Even before the baby was born, I knew it was going to be difficult.
I remember clearly telling my best friend that I was pregnant like it was yesterday. I was so excited to tell her that because she has two kids of her own, but I was still in the early stages.
We were at a party – a very drunk party where everyone else was so drunk that they didn’t notice my drinking, but she did – so I asked her out. I took him aside and told him the good news.
She screamed and jumped up and down, just like she did when we were 14 and got a little excited. But then she started crying, hugged me, and said, “This is going to be the best, but hardest thing you’ll ever do.” But it’s the best! But yeah…it’s the hardest.’
I snuck out of the party around midnight feeling even happier about the little lump growing inside me, but also a little confused.
I couldn’t understand how something so wonderful could be so difficult. I’m sure its hardness will erase its splendor?
Because actually, all the little hard things aren’t that bad. Dealing with toddler tantrums is not that difficult. Toddlers get bored quickly, so you have to be patient by standing your ground and ignoring everyone around you.
Not being able to sleep through the night is tough, but you quickly learn to cope with it and eventually realize that a 9pm bedtime is your best friend.
It sucks to change a dirty diaper, but it’s worth holding a beautiful, clean, fresh baby afterwards, smelling of baby powder and wet wipes.
Spending all day playing soft play indoors surrounded by screaming kids is hell on earth, but hearing them laugh as they roll down the slide for the 54th time is worth it. The soft play center also sells delicious cakes and you can find looks from mum friends and old magazines to keep you busy.
It’s frustrating when your newborn baby cries and cries and cries and you can’t figure out what’s wrong, but it doesn’t last long (honestly!) and then goes back to sleep for a few hours.
So why is this parenting thing so difficult?
Now, nearly four years later, I understand it. I understand why it’s so difficult.
The hardest thing about being a parent is that it’s constant.
Parenting remains the same. There’s not even a minute’s rest until your child falls asleep…and as your child grows, those breaks become less and less!
Think about your job. From 9am to 5am he might be able to get by, but doing that from 6:30am to 6:30pm, maybe 10 minutes at 1am and 15 minutes at 4am would be tough. Lots of people work 12-hour shifts, but when you have small children you don’t even get a proper tea break.
I know “work” is probably not the best example. It’s a little different because it’s just a job (probably a job you don’t really care about) and your kids are the most important thing in your world, OK, very different, but kids If you don’t have one, that’s the only comparison.
But there are parents who say they shouldn’t go on vacation when they have kids because their kids won’t remember.
What! ? Listen to yourself! For the past two years, I’ve been changing his diapers, teaching him to “moo” like a cow and “baa” like a sheep, scooping up his food from the floor every time he drops it from his high chair, and holding him all night. Who cares what the children who lived there remember? When they were sick and he sang “The Wheel on the Bus” on repeat for four hours…with action. Honestly, I don’t care if they remember it, I need a vacation!
This article is clearly not written for the kind of people who email me and say, “If it’s so hard, why did you have kids?” or “If you think it’s hard, you’re doing something wrong” or “It’s selfish to take your kids on vacation” or “No one wants to see kids on a plane.” ‘ or ‘I don’t like children, I don’t want to see them.’ If you have children, please stop blogging about them’.
Please save your energy and don’t send me emails like this.
Anyone reading this blog knows how much I love having children and how much fun I enjoy being with them. We’ve added a new tab to your navigation bar called “Videos,” so be sure to check it out. There are also some family videos that compile the bad parts of parenting!
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