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Parenting: It Was Supposed To Get Easier

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When I had my first child 7 years ago, I distinctly remember everyone saying to me “It’s going to get easier.” I must’ve had that frazzled sleep-deprived look about me back then that would warrant almost everyone from the Target checker to my own family saying that to me. Those times WERE rough, I’m not going to lie. I remember days without showering. Nights without sleep. Days with endless crying. I smelled like spit up almost all of the time. Yes, those days and nights were rough. I honestly looked forward to the time that it was supposed to get easier like everyone said.

I went through that frazzled sleep-deprived stage two more times just to add some fun to my life. And both times, people would look at me in public and give me that same smile and say, “It’s going to get easier.” I smiled knowingly in return as if to say “I can’t wait until it does!”

Here I sit with three kids in tow that are 7, 6, and 3 (almost 4!) and I’m still waiting for it to get easier. It was supposed to get easier, they said. There are some definite bonuses to their ages, but it’s definitely not “easier” like everyone claimed it would be.

Today was one of the roughest days of parenting so far. The kind of day where I nearly fall to the ground and cry because I have no idea what I’m doing. I feel like I’m failing as a parent and I am so emotionally and physically drained. I can’t seem to give any of them 100%.

My 6 year old puts up a fight with me EVERY SINGLE NIGHT when it’s time to brush his teeth before bed. Not in one of those cute ways where he says “I’m not ready for bed, mom!” but in a knock-down-drag-out fight kind of way. Not a night goes by that this isn’t an issue. By the end of every night, both of us are usually exhausted and I’m virtually in tears. How can brushing teeth cause so many problems?

My almost-4 year old screams and yells at me for everything. “MOM! GIVE ME MILK!” He is so demanding. I remain calm for the first few hours but by mid-morning, I’m yelling at him in return. It’s so ironic to scream to your screaming child, “STOP SCREAMING AT ME!” Ugh.

All three of them fight about almost everything from sunrise to sunset– what chairs they sit in, who gets to feed the dog, who sits in mommy’s lap, which carseats they sit in, who gets dressed faster, who uses the bathroom first… It’s endless. It’s tiresome. And I have no idea how to stop it. No amount of pleading, bribing, threatening, or torture (kidding about that last one) seems to work.

Getting my kids to eat any “real” food is a daily battle– one that I am ridiculously losing. Don’t even ask me if they eat their vegetables.

Trying to convince my middle son not to get so frustrated over the little things in life is a big daily struggle. Ironically, I find myself losing my patience with him because he’s overly frustrated.

I have to tell my 7 year old that just because “everyone has an iPhone and an iPad” doesn’t mean that she can have one. It’s probably a conversation we have weekly. It’s a hard lesson to learn and it totally sucks. I sometimes hate having to say no.

Probably the final straw this week was when I wrapped myself up with a throw blanket while snuggling on the couch with the kids. What I wasn’t prepared for was the intense pee smell that came from the blanket. All of my kids are potty-trained, so WHY DOES IT SMELL LIKE PEE? When I asked the kids about it, I’m pretty sure I heard crickets. That’s the standard response when no one wants to fess up.

So, while I may not smell like spit-up or have a colicky baby that keeps me up all night, this parenting thing is still a daily challenge.

So, this parenting thing– it was supposed to get easier. To everyone who promised me that it would, please tell me when. I am eagerly waiting…

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