When my kids were little, maybe a couple months and 2 years old, I would sit while I nursed late into the night and scroll through the internet searching for solace. How many parents are in a similar scene, rocking or feeding tiny humans, their exhausted faces illuminated by the light of their phones; the only connection to the outside world and maybe, possibly some connection with someone else to let them know they are not alone?
At that time I regularly googled and texted my friends asking, “does parenting get easier?” begging the world wide universe to give me a sliver of hope for my future, which was feeling fairly difficult at the time. Most days I was home alone with the kids, and incidents that seem small and hilarious now left me empty. Anyone who has cared for tiny people knows – it can be tedious, tiring, and also pretty wonderful.
One blog I found gave me great hope. I can’t find it now though, and that’s why I wanted to write to you here, in hopes of passing that hope along to you. The author of the blog, a mother of several kids, wrote about taking care of her young family. She talked about nursing a baby while her toddler climbed all over her, feeling bedraggled and insane. What she said, though, as her kids grew, was that the actual physical act of parenting got much easier as time went on. She slept through the night. The kids became more independent. Her hands gradually were freed and her body became her own again. This may all sound obvious – of course this is what happens. But when I was in the middle of it, I couldn’t help feeling like it was my forever.
Most exciting, to me, was that she said parenting got easier, but never less important.
So if you’re reading this late at night, awake with a tiny person attached to your body, wondering if you might ever feel close to normal again, I’m here to tell you yes.
My kids sleep through the night most nights.
They can get themselves snacks.
I no longer have to buckle them into carseats.
They can ride bikes.
It’s very rare that I get bodily fluids on my clothes.
Wiping is not my primary occupation.
Sometimes I look up and notice that nobody has needed me for many minutes.
Keep going, my sweet parent and caregiver friends. There are so many seasons to life, and this too shall pass. And we might even miss it, probably. Know that I’m thinking of you.