Monday, February 06, 2012

Easier/Harder

Almost 13 years into this parenting journey and I'm amazed at what I've learned and how I've grown. For some time, I've been thinking about the changes in my parenting over the years and particularly how some things have gotten easier with maturity and experience while others get harder.

First on the "easier" list has got to be toddler temper tantrums -- as a first time mom I had such a hard time knowing how to deal with those and not taking them personally. Nowadays, I just shrug my shoulders, handle them, and move on. On the "harder" list? Number one for me has got to be pregnancy. I don't think my pregnancies have physcially changed that much, but it has been harder and harder for me to have the energy during them for everything else I need to do.

Here are a few others I've thought of:

Easier:
* Toddler Temper Tantrums
* Saying no
* Recognizing my limits
* Accepting our family's faults while still working to be better
* Making peace with "good enough"
* Keeping the house clean and in order (many hands DO make light work)
* Not comparing myself to others
* Getting dinner on the table
* Bedtime
* Understanding that even when I do it all "right," my kids will still make mistakes
* Knowing that it's all worth it -- it's awesome to see the amazing people my older kids are turning out to be (even though they can still drive me crazy)
* Dealing with tough stages of my kids' lives; I know now they'll pass
* Keeping up with good habits (rather than trying to establish them): family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening
* Regular dates with my husband (having one child old enough to babysit changes your life; having two is just plain luxury!)

Harder:
* Pregnancy
* Waking up at night with a newborn
* Dealing with sleep deprivation
* Carving out enough time for myself
* Dealing with petty arguments among the kids
* Being consistent about teaching my younger ones to pick up after themselves (because it's easier and faster just to have the older ones clean up the toys)
* Getting to the library for storytime each week or the park
* Messy art projects
* Remembering to write down the cute things my kids say

What things would be on your "easier" list and what would be on your "harder" list? What have you learned from parenting?

10 comments:

lesa said...

Lost me last comment: trying again..

I have learned that I'm not in control all the time. My kids are going to make choices (good/bad) and that is what they are suppose to do. My kids have taught me so much about letting go of control. They are suppose to make choices and they are very capable of doing so.

Mama Rachel said...

This is a great post!

It's really funny, because I think my list would look VERY similar to yours. (Almost EXACTLY! LOL!) :-)

(Having 4-5 babysitters to choose from is great-- until they're ALL going to the same dance/party/activity. :-p)

Have a GREAT day!

Cheryl said...

My list would be a lot like this-- a lot!

Kajsa Pace said...

As a first time mom, I am glad to see that some of the things that I struggle with today will get easier as more kids come and they get older. :)

Natalie said...

I'm still a few paces behind you, but I can feel the things you mentioned getting easier. Also easier (on most days) is keeping an even temper and not getting so frazzled by the day to day craziness.

Harder-yes, pregnancy. getting out of bed with a spring in my step.

Stef said...

Hardest for me is making sure my kids get enough mommy one-on-one time. And making sure they feel my love in their own language. Tough.
Easy...yeah, the tantrums.

Unknown said...

I'm not as far along in this as you, but I'm far more patient with my 2 yos now than I was with my firstborn at that age. I think I'm also doing better at maintaining routines.
Pregnancy is harder now! I had a very easy pregnancy with my first and then twins and figured that a subsequent singleton was going to be as easy as that first pregnancy. It's definitely easier than twins, but harder than 5 years ago.

Sarah said...

Completely off topic but I thought I would share. I started casually following your blog about a year ago when I was pregnant with #4. I read your 'obligatory Christmas post' and then a month-long plague descended on the house. When I came up for air and checked your blog again, it was still on December 29th. "ok, she is still having computer problems", I thought. A few more days passed and nothing new. "oh, my gosh, did she have the baby early? Surely, she would have posted". Another day passed. "oh no! Something must be wrong for her to go so long between posts!". I was working my way toward panic when I realised I book marked your page on December 29th. I'm such a goober.

Corine said...

Isn't it crazy how some things actually get harder? Thank heaven for the things that get easier!!! I'm enjoying getting better at understanding how to parent teens! :) I don't enjoy trying to figure out fun things to do with the teen boys (It is super easy to spend time with my daughter, but harder to find things to do with the boys to just be with them; thank heaven for cooking and work! LOL).

Corine said...

PS. And thank heaven for walks. I LOVE it when on rare occasions a teen son will walk and talk with me (on our way to somewhere :o); we have the BEST talks during these times alone!

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