They Weren’t Lying: It Actually *Does* Get Easier
Remember this post?
I thought I’d never have another baby. When you’re deep in the throes of newborn infant hell, people love to tell you, “It gets easier!!!”
And my reaction was always, “Well fuck you very much.”
Pardon the language.
When you’re functioning on three hours of sleep, having been thrown from functioning adulthood into a bizarro world where you’re in charge of a tiny being who seemingly only eats and cries (sleep? what sleep?), the last thing you want to hear is that it gets easier. Mainly because you just don’t believe it to be true.
And Lila was only *truly* fussy— fussy in the way that made me want to set fire to my own arm rather than listen to her cry for another hour—for about two weeks.
To the parents who deal with *actual* colicky babies for months on end: I salute you.
Hearing people say that the whole baby thing gets easier is like listening to birth stories while you’re pregnant. It’s kind of interesting to hear how other people’s labors and deliveries went down, but in the end, it doesn’t really mean anything for you, personally. Because who knows what might happen when it’s your turn? It’s something that you truly have to experience for yourself in order to understand it. You have to cross through the tunnel to the other side.
Well…I think we’re on the other side.
And I’m happy to say that all of those people were right—it *does* get easier. It’s not an overnight flip of the switch—I think it’s been a gradual process. All I can say is that we seemed to go from having just-survive-it days to having okay days to having good days to having great days. And now, when I wake up in the morning, I’m SO excited to see Lila.
Wouldn’t you be excited to see this face?
I’ve heard people say that it gets easier at six weeks, but for us, I think two months was the turning point. At two months, she started to smile a lot more. She started to fuss a lot less. And to me, she just started to seem more…predictable. Predictable in a way that made it easier to take her out of the house. And predictable in a way that made it easier for us to give her what she needed when she was unhappy.
This might make me seem like a horrible mother (You should love your baby RIGHT away and that love should never, ever waver!!!!! ), but if I’m being totally honest, I have to say: for the first month or so of parenting, I was pretty miserable. People talk about loving and bonding with their babies right away, but I spent a lot of that first month just feeling terrified. Lila was just so small, so fragile—and it was up to me to take care of her?!? It’s a lot of responsibility. And it’s exhausting.
But, slowly but surely, I began to feel more comfortable in my new role as a parent. More and more, it began to feel easier. And once it became easier, it began to feel fun. Really, really fun.
That’s not to say that Lila still doesn’t have her moments:
But suddenly these moments seem manageable…even funny.
And so if you’re a brand-new, week-old parent out there struggling, I’m here to tell you—it does get easier.
I know, I know—you don’t believe me.
But you will soon.