When does parenthood become less draining? That's a good question.
Never in my pre-baby life did I think that I would have a 2-year-old and still be facing sleepless nights and sleep deprivation.
Add that to being tremendously overstimulated all the time because the house is a mess, there’s almost always a pile of clothes on the bed to be folded and packed away (and another pile in the dryer three days now), my daughter is going through an extremely clingy phase, and someone is playing music loudly somewhere.
When does parenthood become less draining?
In my short stint of parenthood so far, I’ve made the striking realization that different stages of motherhood bring different opportunities to wake up at 2 am.
Yup! That beautiful time of 2 am.
First, there’s the newborn stage where baby wakes up every 2-3 hours but we parents are prepared for that because we learned about it in Lamaze class.
What we’re not prepared for are the sleep regressions, teething phases (oh yes, there’s more than one phase), weaning phase, nightmares, and many other phases I’m sure I've left out.
Oh! I almost forgot! And this one is the worst one yet!
I was most definitely not prepared for the “I’m sleeping too long, something must be wrong” where you jump out your sleep in the middle of the night because after countless sleepless nights, your child decided to switch it up and sleep through.
When your baby finally wakes up at 7 am, you’re groggy, grumpy and looking like a ghost of yourself because you didn’t sleep the ONE night your child slept. Go figure!
Child rearing is work – rewarding, self-affirming, brave work – but nevertheless, it is work.
It doesn’t have an “OFF” switch or a log out period; it’s not like a 9-5.
It’s 24/7, 365 until those sweethearts become independent enough to be able to take care of themselves… and they still need you then as well!
I myself, as old as I am… you know, 29 years and what not, still rely on my parents from time to time.
Roll with the punches
I know the sleepless nights won’t last forever. I know my daughter is going to grow and become increasingly independent and will eventually not need me as much anymore.
Fun fact: Parenting gets less tiring when you learn to accept and roll with the unknown. Scary I know, right?!
The more we loosen the reins we have, the more peace we attain.
And before you know it, that little baby you’re cradling to sleep one day has transformed into a beautiful young woman with a life of her own and all those sleepless nights suddenly feel worth it.
The days are long but the years are short
It’s true what they say, “the days are long but the years are short”.
Each day may feel tough, exhausting and never-ending, but each day, hour, minute and second we spend with our little ones are like little deposits into their development.
You may not feel like it all the time, but each small moment to you is a big moment to them.
My daughter just turned 2 and absolutely loves it when I lay down on the floor with her.
Do I necessarily love laying on the floor? Definitely not! Will I continue to do it? For her, definitely!
She laughs and smiles, we talk about the ceiling, she climbs all over me – it’s her happy time.
Now, when I look back at old photos/videos of the both of us together, I’m super grateful that I’ve gotten the opportunity to create these memories and moments with her.
So don’t fear my fellow moms! We’re going to make it through!
It may feel exhausting now but I know eventually that feeling will fade.
Until then, let’s hope, pray and give ourselves grace when needed.
So when does parenthood become less draining? Who knows, but don't worry.
We’ve got this!