When parenting sucks…

With both my babies I somehow figured things would be messiest in the first few weeks then would calm down ’round about say three months – Ophelia is eleven weeks old today so ’round about now! It didn’t work out that way last time and I’m not sure how but I managed to forget between then and now!

With Talitha it was hard around now because of her breastfeeding problems and because she was my first, the lifechanger. With Ophelia, breastfeeding is so textbook and she’s such an easy baby to look after. We can’t work out if that’s because of our experience or her temperament or a bit of both. Babies really are easier the second time around.

Balancing the needs of a little baby and an almost three-year-old, though? That’s what’s strenuous about these days on the tail-end of the birth-y afterglow. That’s dreadfully obvious, isn’t it? I expected it to be hard. I didn’t expect to be lured into a false sense of security in the first couple of months!

when parenting sucks 2

There are just so many questions. And I don’t means “Why?” and “What are you doing?” Talitha has given those a rest, thankfully! Those are no match for the ones going round and round in my head these days. The ones I ask myself fall into three categories:

Why does this situation suck?
Who has the greater need right now? Who has to cry alone for a bit? Who’s it going to affect more? Which battles do we pick? Where are our limits? Do I think about this present moment or the years down the road?

Why do these kids suck?
Why do they have to cry at the same time? Why are babies designed to be so needy? Why do people go on about the terrible twos when it’s the threenagers who get you? How do you make her stay and listen to all you say? How do you keep a wave upon the sand?

Why do I suck?
Shouldn’t I be better at this?!!!

sisters

Then it’s a new day. We’ve all had a sleep. I’ve had my first cuppa. They’re smiling and chatting to each other. And I ask…

Why did I ever think it sucked?


32 Comments

  1. May 12, 2014 / 5:59 pm

    Because it sucks for us all sometimes. As I said last night, it’s part of this adventure called parenting and I believe it’s what makes us better at it in the long run. I’m glad that today is a much better day ๐Ÿ™‚ x
    Carolin recently posted..Sleep well event with Next Home and Garden

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:13 am

      Thanks for reassuring me both that night when I was having the hard time and after when I’m feeling much better about it all! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. May 12, 2014 / 6:38 pm

    Like Carolin says, it all sucks for us all sometimes! I’m absolutely terrible if I have disturbed sleep (HAHA I shouldn’t have had two children then ๐Ÿ˜‰ and that’s when it’s the most horrendous for me. It’s funny how much easier things get after I have my precious sleep.

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:18 am

      I’ll often get UNBELIEVABLY stressed about something then take a step back only to realise that I desperately need some rest!

  3. May 12, 2014 / 6:56 pm

    Oh, it must be so hard having two. I find dealing with the needs of a toddler hard enough some days, I can’t imagine what would happen if there was a newborn in the mix too! I bet some days are tough, but others are wonderful beyond words – just focus on the wonderful days, and remember that the tough ones will end at bedtime xx
    Fiona recently posted..The Grand Unveiling of Watching You Grow

  4. May 12, 2014 / 7:46 pm

    You think it sucks sometimes because you care so much. Because you care so much, you don’t suck at all. Thani goodness for cuppas eh?

  5. May 12, 2014 / 7:54 pm

    It definitely sucks for everyone sometimes, thankfully the good times outweigh the bad!!!
    Polly recently posted..Olaf!

  6. May 12, 2014 / 8:06 pm

    Three years olds are such hard work, I wasn’t prepared for it at all. I really struggled to find a balance between looking after my two in those first few months. Now things are totally balanced but I still struggle because it’s bloody hard work, mentally and physically. What annoyed me even more is that when Matt had them on Saturday they were angels all day and he said it was a ‘piece of cake’! When I have them they moan and play up. Wine is definitely my good friend these days ๐Ÿ˜‰ x
    Jess @ Along Came Cherry recently posted..Next Home and Garden Event

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:23 am

      Laurence always seems to find it easier with Talitha than I do. I think it’s just because I’m the one who’s around more, so she can be freer with her emotions with me. Mind you, he struggles with two of them on his own as well but he’s only had to do it a few bedtimes while I was learning to drive and I think anyone would have trouble doing bedtime with the newborn and a toddler!

      I found it so helpful talking to you and reading about how you struggled with balance. It meant I went in a bit more prepared. So thank you for that. x

  7. May 12, 2014 / 11:41 pm

    Parenting is such a rollercoaster and we still have days that are easier and days where I am determined to change my name as I cannot listen to ‘mummmmyyyyy’ one more time! It will get easier and then harder again and then easier. You are doing a brilliant job and you have two beautiful baby girls x
    Bex @ The Mummy Adventure recently posted..Win a Cosatto Giggle in Oaker

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:24 am

      Haha, I can identify with that “Mummmyyyyy”! Sometimes it takes everything in me to calmly talk about friendly voices versus whiny voices instead of just running away! Thanks for your encouragement, lovely.

  8. May 13, 2014 / 9:04 am

    I can only begin to imagine how difficult it must be sometimes! I find it hard enough on some days with just one! I guess its hard to forget in the moment when you’re pulling your hair out that in fact its not always this way! I think you’re doing an amazing job!
    abigail recently posted..found

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:26 am

      That is so true. It’s like when you have a bad cold and you think, “I will never feel well again” (or am I the only one who does this?). Thanks, hon. x

  9. May 13, 2014 / 9:22 am

    We only have one baby, so I’ve no idea what’s it’s like with two, but all those questions streaming out of you… I can totally relate to that state of mind. And then yeah, you wake up to another day and it flips right back on its head again. It can be mentally exhausting and I think that’s often overlooked and under-rated once you pass through certain “milestones”!

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:27 am

      Small children are small children no matter how many you have! I severely underestimated what the mental exhaustion could be like before I had any. ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. May 13, 2014 / 9:43 am

    Oh Adele! You are doing so well, I can’t even imagine having to juggle two little people’s needs! x
    Fritha recently posted..Blogtacular

  11. May 13, 2014 / 10:03 am

    Oh I so agree with you on threenager. Tough. Tough. Tough. So glad he’s nearly 4.
    The comment above from Bex about wanting to change her name… I have often felt like that.
    No matter what you say though I am desperate for a second baby.
    xx

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:29 am

      I definitely would not put you off a second baby. There may be stressful moments but they are but moments. We already feel like our family was just waiting for Ophelia to arrive!

  12. May 13, 2014 / 12:19 pm

    I know days like this, so many questions and no real answers and I agree looking back my son is much harder being a three year old than he every was being two. It’s great to hear Ophelia is easy to breastfeed and it’s going well. Your a great mother and never doubt your ability ๐Ÿ™‚

    Laura x
    Laura recently posted..Interior inspiration Day with HomeSense

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:31 am

      I think it’s just that they go through this huge leap at three where they can reason more and therefore disagree with you more and you have to learn how to relate to them on a new level instead of expecting to be the one making all the decisions sweepingly, if you know what I mean?

  13. May 13, 2014 / 1:42 pm

    It’s a rollercoaster, isn’t it? I can have so many ups and downs in a day – an hour – it’s not even true! And I’m totally with you about the false sense of security. The first 12 weeks with my two were absolutely blissful. So peaceful and we all seemed so attuned.

    If you haven’t read What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen I heartily recommend it. A friend recommended it to me as I had fallen into the trap of feeling like I’d ‘done nothing all day’ if I hadn’t achieved something tangible beyond simply being a mother to two very young children.

    I can’t say it’s got ‘easier’ but I certainly have got my mind attuned to it. if anything that’s been the hardest part of all. The age gap between mine meant it was quite a labour intensive first six months or so, but that’s only one definition of hard. xx
    Cathy recently posted..Why I love baby-led weaning

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:32 am

      You know what, I have that book and have read the beginning and bits and pieces. I’m going to dig it out again and give it a proper read. I think a huge part of my frustration these days is that I don’t feel like I’m “accomplishing” much – which isn’t true! Thanks for sharing your experience. x

  14. May 13, 2014 / 1:50 pm

    i can imagine it’s such a rollercoaster, there must be so many huge ups and downs, and some downs that seem huge at the time ..but then you realise they’re nothing to worry about. i know i don’t know you, but you seem like such a wonderful woman and mother ๐Ÿ™‚
    laura redburn recently posted..colour love – purple

  15. May 13, 2014 / 11:01 pm

    I can’t even imagine how challenging it is to juggle a toddler and a baby, and I can imagine there is a time when every parent wants to do runner. But then they break out those smiles and heart melt. You’re doing an amazing job. x
    Lori recently posted..NEXT HOME & GARDEN EVENT AND SUPER SLEEP ADVICE

    • May 16, 2014 / 11:34 am

      Oh, how they melt us! It always helps remembering that we’re not the first parents to feel like this and we won’t be the last!

  16. May 21, 2014 / 9:40 am

    And so it goes, the constant dilemma. Some times I feel as though I have twins, Then as you found out, when they play nicely its bliss and you feel so happy and proud for the blessing that is these lovely kids.

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