It’ll be Easier When…

Over Heaven's Hill Irish parenting blog

A is almost three. Three years old and I can’t help but wonder, how often in that short space of time have I said, “It’ll be easier when…” As working parents, we go from house to car to work to car to house. Never ending regular routines and schedules that can’t be diverged from for fear of being late or losing control of the weekday madness and falling into a never ending trap of rushing, panicking and losing precious time. It’ll be easier when A can walk, when she can talk, when she can put her own coat on. It’ll always be easier when independence grows I thought. But it’s never truly easy and the endless rushing from day to day is simply hard. As a working parent, that hot cup of tea, those adult conversations and the quiet as I commute to the office is not a prize for working. It’s a reminder that I made it out the door with or without stress. But surely someday “It’ll be easier when…”

A was five months old when I went back to work and I threw myself head first into a full working week. And there I have remained since. She was a happy baby with a perfect routine that rarely veered off course. She went with the flow of our daily grind and happily nestled in with Great Aunt as we worked our days away.

She loved her finger food and by eight months old she was happily nibbling away. Meals became fun and messy. Bottles were few and far between. And she could hold a spoon, haphazardly but she held it. All the while I would say “It’ll be easier when…” Had I known how easy I had it, perhaps I wouldn’t have said it so much. I was not to know that toddlers were picky eaters who would gladly live on tomato pasta and beans for eternity while we worried about nutrition and vitamins. That I would constantly be giving her water and encouraging her to drink for fear of dehydration. But wouldn’t it be easier when meals were proper and full and she would graciously eat every spoonful by herself?

She started crawling and schooching around at nine months old and walking properly with wobbles around her first birthday. And again I reiterated “It’ll be easier when…” Not knowing that running toddlers fell more than they slept and gathered bruises like stickers. That walking meant exploring and everything valuable or breakable would be hidden away up high to gather dust. “It’ll be easier when” of course rang through my mind before I realised that bookcases make the perfect ladders and all toddlers are expert climbers… they’re not.

Soon, she was chatting and choosing. Deciding what she wanted to eat, drink, play with, without me interjecting or changing her mind. She would choose the dress she wanted to wear with her bright pink wellies and her paw patrol umbrella. Her independence was becoming paramount as she skipped on past her second birthday and learnt “No” and “I want that one” as I would say “It’ll be easier when…” Little did I know that baby giggles would be replaced with tantrums and determined personalities. Little did I know that a battle of wills would be a daily reoccurence as we are both strong fierce women.

But it’s all ok because “It’ll be easier when…”

There are days I feel as though I am rushing my baby to grow up. “I can’t wait until she can walk, for when she’s talking in full sentences and when she can dress herself.” And suddenly, there she is, grown up, independent, and choosing someone else instead of me. Three years old and closer to going to school than being the baby who nestled in my arms, so small and fragile.

It’s her birthday weekend. Our baby is grown up and had I let go of “It’ll be easier when…” I’d have realised that it’s always been easy. Easy to watch and learn as my baby held a keen eye and soaked everything up. Easy to remember that the baby days can be long and tiring but they are short and sweet. Easy to see that the toddler, who climbs your back and pokes your ribs as you desperately try to make dinner after a long day at work, is learning and thriving and happy.

No, I’m not saying that when I look back on life that the last three years have been easy, because lord knows they haven’t been. But I should have stopped for a moment and realised that no matter how much easier I thought life would be as our child grows up, life will always throw us challenges. Everyday we are learning, as parents, how to keep the days going.

Three years ago this parenting journey started. A journey I am loving.  A journey I never want to end. It’ll be easier when I realise that parenting is not easy but it’s very rewarding in all of its mad and stressful days.

Happy 3rd Birthday Goose

 

 

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23 Comments

  1. Every word of that is so true. We all need to “stop & smell the roses” now & again because it goes by so fast.
    Happy birthday A xxx

  2. Happy birthday to your three your old! My second is one this week too. Cannot believe it. I also have indulged in the ‘it will be easier when’ game but think some things become easier whilst new stuff gets challenging. Balancing out really… it is still good the first time something gets easier though!! Enjoy bday🙌
    Fancy recently posted…Being Wedding Guest and MammyMy Profile

  3. It does indeed go so fast! I have teens and I think back to the sleepless nights and think, man that was great!! So yes, smell the roses cos you may find hindsight makes them the best bits!! #kalcols

  4. Happy Birthday to your littel girl. I went back to work a month ago when my baby girl was 8 months old. It was tough. Time is going by so fast. We only get an hour in the evnings before bath and bed. That hour is so special. xx

    Thanks for linking up at #KCACOLS.
    Hope you join up again next Sunday.
    Rachel Bustin recently posted…New Mum Stories: The Newby TribeMy Profile

    1. It’s so hard isnt it Rachel. We only have an hour an a half with our little girl in the evenings and most of that is taken up with dinner before bed. I absolutely hate it but we have no choice at the moment. I hope its going ok for you back in work

  5. I love your writing. Cygnet is just over two and I don’t think it gets easier. The challenges and adventures change just at the moment when the last challenge becomes part of your regime. It doesn’t get easier, it just gets different. We need to teach ourselves to relish now, and the adventures that we are just getting our heads round. Pen x #KCACOLS
    Pen recently posted…A crisis of confidenceMy Profile

  6. I can relate to this so much. I spent Little L’s baby years thinking it’ll be easier when he can sit up/talk/walk etc. I was right in some cases however like you say, it’s replaced with other things…like tantrums! #KCACOLS

  7. What a beautiful reflection on 3 years, and it all resonates so true. My seven month old is changing so fast – our favourite phrase is “won’t it be lovely when… she smiles, eats meals with us, drops her night feed, talks to us…” but so many of those things have happened already and you realise you just need to enjoy how she is now, as she won’t be like this for long. #kcacols

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