Thursday, 17 July 2014

Be encouraged, friend. Parent.

Hey lovely Mammas. What a heartfelt reaction there was to the lovely article I linked to on my facebook page called "It gets easier" by Emily at Jones Design Company. Gosh we all need some encouragement don't we? It can be hard having small children, and it is hard not to get stuck in the trenches. Isn't it lovely when someone pops over the top and tells you the view is pretty good up there?

I know that as children get older they bring more challenges. Gosh I've been told that plenty of times as I've been fighting the battles of the very early years. But you know I think in the early days all we need to know is that what we're battling right now will get easier. Never mind all the other stuff I haven't even contemplated yet, will this challenge ease one day? Please?

My two are on the brink of five (Reuben) and three (Esther), and while I think we're still in the trenches of pre-school life, I know we've come a long way. Really, a long way. There are so many things I don't have to manage anymore. There are things that are easier.

If you're a parent with kids smaller than mine, I'd love to tell you what has become easier for me. And these are just the things that I have noticed along the way, and been grateful for as they have changed, as the list may get really long if I brainstorm it all (hooray!).

If you are a parent, I'd love to hear about what has become easier for you. I know there are plenty of new difficult stages, but let's try to just think about the easier things. Even if you have a 3 month old, I bet you can come up with one or two things; new skills you have mastered or little encouraging changes in your wee babe.

Here's my list, and I'm looking forward to reading yours in the comments below.

  • They both sleep through the night, and past 7am.
  • I don't have to spoon feed them every mouthful anymore.
  • Esther no longer throws her bowl on to the floor at the end of every meal.
  • Both children are able to communicate to me what is wrong when they are distressed in the middle of the night.
  • I don't have to heave them in and out of places in their capsule anymore.
  • Reuben keeps Esther occupied and she adores him. The intensity of that first child is, in ordinary circumstances, never to be repeated, when siblings are in the mix.
  • They climb in and out of the car on their own (and for a while there Reuben could put his own straps on - hallelujah! - but then sadly we progressed to the more difficult seat belt).
  • When feeling inclined, Reuben can help with loading and unloading the dishwasher. And they both take their bowls to the kitchen after dinner.
  • Esther whipped the cream last night while I prepared the pudding. Yes!

And those are just a few, I'm sure. I've always really looked forward to my children talking, and have often said "surely everything is easier when they can communicate." And it is. Of course, sometimes all the talking does my head in and I want nothing but quiet! But it is wonderful and it really does make life easier.

Do take a moment to focus on the changes you are grateful for, and bring some encouragement to someone else in the next trench along.

January 2012. Reuben being able to read on his own, and to his sister, will be a great day!


  1. So true. So so true.
    My top one relates closely to your closing picture: I am so grateful that now Marcus (nearly 6) can read and enjoys doing so that even his early starts aren't as painful as they once were - he will generally sit and read, to himself or to his sister (nearly 4) if she's also awake. Sometimes he even takes over chief bedtime story teller if I'm poorly.
    They are able and willing to entertain themselves and each other for long stretches.
    Their conversations are (mostly, not always!) fascinating and entertaining. Arguments and tantrums are more easily resolved by discussions these days too.
    They want to help with kitchen stuff - I should find ways to let them do so more often.
    Generally, though, they are just such good company at the moment, and I love getting a chance to see the world through newer eyes. And to seeing their personalities emerging more and more each week that passes.
    ...nothing much that's new there, but so much I'm thankful for.

    As you say, the challenges ahead I'm sure will be plentiful, but it's nice to enjoy how far we've already come sometimes.

    1. I love this, thanks Alex! So encouraging for me just a year or so behind, and I do have a special fondness for other big brother, little sister combos. I love that you say they are good company, let's keep remembering that!

  2. Hi! I came across your blog via Thalia, and although feel slightly strange reading in on what is quite a personal blog at times, I do really enjoy your posts! It's great to see what it's like for another mother out there :-). And that is the point of blogging, right? Reaching out to random strangers on the internet?
    Anyway, I have a 10 week old baby boy and was quite excited reading this post because I totally am thankful for several things even at this early stage! Here goes:
    - he doesn't sleep through the night (yet!), but does usually sleep at least 4 hours at least once a night... So much better than 2 or 3 hours, even if the total sleep time adds up to the same!
    - he goes back to sleep by himself after feeding at night, so I can go straight back to bed rather than waiting up until he sleeps. 40 mins awake instead of 2 hours= win!
    - he's stopped peeing every time I open his nappy!!! Now he only does it sometimes :-)
    - similarly with the poo. It's so nice and quick to change when it's only a wet nappy :-)
    - he's stopped spitting up heaps and only does sometimes. My muslin cloth I have for that purpose lasts heaps of days before I have to change it!
    - as a direct result of the above 3, I now sometimes get to change his clothes because he's worn the same thing for several days, rather than because it has pee, poo or milk all over it! Sometimes, anyway.
    Hmm, these have a real theme don’t they? Sleep and bodily fluids! There’s heaps more cool things he has learnt to do (smile!), but I’ve already written a novel and these are the main challenging things that have got better :-)

    1. Wonderful, wonderful! This is so cool that you can see progress and feel good about. A lovely write up for new new Mums to read. And no doubt things will keep changing fast.
      Thanks for being part of the team. Yes - reaching out to random strangers turns out to be a good thing!