It Gets Easier…But It Doesn’t Get Easy
I blame this post.
When Lila was pushing us to the brink in the first few weeks after birth, my cousin Elizabeth said, “My mother always said new babies push you to your absolute limit and then, when you couldn’t possibly take it another day, it starts to get better.”
I do think this is true.
I also believe the opposite is true: when babies sense that you’ve got a bit of a handle on things—that you’re starting to actually feel comfortable and somewhat competent—they throw you for a loop and shake things up again, thus ensuring that things might get easier, but they never get easy.
After my long post about how fun Lila has gotten, and how we’ve finally figured out how to soothe her quickly and give her what she wants…man she had a doozy of a night the other night. Fussing, crying, hand-gnawing, head-shaking…and nothing seemed to calm her down.
In all honesty, the fussing probably wasn’t even that bad—maybe an hour or two, max? But she’d been doing so well, with such little fussing, that to have an hour or two of fussing felt like a major step backwards.
And honestly, sometimes that’s what it feels like to have a baby: two steps forward, one step back.
It felt very defeating, to the point where I had to go to our room, sit on our bed, and just have a good cry.
Parenthood has quickly become the hardest thing I’ve ever done—and the best. The highs are so high, but the lows…man are they low.
It reminds me of a quote from the movie A League of Their Own.
No, not “There’s no crying in baseball!” There’s plenty of crying in parenting. Mom cries. Dad cries. Baby cries. Mom cries some more.
No, the quote is: “It’s supposed to be hard. If it were easy, everyone would do it. The hard…is what makes it great.”
If the hard is what makes being a parent tiring, and frustrating, and at times downright awful…it’s also what makes it great.