Not everything gets easier with time

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I always assumed that with more years parenting and additional children, came an increased sense of security or know-how.

What I mean is, it always surprised me when a mother of two or three asked my advice on anything related to parenting.  After all, didn’t they know by now?!  Of course, I was always more than happy to share my thoroughly tested (with ONE entire child) expert opinion.

Ha.

Before Dylan’s birth, I planned and then planned some more.  Then, when I finished planning… I found new things to plan.  I was sure I’d be the most prepared parent ever.

No, not really.

I just knew that’s what every other first time mother did and I wasn’t about to change history.  I’d never gotten all that into decorating or even organizing.  I have two witnesses who frequently saved me from myself, with regards to both organization and decorating {Thanks Mommy and Heid!}.  Why organize when my memory was reliable enough?  I knew where that shirt was buried and my iron worked perfectly fine!

And then I got pregnant.  I found it hard to remember to zip my pants.  Thanks be to God for spandex maternity wear! ;)

Anyway, I knew to expect the worst in the memory department, so I figured “nesting” was probably important.  Thus began my obsession with the perfect nursery and, ultimately, sleepless nights contemplating a closet organizer.

I kid not.

So, here I sit.  I’m the mother to one three year old and one 11 month old.  Let me tell you, I feel like I know less than ever.

Every.single.day, I find myself dumbfounded by yet another miracle/lesson/whatever.  Often, I’m down right stupefied.  Who knew that Dylan, a month after his third birthday, would basically potty train himself?  And, just a week or so after I gave up on pushing it.  Or, that Wyatt, at 9 months old, would understand the words, “It’s time for bed.  Goodnight!” and instantly lay his head down and close his eyes while I stood there watching?!  I used to spend like 30 minutes rubbing Dylan’s back and then sprint out of the room the second he closed his eyes so he wouldn’t protest.

Really, I think, all that gets “easier” with time is the constant guessing and the willingness to ask questions without worrying what others think.

It’s kind of like college.  Freshman year was like pregnancy and the first yearish with a new baby.  Both times, I was wide-eyed and excited, sure I was prepared, but ready for guidance.  Sophomore year was like the second year with my first child.  I thought myself an expert on all things birth, breastfeeding, sleeping, and feeding related.  Or at least thought I had a pretty good grasp and was eager to share my knowledge with “newbies”.  I think I might be more like an upperclassman now?  I don’t know.  I know I’m a whole lot less ready to tell anyone how to do anything because I’ve been doing this long enough to see how different two children can be from day one.

Who knows, it’s not like anyone ever graduates, right?  I know I still have a lot of lessons ahead of me, and I’m looking forward to every second.  I just turned 30 last week and I pray this next decade brings lots of love, time for learning and bonding, and growth.

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Comments

  1. As a mother of two VERY different boys (men, now), I can tell you there’s always something new to learn. And when they get to be teenagers, there’s even MORE to learn. Parenting, like life, is always an ongoing learning process. And what fun it can be!

  2. I only have one very little boy but I already find myself questioning the “expertise” I was sure I had after going through those newborn days. You hit it right on the head comparing it to college. I’m sure my second will leave me questioning all I ever thought I knew about parenting.

    • Thanks Ambyr! And thank you for sharing your experience. I’m happy to hear I’m not the only one who thought I was an expert after limited experience :) I guess we’re kind of trained to think that way with school and jobs. We’re encouraged to “master” things to gain the advantage over other students/coworkers.

  3. You had me chuckle a few times! ???? but it’s so true! No two children are alike, what works for one does not necessarily work on the other! And when kids are ready to do something, they just do it without us fussing over them! I don’t know if it’s my age or my personality but with Lucas I learned to appreciate his milestones without comparing him to other babies his age. I mean to a certain extent, if he were not walking and was 2 years old I’d have to ask myself if he was ok but if he started walking 2 months after a little girl I knew back then, I think I can live with that! Lol It’s funny but some mom’s can be so competitive about that stuff! I think it’s best to just enjoy your children, encourage them, and know that we don’t know everything but over time we learn what works for our children and what works for others is fine too! There is so manual! That is the beauty of how God creates his children! We are all unique and should be loved just as such! I haven’t had a chance to read much lately, but you always peak my interest! ????

    • Thanks Jeanette! I’ve tried to have that same non-competitive attitude about milestones, too. We can’t worry when our children aren’t hitting the same milestones as another child at the same time. We all develop at our own pace and we all have different strengths. You’re right, God made all his children uniquely special!

  4. Good post! So true, the kids are so different and we need to be flexible with them and ourselves as we figure out what works for each of them! :) Enjoy the ride! :)