I used to love to talk to other young moms. And by “talk,” I mean commiserate. Bitch. Moan and groan. Complain.
But admittedly, I was very coy about starting the Whine Session. My go-to question was always, “Does it get any easier?”
When this question comes out of the mouth of a 27-year-old woman with two toddlers and another on the way, a seasoned mother, or just one with a heart, will answer the question with a question.
“What do you mean by ‘easier'”
Honestly? I know the answer now. Do you REALLY want to know?
The answer to my naïve, passive-aggressive question, is no. Let me say that again, this time with feeling.
NO. It does not get easier.
In fact (if you have a glass of wine in front of you right now, this would be the time to start drinking)….it gets HARDER.
When you long for the days of no diapers, no diapers means your child is walking and talking.
When your child is walking and talking, preschool is on the horizon.
When you are so tired dressing and re-dressing your child every day, kindergarten is not far behind.
And this is where the time warp starts.
You long for the day for your child to be in school full time because that means YOU have more time.
Again. WRONG. (Need a refill on that cabernet yet?)
Time begins to speed up as your child enters school almost in direct proportion to the amount of soccer/baseball/piano/karate or other lessons begin.
The six hours from 9 AM until 3 PM are now reduced to feel exactly like an hour and a half.
It gets harder when your child is away from you more. I missed my children. My children were under the influence of other people. Thankfully we had amazing teachers and schools all the way through, including college.
It gets harder when you trade sleepless nights from a fussy baby to sleepless nights when your child is past curfew. And not answering their texts. And their phone is going straight to voicemail. (Experienced Mom’s Note: This is 99.9 % of the time due to a child who has left the house without their phone charger. THIS is the honest truth.)
It gets harder when you begin to look back as all parents do and begin to regret decisions you have made. It gets harder when you realize you have one chance with each kid and you might have done a few things to blow it.
It gets harder when you try to make up for those times when you weren’t especially proud of your parental behavior and you realize that oh my gosh…my kid is 18 already.
It gets harder when you realize one Saturday afternoon, formerly taken up by soccer games or trips to the lake, that not a single member of your family is in the same zip code or even area code at that moment. Heck, my entire family won’t even be on the same continent for months and months to come.
So there’s the truth. Yes, it gets harder. If you know that now, you will rejoice in whatever season you are right now as a mom and rejoicing means you begin to experience a new appreciation for your kids.
Honestly….your kids know when you find them a joy or a burden.
Right now. Before it gets harder. Rejoice in your season. The next one is going to be more challenging.