Last week, I was making dinner for our family. It was late afternoon and my husband was due home from work at any time. The boys were playing, alternately in the living room and in their new playroom. I wasn’t making a big special dinner, just spaghetti and garlic bread, but things were going well.
And that’s when it hit me: I was actually making dinner with both kids awake, no husband at home, and no one was going crazy!
I can’t remember the last time I was able to make dinner by myself and not be driven nuts by someone crying or otherwise melting down. Post-nap/pre-dinner time has always been rough for me, and ever since Spencer was born, our family has fallen more into a routine of waiting until both my husband and I are home before starting dinner; he plays with the boys while I cook. We play tag-team or divide and conquer a lot, but lately I’ve been finding it easier to handle the boys on my own.
Now before you start thinking, “Wow, she’s got it figured out!” let me just remind you of my children’s ages: 3 and 17 months. So it’s definitely taken me awhile to get to this point and I have most assuredly not figured it all out. But I will say that those strangers who knowingly nod and whisper “It gets better, sweetheart, it really does” are telling the truth.
When I realized that I was making dinner without a wailing baby or toddler nearby, I had to smile. All those times in the middle of the night or at the height of a tantrum, I have thought to myself “What have I gotten myself into? This is parenting?! This is awful!!”…It gets better, sweetheart, it really does.
This is not to say that we don’t have years of struggles, frustration, and heartbreak ahead of us. I know that when attitudes and tempers begin to come out, we’ll have new issues on our plate, but I’m enjoying this new-found ability to do several things on my own without a child clinging to me at all times. Just like everything else in parenting, the current things plaguing you (lack of sleep, feeding troubles) will only be there for awhile. More than likely, in a short time, I’ll be crying myself to sleep, longing for the days when my boys wanted nothing more than to be close to me.
So wherever you are in your parenting struggles, take heart that whatever you’re going through, it’s only for a season. You can make it through the nights of little sleep, temper tantrums, potty training, or whatever you might be dealing with. You’ll make it to the other side.
I would love to hear some success stories from your parenting adventures. What things did you think would be impossible to do with a young child and when did you discover you could do it?