I used to be a Mommy Blogger. I talked about the fun things I did with my kids, and even did some product reviews and stuff. I was almost legit.
Alas, there is a shelf life on that sort of thing. No one really wants to hear about how I sit around and watch my kids play on their iPads or how embarrassing I am when I sing along to One Direction. (Not embarrassing AT ALL, BTW – I rock that sh*t hard.)
As a result of my mommy blogging past, I follow lots of folks in that genre who are in the throes of babyhood and toddler tantrums. I read their stories and I remember those days, though they are faded distant memories. I am sympathetic to their woes, of course.
I have always said that parenting a baby is an almost entirely physical challenge as your top priority is keeping them alive and stopping their inner kamikaze urges from getting the best of them. Plus, no sleep. And carrying that stupid car seat around all the time.
It’s exhausting. It’s hard. I remember.
Does it get easier?
Well. It certainly gets less physical. I am still trying to keep them alive, of course, but now that’s a significantly more mental game.
More life lessons and less splattered spaghetti. Usually, anyway.
There are parts that are easier and parts that are significantly harder. As a whole, I’m feeling like it’s a breakeven situation.
Babies are easier because…
- They are smaller than you and completely at your mercy to move them around. They might not be happy about it, but they have to go where you take them.
- There are various contraptions that you can strap them into and they will stay exactly where you left them. It’s hard to lose a baby.
- They can fall asleep anywhere.
- They are amused with things you randomly find in your bag. Keys are fascinating, for example.
- They don’t care about brand names.
- They are never embarrassed by your existence.
- They think you are awesome and can do no wrong – you can go far with that.
Teenagers are easier because…
- They can feed themselves.
- They can take care of all of their own bodily functions. Yay!
- Teenager + electronics = silence
- They can tell you exactly what is wrong. It might not make one bit of sense to you, but if they are flipping out you are much more likely to know why.
- If they wake up in the middle of the night, you are unlikely to have to do anything about it.
- Hmmm…is that all?
Babies and Teenagers are the same because…
- They sleep a lot.
- They are frequently disgusted by the things you wish they would eat.
- Random mood swings.
- You are probably willing to go to great lengths to make them smile, even thought neither is likely to realize.
I guess there is no “easy” part of being a parent. Loving them is certainly easy, but caring for them and guiding them down the path toward independent, non-jerkish adulthood is consistently tough. The game changes, but the stakes remain pretty high.
Luckily when you look at your sleeping teenager (around 2PM when you are checking to make sure she’s still breathing…just like you did when she was a baby) you can still see signs of the baby face.
And then you just tiptoe out of the room, because one thing that also stays consistent is that waking a sleeping baby/teenager is a BAD IDEA.