When I was younger, I remember regularly asking my mom what her favorite age for me was. And her reply was always,
I enjoyed you as a baby, but I love the age you are now.”
As I sit here today, looking at my daughter who is almost four years old, I think to myself, “I may finally have this motherhood thing down.” My daughter is potty trained, enjoys being independent, and plays for hours on her own with her dollies. She is in preschool twice a week, I can enjoy full conversations with her, and she’s understanding consequences… it’s amazing! However, in all honesty, we still have days where I look at her and question if I should call a priest because she is acting possessed.
I often find myself thinking of the early days of motherhood and all the ups and downs that came along with being a new parent. Sure, it was nice when she wasn’t mobile and I could put her in her baby carrier to get stuff done. But I also remember being very emotionally and physically exhausted. Being up all hours of the night to feed her and pump was exhausting! The learning curve of figuring out what all of her different cries meant was rough.
For me, the most difficult age was 15 months to 2 years old. She didn’t yet understand what ‘NO’ meant but she was walking/running and didn’t want to sit still. She wanted to be independent but her communication skills were still developing… hello meltdowns. Talk about exhausting!
Don’t get me wrong ladies. I know we all have different parenting styles and my parenting style may not be yours, but when you look at your sweet child and are questioning when parenthood will get easier, just know you are doing a great job! I truly believe it doesn’t get easier, but simply changes and becomes different.
Trying to look ahead at what motherhood has in store, I see a great deal of fun and enjoyment, and I also see stress and worry. There will come a day when the meltdowns will be gone but the drama of raising a hormone filled teenager will step in. There will be a day where my main worry will be the influence of society. Will she make the right choices? Will she say no to drugs? Will she believe she’s a strong confident girl and stand up for herself? Will she walk away from others making poor decisions?
The thing is, I can’t let those worries consume me. Just like everything in parenthood, I will find a new balance, take it day by day, and find that every stage of my child’s life is ever-changing, challenging and amazing.