It doesn't get easier with time

Posted by ~Summer~ on June 11, 2019
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It's been almost a decade since I stepped into the motherhood journey. Yup, 10 years. I can't say it's short because, well, how many 10-years can we have in our life? Yet, it also doesn't feel that long to me because in more ways than one, I feel like I've just started out and have so, so much more to learn. It's true, I am still a newbie mum in so many ways, despite having three kids under my care all these years.

While my kids are starting to grow up and the eldest is turning into a tween in a few months' time, some of my other friends are just beginning to settle down and start a family. I've attended a handful of baby full month celebrations in the past couple of years and let's just say that I'm always very excited to meet the newborns because they evoke all those sweet, tender memories of childbirth and seeing my own kids for the first time.

Some of the friends will at times comment things like "Your kids are big already. So good, right?", "They can help you out with chores now and make your life easier", "You don't need to go through any more sleepless nights" or "The hard part is over for you." You know, I wish I could say the same too but the fact is they will only know how it feels like to be me when the time comes.

I can't say "It gets easier with time" to them because that would not be true, at least for for me. If you want me to be frank, I would actually think that it was easier looking after newborns, infants and toddlers than having to juggle the needs of the bigger kids - or in my case, three kids who are all in different ages with different needs and wants. I still find that the youngest is the easiest to look after because of his very basic needs, pure innocence and the ability to follow instructions - which diminishes as they get older. Of course, experience helps me to cope better too which is why it brings me back to the point that the older ones are harder because as they grow up and enter a new phase of life, it brings forth a whole different set of problems and challenges for us as parents too.

Let's see, being a mum to young babies was tough in that I had to learn everything from scratch, being able to breastfeed, wake up once every few hours in the night, handle endless cries, clean soiled bums, clothes and mattresses, bathe babies who don't like to be bathed, feed solids to a picky child, deal with meltdowns in public and so on. Yes, I admit it was physically exhausting but deep down, I knew I could survive it pretty well and even enjoy it. And I did, thrice.

The fact is I actually find it harder to be a mum to older kids because of the need to discipline, to teach, to correct and to guide them in life - without letting my emotions get the better of me. Yup, it's the mental exhaustion that gets the better of me on some days now and I can only say that handling tweens will be a different ball game altogether. I'm still learning every single day and it's hard but I think that my parenting method has to be fine-tuned as we go along. There is no one method that works forever - or works for every kid - and it's a constant journey of learning, discovery and realisation for me.

Talking about me, this year as a stay-at-home mum has been a tough one - likely the toughest since it started - and I wasn't really expecting it. It has caught me on surprise on more than one moment, left me in tears and frustration on more than one night and made me feel like I failed miserably on more than one occasion. Yup, please don't think that I have it all together every day because I don't. I am also not the super mum that so many of you say I am. On the contrary, I'm just like any of you who face difficulties, get upset, feel dismayed and lose motivation on the bad days. And like it or not, the bad days are here to stay. We can only try our best to learn from our mistakes, embrace the past, find our strength and transform more of the bad days into good ones because we mums just don't give up. It's a good thing we have each other, right? I'm just thankful to have a few good mummy friends to confide in and the hubby telling me time and again that I'm not a bad mum when I myself start to doubt it. Never feel that you are alone in this journey, okay? Because you are not.

For us, we have not even entered the world of technology devices, boy-girl relationships, hormonal changes, sleepovers, curfews and all those things that bigger kids, tweens and teens will be facing sooner or later. I'm scared and excited at the same time and I know we will face hurdles along the way. It's not going to be easy to tackle these growing up issues and I can only hope that we will have the wisdom to think and be smart about the ways we go about doing it, the patience to negotiate terms and talk to each other without blowing up, the maturity to not let our emotions get the better of us and say hurtful remarks to each other, and the strong family ties to remind ourselves that nothing is more important than love and no matter what happens, we never stop loving.


So does it get easier with time? I still say no.

But does it get better? I would say yes. This journey might still be rocky, gruelling and mind-boggling years down the road but once you learn to embrace both the good and the bad, you will become stronger, more appreciative and be able to find every rainbow after the rain. Pssst, it will still rain though, you just get used to it and in fact look forward to it knowing that it will pass and good things are waiting for you. Know what I mean?


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