Tuesday, August 03, 2010

No, it doesn't get easier

They tell you lies, I say!

All of the people who look at you sweetly when you are hip-deep in babies and toddlers and preschoolers and they say, "It'll get easier, honey. Don't worry."

Well, I beg to differ.

Yes, it's true: you won't always be wiping noses and bottoms and cleaning up duplo blocks and spilled milk.

But what are you trading it in for? Pre-teens and teens with:


Broken hearts, both romantic and by friends that didn't turn out to be very good friends after all.

Body odor and poor personal hygiene.

Eye rolling.


Lots of emotions out of control: happy, sad, tortured, frustrated, angry.

Learning to drive. And the letting them drive. And then the inevitable fender benders. (I hope a fender bender is the worst you ever deal with.)

Whether or not they accept or reject what you have taught them.

Helping them make big decisions, and hoping that you have earned enough influence with them to have your guidance matter to them.

Eventually they will be making their decisions without you, and you can no longer protect and guide them. You're a captive audience to whatever goes down, good or bad.

And then shake all of this up with 2 or 3 or 4 teenagers or preteens, and you've got a perfect storm, my friends. A hot mess some days. Yep.

(Did I mention that kids get a whole lot more expensive as they get older? Well, they do that too.)

It's true that eventually you will be able to walk out the door by yourself and leave the kids home to make their own dinner and entertain themselves for the evening.

It's true that eventually you will be able to sleep in without all hell breaking loose around the house.

It's true that it won't always be like it is when they are little.

Eventually, it will get harder.

(*I guess I will have to admit that even though the stakes are much, much higher with my teens and pre-teens, I still enjoy them. In some ways the baby days *were* indeed harder. Physically it was harder for sure. But some days when I am navigating the Big Issues of life with my older kids, I think that making a little sandwich, taking a little nap, and playing with the train set would be a whole lot easier than what's going on in real time. It's all good, but it ain't easy. But then, nothing worth having ever is.)

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