Sleepless nights and endless worrying are part of your daily routine. Your once-silent home is now a place where loud cries and screams can be heard almost 24/7. You and your spouse struggle to multi-task and do the different roles that you have: as parents, like husband/wife, as career persons. You hear that the first year with a baby is the hardest. Then your child becomes a toddler, but you’re still exhausted. Your child starts going to school, but it still isn’t easy. So you start wondering “When does parenting get less exhausting? When does life get easier?”.
When you’re a parent, whether you have a baby or a teenager, you understand this situation more than anyone else. All parents have gone through this stage.
So when does parenthood get easier? Let’s look at some stages of your child’s development.
Many moms say that the newborn stage is the hardest not only because the mom is still recovering from birth, but also because everyone is adjusting to life with a newborn. A newborn needs a lot of attention and will often make you lose your sleep. This is the stage when you have to pay attention to everything. And that can be very exhausting.
Three to six months
Your baby has settled into a new schedule. They drink more milk or formula as they grow bigger. They take a few naps in the morning and sleep for six to seven hours at night. At six months, your baby may start sitting up. They start responding when you talk to them by smiling or looking at you. They start saying words like “mama” or “dada”.
With these changes, you can probably relax more. If they sleep for six or seven hours at night, you can take this chance to also sleep more.
Nine to twelve months
At nine months, your baby may start crawling and sitting without support. This means you don’t need to carry them all the time. They try to stand while holding on to something. Your toddler may start to imitate the sounds that they hear from another person. They use their fingers to point at things, which makes it easier to understand what they are trying to say.
At twelve months, your baby may have his or her favorite toys and people. They start to use things correctly and put things in and out of containers. They can already follow simple instructions. They may start to walk. With these changes, things may seem easier because they can move on their own and communicate with you better. You might also have more time to rest or sleep because, at this point, the baby should have a longer sleeping time.
Do babies get easier after 1 year? Probably, but they still undergo a lot of changes and you have to be there to monitor these developments. This is also the time when all they want to do is play, run, jump and climb. They move a lot so you have to make sure that they are in a safe environment.
Pre-school and grade school
Your child’s development may be slower at the pre-school stage, but there are still big physical, mental and social changes. When your child starts to go to school, they start learning a lot of new things, not only from the lessons in school but also from interacting with their friends and classmates. It may be a little easier for the parents compared to when their kid was a toddler, but the children still need a lot of guidance and support at this stage.
Adolescence should make it easier for the parents, but this stage is still very challenging. This is the time when your child starts to become more independent and more than willing to try new things. Your role as a parent is to make sure you guide them to make the right decisions and to understand the consequences of their actions.
So how can you handle all these?
First, you have to remember that it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. Every mother has probably felt what you’re feeling. It is okay to cry when you’re frustrated. It’s okay to feel frazzled. It’s all part of being a parent.
Parents usually, multitask, but it can cause a lot of stress. If you feel like there’s too much for you to handle, try to deal with one thing at a time. When we have so many things in our minds, it’s possible that we might not be able to solve them all at once. Your child should always be your priority.
You may consider getting a planner to help you organize your tasks. When your child is taking a rest, use the time to do other tasks that you have to finish. Or better yet, use the time to also take a rest and sleep. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Husbands or partners should also share parenting responsibilities. You can also consider hiring a babysitter. And you can also ask your mom or other relatives to help you every once in a while. You have to realize that you are not alone.
As a parent, it’s also important to take care of yourself. If you are not well, you won’t be able to take care of your child. Get out and get some fresh air. If you can find someone to look after your child just for a day, use the opportunity to spend time with your friends or with your husband.
So, does parenting become easier? In reality, it really doesn’t get easier. But it gets better. There isn’t any part of parenting that is easy, but the whole experience teaches you a lot of things that you’d never learn if you weren’t a parent. It makes you more patient, more understanding, more loving. It makes you more responsible because now you’re not only responsible for yourself but also for your child. You will (and you should) realize that you are strong, because parenting takes up a lot of your strength, physically, emotionally and mentally.
Hang in there, mom and dad! You have to enjoy every moment that they are still young because soon you’ll realize they grow very fast. Taking care of a child may not be easy but the love and laughter your child brings to you make it worthwhile.