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It Gets Easier…But It Doesn’t Get Easy

July 9, 2012

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.  

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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.”

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If the hard is what makes being a parent tiring, and frustrating, and at times downright awful…it’s also what makes it great.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2012 12:59 pm

    Sweet post. Hang in there Anna. 🙂

  2. July 9, 2012 2:12 pm

    i wish i had some words of advice for you! i’m sure you are doing an amazing amazing job. keep your head up!

  3. July 12, 2012 1:17 pm

    Those are too quotes I use ALL THE TIME! Parenthood doesn’t get any easier. I know, I’m a downer for that, but seriously, those highs are pretty incredible! The stretches of the highs gets longer as they get older. Jay was my happy baby…I think that was a mean plot to get me to have another one. Max, well, he pretty much wanted to know why we ever allowed that sperm and egg to meet up. We had a rough time this last school year with him, but all of a sudden this summer has been incredible! Things will get easier. Just cherish those good times and hope you forget the rough ones. Oh and a good cry always helps!

  4. July 12, 2012 3:30 pm

    It sounds like you and Ryan are doing a GREAT job. And how nice that you can steal some alone time on this vacation!

  5. July 17, 2012 11:25 am

    The title says it all! Parenting is definitely the hardest and most challenging thing I’ve done but, like you said, also the most rewarding. It is weird to go from being completely autonomous to having this little being dictate (essentially) every move. I started to feel like I had it “together” around seven months- she started sleeping better, we were all unpacked, Bailey was healed…she still throws wrenches out here and there (current thing is standing in the crib screaming, refusing to nap) but overall, it does get easier 🙂

  6. July 18, 2012 2:36 am

    You got it, girl! It’s never “easy,” but she will outgrow these phases and find a routine that works for all of you. Hang in there!

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