I used to ask people with older kids: “ Will it get easier?” and the most common answer is: “Not really!” which shocked me SO MUCH. While I was up every 3 hours with a newborn, dealing with physical exhaustion and over-tiredness, AND trying to entertain a toddler who is going through his “terrible twos I COULD NOT imagine that it could possibly get any harder. But you know how it is: It gets worse before it gets better. That’s what Mark and I always say (half joking, since we never take ourselves too serious!) when shit hits the fan, haha.
Now that my kids are 3 and 1, I can totally relate to the phrase “It doesn’t get easier, it’s just different”. You might be able to sleep for longer stretches, you won’t have to hold your baby as much as before, you won’t have to nurse every couple of hours, but when they start to move and develop more skills they need more attention. Obviously I’ve experienced that with Raphael before, so that’s nothing new, but having two crazy kids acting out, THAT changes everything. When I was chasing after Raphael, I didn’t have another kid that needed to be watched. And I have to admit: having a 3 and 1 year old is THE hardest! In my opinion age three is so much harder than the “terrible twos”.
Each day is like being on a wildly awful rollercoaster. BIG FEELINGS, all day long. Raphael is throwing way more tantrums than ever before and he is cycling through deep and intense mood swings. He also knows how to trigger me. It’s mentally and emotionally challenging, and it rattles me every dang time. Which usually leads to me having a melt down after I put them down for the night.
“When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos” — L. R. Knost
Not as easy as it sounds and sometimes I just want to throw a tantrum myself when he is totally freaking out, haha!
I remember when Noah was around 2 months, Raphael had this bad throwing and hitting phase which was driving me INSANE. The good thing was, that Noah was still sleeping a TOOOON, thus I didn’t have to worry much about him. What was a little challenging in the beginning was to keep Raphael entertained while I had to nurse Noah which was every couples hours. But I felt like that went pretty smooth and Raphael was super understandable.
Right now I just feel so drained at the end of the day
+ Raphael is going through those phases of wanting to be independent but not being fully able to do things by himself, he has is own head, he wants certain things to be done his way, which can be annoying after a while.
+ Noah is going through a screaming and throwing phase which is feeding off of Raphael. Raphael started mimicking Noah and making baby sounds which is really annoying! Especially during meal time. It really is NO fun when they both act like crazy monkeys throwing food and screaming while we try to eat/feed them. I think for me meal time is the most challenging!
+ Tantrums before bedtime is a classic. Last time Raphael’s pre-bed-tantrum was so bad that he somehow hit his face and started bleeding out of his mouth while freaking out. We had a hard time calming him down. After 15 minuets he finally settled down and we were able to start bedtime routine.
+ Sharing is not always fun especially when little brother is not gentle at all. We call I’m Godzilla or No-zilla because he literally destroys everything. On top of that he is SO strong. So he usually gets what he wants. And Raphael ends up being the one who’s crying.
+ Having my hands full because Noah climbs everywhere, opens all drawer and cabinets even with a lock on and is looking for trouble ALL THE TIME. Nothing is safe, we had to be creative to keep him away from plants and drawers. The moment I turn around to help Raphael get dressed (or whatever) Noah’s on top of something. So I usually have to interrupt 3-4 times.
So what I am doing every day is chasing around a 1 year old, watching him, so he wouldn’t hurt himself and keeping up with a 3 year old, who needs more attention and more advanced activity – such a hard combination! And it’s hard to really focus and “actively playing” with each of them.
Nevertheless, watching them both grow and witnessing all their first steps is priceless! And when you see it from this perspective it does not matter how exhausting and challenging parenting is, watching your own children grow and develop is by far the most amazing thing in life.
“A baby fills a place in your heart you never knew was empty”
Raphael is growing into this independent and strong willed little human and Noah (my little baby) is such a smartie already. He understands a lot and is starting to babble so much. One is such a fun age with big developmental milestones. I know they won’t stay little forever so I try to soak it all in. Sometimes I just wish I could enjoy it more. Especially on hard days I feel so much mom guilt. I know we’ve all been there!
So for all moms who are having a hard time. I see you, I hear you, I know what you are going through because I am right here with you!
“The days are long, but the years are short” – Gretchen Rubin