you will tell her the bearded lady or man boob story. And you will laugh. I promise.

In fact, one day, you will look back on all of these scenarios and none of them will seem all that bad.

Because then your kids will be teenagers. And that will make the Pull Up-pooping and the Lego-flushing and the toilet bowl-splashing and the sand-eating and the bloody nipple-breastfeeding scenarios seem desirable. I promise.

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