Motherhood: Is It Easier Now?

April 2, 2014

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The short answer: Yes. Definitely.

The long answer: In general, I have found each and every day to be a little bit easier than the last. For these reasons!

1. Feeding

While I really enjoyed breastfeeding, I found it to be a logistical headache. In the early days nursing took SO long, and I was very shy about doing it on front of other people, which meant I had to hide away. Finding places to nurse in public or rushing home made going out of the house a challenge and pumping a bottle for a babysitter was a huge ordeal. Basically, unless I was home alone life was complicated. Not to mention the breast pads, nursing bras and bottles parts to juggle.

Now feeding Mazen can still be tricky (like when he shoves his favorite food off his tray and demands something else that I don’t have in the fridge), but overall I can feed him anything, anywhere. And so can anyone else. I do have to prepare double the meals nowadays, but it’s fun…most of the time.  

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2. Sleeping

This one is obvious, but for the first six months I was SO tired. I’m still recovering! So after we sleep trained Mazen this part got worlds easier. He started taking real naps and they lengthened out with time. What was once a 40 minute nap a few times a day (that took 20 minutes of hands-on work to start) is now usually 2 hours of solid nap time. Going out is easier because we have much larger windows of time. While Mazen sometimes still fights naps, he is much more predictable than he was a year ago.

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3. Communication

A huge change from the infant days is communication – both sign language and real words! Every day Mazen says something new, and he can generally tell us what he wants. Words and signs like “hurt” and “help” and “more” have all made our lives much easier.

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4. Independent Play

As we round the corner of 18 months Mazen’s independent play is getting better and better. He can entertain himself with his favorite toys for a good chunk of time. And I can also play with him, which is fun (most of the time!) I am able to get more accomplished at home than I ever have while he’s awake. A huge part of this was him learning to walk – suddenly he could go to the toys he wanted and choose his own adventure. People used to warn me about walking – “Just you wait until he starts walking!” but I thought it made life so much easier. Also because I had a huge baby who was very heavy to carry so being able to let him run around is easier on my arms and back : )

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5. Personality

Yes, those first smiles and laughs were SOOO exciting, but his personality has blossomed so much now that we can joke, tickle, play games, read stories and really interact.

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I do long for the days when he would sit in my arms for hours and there was no mess to clean up or tantrums to calm, but he’s just as cute now in different ways. And he still loves to jump back in my lap for snuggles a few times a day.

I’m excited to have a newborn again someday, but I’m also scared. I remember how hard it was, and I know it’s going to be even harder with a toddler too. I’m glad I have Baby KERF to look back on and remember the milestones and steps when things got easier. Last time I told myself the first six weeks were all about survival. Next time I’ll remember that the first YEAR is one big blur until things start getting easier with eating and walking and talking.

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Did you guys feel there was a turning point when being a mom got easier? Or perhaps you found the newborn stage the easiest?

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah (SHU) April 2, 2014 at 8:54 am

Interesting post!! I actually find annabel (almost 2!!) a little more challenging than Cameron right now, but more mentally grab physically, if that makes sense. I also think life with an infant allll depends on whether he/she is a good sleeper, which is something that really varies between babies. I definitely agree I prefer one longer nap to several little ones!

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2 Jenny April 2, 2014 at 8:57 am

I found 12-18 months to be pretty easy. Now I have a 3-year-old and it’s a new kind of hard! I think each age and stage has its own challenges.

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3 Joni April 2, 2014 at 9:02 am

This post was so refreshing to see! We have just made it past the 6 month mark and while some things are way easier, other things are getting more difficult – and almost all of them relate to the points you talk about! I can’t wait until she can walk – or at least crawl – to what she wants! We’ve started solids but had to stop due to it messing with her stomach/sleep, so I’m a breastfeeding/full time working mom and starting to hate the pump and it doesn’t look like I’m any closer to the end :) She’s much more interactive now and we can usually tell what she wants but I can’t wait for words (or signs!) to let us know what she needs…still at the 45 minute nap stage as well…sigh. It’s SO MUCH FUN and she is absolutely amazing, but it seems like every single day I’m trying to figure out something new and I just need a mental break haha! I love hearing that things get easier! (Although I know it comes with challenges but I feel like I can handle those challenges a bit better.) Love these posts, Kath, and I love the blog and look at old posts all the time!

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4 Jackie April 2, 2014 at 9:04 am

Mazen is so precious!

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5 Jessica April 2, 2014 at 9:55 am

I definitely feel like we are at a golden age with my twenty month old. I know that as he learns to talk more and becomes even more independent that things will get tougher. I am enjoying every minute and I hear that 2.5/3 is when the real tantrums/power struggles begin, lol. :)

I think every age has challenges and every age has things that are so wonderful it brings tears to my eyes. I don’t think that will ever change, even when they are adults.

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6 Grace April 2, 2014 at 9:57 am

Interesting post! And man, reading this, it seems like Mazen was really an easy baby! You’re so lucky to have such an amazing sleeper! And lots of kids just start managing a little independent play around two or two and a half, that’s really impressive that he’ll play on his own at only 18 months!

I think a lot depends on your personality… some people are “baby” people, while others love toddlers like me (my daughter is 2.5 and I LOVE LOVE LOVE this stage, so much growth and fun and play, but others would find it very challenging, I think!) and some really prefer school-aged kids. And to be honest I really enjoyed the baby stage as well, because in part nursing came easily to me and I never minded breastfeeding in public, so I felt like we were much more mobile in that stage. I would just pop my baby in a carrier and we’d go off to fancy restaurants or museums or parks (whereas now I can’t really take my two year old out to a super fancy late dinner!). I can see if breastfeeding was a challenge or you didn’t deal well with sleep deprivation (we co-slept until my daughter STTN at 18 months, it was never overwhelmingly difficult) getting past the first year would be a relief. I think the best parenting advice I’d ever gotten was that NOTHING lasts and everything is constantly changing, for better or worse. If you’re in a tough stage, it will pass!

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7 Ali April 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

I thought walking made things so much easier too! Eating/breastfeeding has many advantages and disadvantages each. Breastfeeding was easy in the sense that there was no prep, it was just there whenever and wherever. Eating solids is easier in the sense that I can be away for longer periods, I don’t have to pump really and he can join in on many events in that way.

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8 Connie April 2, 2014 at 11:09 am

i completely agree with you. the first 5 months were torture simply because i was not getting a long stretch of sleep at any point. this is the thing that scares me off most from having another. 5 months is a LOOOONG time to survive on (at best) 4 hour stretches of sleep. the messes are bigger now, diapers are just gross, and the whining isn’t tons of fun, but everything just seems more manageable when you are well rested!

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9 Anne April 2, 2014 at 11:10 am

Thank you for writing this! I have four month old and this was so helpful to read!

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10 Sara April 2, 2014 at 11:39 am

I’m weaning now (yay! I had to entirely pump and it was difficult!) so that is easier, but it’s also harder because we’re working on more solid-solids and transitioning to meals and milk, etc. It’s harder to pack for his day meals (I work) whereas I could just put bottles of breastmilk in his bag and go! My son has always played well by himself (our pack and play is great!) He’s a very independent little guy. But yes, things are so much easier than they were early on! I worry about a second for the same reasons you listed. Juggling two.

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11 Melanie April 2, 2014 at 11:47 am

My daughter is also 18 months, and I agree with some other ladies that every stage has its own challenges and rewards. That’s one thing I don’t like about people saying “oh you just wait until ___.” There will always be pros and cons!

For instance, after we instituted a bed time and bedtime routine, there was no more going out to dinner for the 3 of us (I mean we can go out to dinner at 5:30 but what fun is that?!). Those first few months just having her as a little doll in a carrier to tote around was easy. She slept well in the din of a noisy restaurant and we were free to lounge over a meal and wine. But on the other hand, what I did find hard during the carseat/carrier days was how fragile she seemed and how nervous and vulnerable I felt when I was out and about with her alone during the day. I was incapable of being ninja-like if I needed to because I was so focused on her and all the apparatus you have with a new baby. It also felt like simple errands were a bit of a mountain to climb. Part of that was probably just the newness of it all, but also, dang! – carrying around a big ol carseat when you are 5’0″ tall is no joke! Never did develop any biceps to show for it either, grrrr. :) I also remember having to hold my pee so much – that is something moms know all about! She was asleep in the car and I’d be afraid to wake her by getting her out, so, no peeing for me!

But now, I so love being able to interact with her and watch her learn and blossom everyday. It’s amazing. Sure, you’re really dealing with another person with opinions, and that brings its own challenges, but hey it’s also pretty cool to see another human being develop their first set of opinions! Another mom here described a phase as a “golden age” – that’s kind of how I feel right now. We have a great routine in place and we feel like a gelled family with a real repertoire of traditions, rules, sayings, etc. Life is good!

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12 Chrissy April 2, 2014 at 11:48 am

I have a 10 week old and a 23 month old. The 10 week old is WAY easier. Much more portable, and easier to feed (eat at moms!) But it is so much fun to see the blossoming personality of our toddler. I think the key is to appreciate each stage as you are in it.

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13 Casey April 2, 2014 at 11:59 am

I found newborn phase to be tough, 6m-18m was easy, 18-24m was easy but I was super pregnant, and now 2 years is a whole new kind of hard I never could have been prepared for. I don’t say that in a “you just wait” way, but I had no idea how hard late toddler/pre-school would be. Now my 5 month old is a BREEZE compared to my 2.5 yr old :) It’s all perspective.

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14 Carrie April 2, 2014 at 12:22 pm

Looking back, the baby/early toddler stage was the easiest. Things change a lot around 3-4 as the kids start to push the boundaries of their independence, and beyond that, it’s change after change after change until the teen years (which bring upheaval that has to be experienced to be believed!). The demands increase, but in very different (and often more complex) ways. That doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable, but it can be incredibly challenging. I, too, won’t say “just wait”, however I will say that there really isn’t ever a point in parenting where you can safely assume the hardest part is over.

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15 KERF April 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Yeah because you never know what kind of child or teen you’re going to get. Even siblings can be so different.

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16 Carrie April 2, 2014 at 7:47 pm

Absolutely. Watching your kids grow into themselves as actual, engaged people is incredible and so rewarding (and fun!), but every age and stage brings new challenges along with that joy. Parenting has been the source of my highest highs, and also some of the lowest lows, and that’s normal. Even the sweetest baby or easiest to manage toddler can become another person completely during their teens, regardless of how they’ve been raised. All we can do is our best for our kids at every age and stage, and trust it will all work out.

The roller coaster analogy to describe being a parent is cliche, yet apt – you never know what’s coming…it might make you smile or it might make you scream. Whatever happens, it’s all about enjoying the ride.

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17 Emily April 2, 2014 at 12:30 pm

Great post. I really appreciate your perspective. My son is about a year, and I keep telling my husband that the first year felt like we were just trying to keep our heads above water and now that one is on th horizon we might just be getting our sh*t together! I can’t comment on the future, and I know each stage brings its challenges but – UGH – feeding and sleep were all encompassing in those early months and, no matter how cute and sweet your baby, it. is. so. tiring.

Reflecting on how tired I was/am for the first year… I wondered if you had perspective or might be interested in writing a post about balancing visitors/family/guests with a young baby. The pressure to accommodate other people when I was on the brink of exhaustion really struck me. Even my own parents (who are really lovely and helpful) couldn’t understand why plans needed to be revised because of a foiled baby nap etc, I haven’t quite figured out the right boundaries, and I know my mom friends also struggle with this too. I’d love to hear your thoughts if you have them!

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18 KERF April 2, 2014 at 2:35 pm

Gosh that’s a hard post because every family is so different! I think you need to play to their strengths – if they are good at cooking meals let them do that (and don’t worry about babysitting or laundry). I have other friends who have moms who take over the cleaning when they come. Most grandparents don’t do everything well, so I guess emphasize them helping in the ways they enjoy already?

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19 Rachel April 3, 2014 at 10:03 pm

They’re your guests. I would NEVER ask my guests to do chores.

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20 KERF April 4, 2014 at 8:58 am

I think most parents coming to visit a brand new mom offer to help. It’s how you answer that I’m addressing

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21 Rachel April 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Oh OK. Sorry I misunderstood what you wrote.

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22 Anne April 4, 2014 at 10:15 am

Emily I can totally relate to your comments! I think *some* grandparents forget how hard the newborn/first year is…

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23 Danielle April 2, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I have to agree with you on nearly everything that you said about Mazen. My daughter, Harper, turned 2 in December and I’ve found parenting (in general) to be much easier and fun than it was, especially compared to those first few months. I also really enjoyed once she started walking because then we could take her to the park and for walks around our neighborhood, which are so much fun! Sure, there are some not so great moments, but that’s the case at any age. I think the hardest part is to just ENJOY all of the sweet moments of any stage because it really does seem to go quickly!

xo,
Danielle

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24 Wren April 2, 2014 at 1:15 pm

LOL. The “locally grown” picture is so adorable and hilarious. He has grown so much! I was looking back at my daughter’s baby photos the other day and can’t believe how big she is, either. Thanks for sharing :-)

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25 renee @ using creativity to BE a calm, happy + present mama April 2, 2014 at 3:20 pm

i LOVE this and I’m here to say, with a 4 year old and a baby boy the same exact age as Mazen, that yes, each day gets easier and easier. It’s amazing how it works like that. But, I’m still recovering from sleep deprivation…but it’s not from my 19 month old…it’s from my 4 year old. She’s afraid of the dark and monsters right now, so every night she gets up and comes to our bed. I also have to lay in bed with her when she goes to sleep, at 8 pm, because she doesn’t like to lay alone. Little guy, he’s out SO early, still takes 2 naps, sleeps in until almost 8 am. I’m hoping he stays like this!!!

And, I really don’t think I’ll ever get good sleep until they’re both back home from college. Ha! :)

but, as for having two kiddos…I’m here to say that since you’ve already gone through everything with Mazen, the sleep deprivation doesn’t hit so hard like the first time around, because you’re used to it. i thought i was gonna be a walking zombie again with #2, but I was SO much better. yes, I was tired, but it didn’t hit as hard b/c my body was used to it. I always say, if I could back in time, instead of everyone telling me to sleep as much as I can before baby comes, I wish I actually got up more throughout the night to prepare…it’s such a DRASTIC change losing the “all night” sleep.

the first 6 mos were a little tough with a newborn and 3 year old, but once we hit that mark, it was SO much easier. I can’t play with my baby boy as much as I did with my first because my first keeps me on my toes all day long with needing things. but, just like with Mazen, when you have two (and I’m sure more than two) it does get easier day by day…but, i do find myself saying, let’s just get to 3 with #2. lets just get passed diapers!! :):) b/c after that it gets even easier!! :):)

I enjoyed this post…brought back memories of my first year and half with my baby #1 and 2. :):) But, now with #2, he just plays with big sis all the time, so I’m not the #1 playmate anymore. :)

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26 KERF April 2, 2014 at 3:27 pm

That’s for all the great info! I hope waiting until Mazen is older will help :)

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27 Hannah @ eat, drink and save money April 2, 2014 at 3:21 pm

I agree that feeding is getting easier, but having a mobile child makes parenthood much harder! When mine was a newborn I got so much accomplished during the day. Now I’m lucky to start laundry.

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28 Jessie April 2, 2014 at 3:53 pm

With a 2.5 year old and a 4 month old I have to say it’s a mixed bag. At home, the baby is easier because it’s just nurse, play, nap. My toddler needs attention & lots of active play so she goes stir crazy if we sit at home & throws tantrums left & right. But when we run errands, as long as I have snacks, the toddler is easy & happy but then the baby gets all bent out of shape & loses it. Argh. I just can’t win!! But if I had to chose which stage is easiest?? Baby – hands down!

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29 Liz April 2, 2014 at 7:20 pm

I have a 14 month old and am pregnant with #2. I definitely think it’s SO much easier nowadays!! We were lucky because my daughter was always a very good sleeper, but I completely agree with you about it being difficult logistically having to worry about breastfeeding out in public. I also tend to be a slave to a schedule, and that gets so much easier as they get older and become more predictable. I’m a bit terrified of what having two under two will be like, but right now most days feel really easy with just one toddler! My daughter isn’t walking yet, though, and I’m really looking forward to that so I don’t have to carry her so much. Plus, I think she’ll be a lot happier walking to where she wants to go!

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30 Avery @ Young Aspirations April 2, 2014 at 7:46 pm

Loved this post! As a young and almost new mom, it’s interesting to hear what was different/good/bad about the different ages. They all have their ups and downs!

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31 Kate @ Indulgent Wellness April 3, 2014 at 5:23 am

I’m currently in a sleep deprived fog and and desperately trying to remember! I laughed to myself yesterday as I thought about the early days with Hailey and now managing all the same things with Audrey along with an almost-3-year old. Just like we often say “what did we do with all our time before kids”, I find myself nostalgic for the relative luxury of tending to only one little persons needs!! On the other hand…I wouldn’t change a moment of this for the world. And now it’s time for me to see if I can lay this swaddled bundle in bed and get back to sleep myself!

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32 Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) April 3, 2014 at 5:52 am

I def think that once baby hits 6 months things get a lot more routine and “easy.” That said, the entire first year really is just about holding on and surviving! My youngest is almost 3 months and I am remembering to give myself some grace in terms of expectations (for myself). The baby stage is hard!

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33 aimee April 3, 2014 at 7:16 am

i was beginning to think things were looking easier with my 18 month old daughter-until we found out I am expecting again and all of a sudden she wants nothing to do with anyone but mommy. I am very nervous now! daddy cant put her to bed or calm her if she is upset. she used to go to bed for grammy on the occasional date night, but now it is all screaming and tears.when only mommy will do, mommy gets stressed lol any advice from moms would be welcome!!

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34 Jody April 3, 2014 at 10:10 am

Thank you for this comment. We’re going through the exact same phase. I’m not pregnant now, but am trying, so there’s a lot of worry about what’s to come with our daughter being a total mama’s girl.

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35 Christine @ BookishlyB April 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

I’m 35.5 weeks pregnant and keep trying to explain to people that I’m fully aware the next few months are going to be incredibly hard. I have very low expectations but I do know that it will get better and easier!

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36 Elizabeth April 7, 2014 at 4:52 pm

Cautios optimism is always good, but with my first I expected life to basically be over after baby came (not really, but kind of – my expectations for me time and sanity were LOW). I am grateful to the people who “scared” me because I ended up thinking it was waaaaay easier than I had anticipated, even dealing with a tough childbirth recovery. That made me feel a whole lot more like a natural.

With my second I listened to people again and expected it to be tough because newborn but otherwise familiar and even easier. My second had colic and because we didn’t know how to soothe her she rocked our world and my confidence.

Now I’m almost six weeks postpartum with our third and it’s the easiest time yet. We definitely prepared for battle by arranging a postpartum doula and help from relatives as well as using all the trips and tips we know of.

Tldr; if you are the kind of person who “prepare for the worst, be thrilled by anything better” works, postpartum is a great time to apply it!

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37 Leslie April 3, 2014 at 2:51 pm

After hearing people say how difficult life becomes when they are crawling and walking, I was definitely worried, but I honestly feel like things just keep getting easier. My daughter is 11 months old, and I am thankful on a daily basis for how much more relaxed and flexible our lives can be. I think the initial (major) adjustment to motherhood, and being needed in the way that my baby needed me in the beginning, was mentally and physically much more taxing than my life right now. We want at least one more baby, but I want to enjoy this feeling for a while first!

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38 Laura April 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

I have a 4 year old and an 18 month old, both girls. It is absolutely true to type that my girls are crazy emotional and high maintenance and high drama. The 4yo is way more work than the 18 mo. She is emotionally the biggest challenge for me ever – When people say being a parent is hard, I thought they meant figuring out how to discipline, changing your lifestyle, etc. No no, for us, it’s the daily struggle to try not to lose your temper (I usually fail) and manage your emotions combined with the mental energy of creative ways to work through the situations where you want to lose your temper but are trying not to! It’s emotionally and mentally exhausting. And physically, well, neither of my children sleep through the night. They both wake up, and of course at different times, so we sleep in chunks of several hours. So when you count pregnancy, I’ve been tired for FIVE YEARS. It’s brutal. I keep waiting for it to get easier, but I’m kind of thinking it never does, it stays hard, for different reasons. But when I can finally get some sleep and perhaps some time to do something fun for myself and to keep my house somewhat tidy, I will be a happy girl!

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39 KERF April 4, 2014 at 8:57 am

I hope you sleep soon!

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40 Sharon@DiscoverExploreLearn April 3, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I’m a mom of 4 boys (ages 3,6,9,and 14). I think parenting gets easier as time goes on because you begin to let things go (messes, worrying about what other people think) and learn to focus on what’s really important (happy kids and mama). I’ve found that each age and stage has it’s own challenges and joys. The early years are harder at the time, due to lack of sleep and the fact that babies and toddlers have so many needs. As kids get older though, the “real” challenges occur. The ones that can be life-altering and have a much bigger impact on our children as adults. Parenting is hard work (regardless of your child’s age)…but also totally amazing and awesome! :-)

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41 Ashley April 4, 2014 at 12:08 am

Loved this post!
I have a three month old baby and she currently naps for 40 minutes at a time. The first 15-20 minutes are spent rocking her to sleep…. so that leaves me with 20-25 minutes of freedom to shower… eat.. whatever it may be!
It’s encouraging to hear that the naps might increase with time. When did Mazen’s naps increase in length??

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42 KERF April 4, 2014 at 8:59 am

After sleep training around 6 months they slowly got better

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43 Stephanie Stagner April 4, 2014 at 8:48 am

Well, this is not an easy thing to answer. I have a grown daughter, 3 teenagers, and am starting over again with my 9 month old grandson who lives with us and I help raise. I’ve been through all stages of development. And honestly, each stage brings new challenges. I have found out that you will run into things you can’t predict, as you have no baseline for comparison )and I’ve raised 5 kids, so I had a lot to draw from!! LOL)!
I guess I would have to say that baby/toddler-hood is the easiest, though. Littles just have very basic needs, unlike teenagers with the attitudes and dangers. A crying baby is easy to handle, having your 16 year old call from the police station for being home after curfew (or worse) is a whole other thing. Or dealing with homework, and bullying, and first crushes, and..well, you know. Bigger kids, bigger problems.
As I’m getting older, though, and dealing with a very demanding 9 month old, the physical strains on my body and the sleep deprivation are much harder to deal with than they were when I was a young 20 something mom.

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44 KERF April 4, 2014 at 8:56 am

I’m terrified of the teenage years! Good thing we are slowly introduced.

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45 Stephanie Stagner April 4, 2014 at 9:03 am

Aww, no reason to be terrified! Just prepare as best you can, and expect surprises. A roll with it mentality has served me well..

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46 Janel April 4, 2014 at 2:01 pm

This helps, thanks! My baby turns one in two weeks and I am DREADING him getting older, so good to know there is so much to look forward to.

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47 Karen W. April 4, 2014 at 5:43 pm

I was going to post something just like Stephanie’s post! I’m expecting my 5th next month. My oldest is 14. Each stage has it’s own challenges and rewards. Little ones are easy in that all their needs are physical and you’re not facing discipline problems or bullies at school. However, caring for the physical needs of infants and toddlers is exhausting, especially if you’re balancing cooking, housework, and a job on top of all that! As they get older it becomes less physically demanding and more emotionally demanding.

It does get much easier managing littles with older kids in the house. My teenagers are well trained on household chores, can cook simple meals or can hold the baby if I need a break. Older babies love watching other kids, so even having a toddler in the house is endless entertainment, which is priceless!

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48 Jill Will Run April 4, 2014 at 11:45 pm

My daughter is 19-months-old now and I find it both easier and harder. I work full-time, so the weekends she is very clingy with me. There is zero independent play on her part and she only naps for about 50 minutes, once a day. So I feel like I don’t get anything done! I look back on the early baby stages when I thought it was so hard, but at least I got to sit in a chair and nurse her for lots of time, which gave me time to read books! Now, not so much! I agree that I’m still recovering on sleep! Before having a baby I was very comfortable getting 6 hours of sleep a night, getting up at 4 AM to run, work all day. Now I’m averaging about 7.5 hours of sleep and still feel like I could use more.

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49 WilliamsburgBaby.com April 5, 2014 at 1:08 pm

It’s fun to be able to communicate with our 20 year old and see his personality really emerge, but it’s definitely easier to do adult things with our 4 week old in tow (and our toddler with the nanny.) I can take our infant to a coffee shop and theoretically do an hour or more of work, while our toddler only lasts like 15 minutes there and then only if I am entertaining him. I also find the emotional needs of a toddler more challenging than a newborn’s which are mostly physical. That said, just when I think one child is the easier if the two, the throw me a curve ball.

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50 Jen April 6, 2014 at 5:20 pm

At almost 2.5, my son is just like any other 2.5 year old. He doesn’t listen to me, eat well, and he says really nice things like “go away, mommy” :(. But he SLEEPS. I’ll take a toddler over a newborn any day for that reason alone. Glad to hear you feel the same way! People think I’m nuts for thinking newborns are harder than toddlers.

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51 Jennifer April 8, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I found it easier once they were potty trained. That certainly makes life easier. I also was told that the two’s are the “terrible twos” but I felt that it was more difficult at age three, for some reason. But I think every child is different. My daughter was really easy up until now. She’s 8. ;)

I really enjoyed the comparison pictures of Mazen. He’s really growing up!

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52 Sarah April 9, 2014 at 8:13 am

My son will be a year old in May and I feel like things finally started to get *easier* when he was around 8-9 months old. The newborn days were the worst, mostly because I didn’t feel good so it wasn’t all him, but being a first time mom, sleep deprived and just plain not knowing what the heck I was doing half the time was really upsetting. Then we made it through sleep regressions, the first couple of bouts of teething, etc. and things started getting easier. I know that could change, but right now, we’re all having a good time :)

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53 Amelia @ Eating Made Easy April 11, 2014 at 1:11 am

For me, things got easier when Lucy turned 2. She nursed til 20 months, was never a great sleeper despite many rounds of sleep training, and had chronic ear infections that were hard to diagnose until she started telling us she was in pain. By the time she was 2.5 we were in a groove and loved it. Then I immediately got pregnant with #2. So here we go again!!

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54 Regina April 14, 2014 at 4:18 pm

My oldest son is a few weeks older than Mazen (Aug 19, 2012) and I’m 12 days postpartum with our second. It’s true that the sleeplessness is a million times worse (because you can’t just nap when the baby naps) and you forget how long and endless nursing sessions are but honestly looking at that squishy little face and the constant cuddles are 100000 times worth it. And seeing your first born become a big sibling makes you fall even more in love :)

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55 Lori April 22, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Hi Kath, I thought is was in this post that you mentioned only having to go in Mazen’s room 3 times since sleep training, but now I can’t seem to find it. Anyway, question about that: Does he rarely wake at night, or does he wake and just cry for a short time? What happened that made you go in those few times? I ask only because we sleep trained and my little one did great for about a month, but the past 4.5 months have been hell. He is so unpredictable, wakes most nights at random times, and used to only cry for like, 20 min max, now he would just go on and on. I can’t do that to him, so I just get him and bring him in bed (he’s just about impossible to put back in the crib after taking him out). We co-slept for 11 months, so I’m ok with him in our bed, but I’d prefer it if he were in his crib. He’s 18 months old now. Did you guys not have any trouble with teething or sleep regressions?

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56 Kath April 22, 2014 at 4:52 pm

I thought it was this post too! Ha.

Mazen wakes up at night here and there but he never cries for more than a minute or two. Most of the time it’s just a wimpery cry and he rolls around and goes back to sleep. I guess we’ve been really lucky. If I were you, I’d revert back to Ferber methods when your guy wakes up. Go in and pat his back in 10 minute increments but don’t bring him in with you because he will learn to expect that. (That is if you do want him to sleep in his crib!)

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57 Hannah April 25, 2014 at 11:46 pm

Kath,
You are one of the most perceptive writers I read. I think you are very self-aware and that you are doing great. What I find is that as we age, our capabilities become stronger and more fortified and our struggles become less or new struggles arise in the old one’s place. I wish I could say, yeah, Motherhood got easier around X time when #1 was Z years and #2 was W months, but the truth of it is that you have more tools in your toolbox to handle what comes along. So different stages bring different challenges and you go with the flow. I like the idea of Enjoying the Ride, because one day you will look back and see what growth has come and how Mazen used to be this little guy, but how he has become this awesome man (not trying to rush that along, just saying). Another perspective perhaps is the idea that you have probably not felt as much joy as you do seeing your child grow and learn (even in those sleep deprived early months) the fact that Mazen has become so articulate and that he could even express himself a little bit before. Again, I love reading this blog and your KERF blog. Very insightful, very authentic and relatable and overall good for the soul.

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58 Kath April 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

Thank you so much Hannah.

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