I am out of the baby stage. And I’m not afraid to say THANK THE LORD! My heart has only just stopped racing a million miles an hour. I can breathe from my stomach again. As you can probably guess by now, I found the newborn stage hard yakka. No new parent has any idea what they’re getting into but after a complicated birth and a baby that cried every second of every night in hospital, by the time I’d made it home I was wondering why the hell everyone didn’t warn me MORE, MORE, MORE. Then my little bundle of deliciousness developed reflux, she couldn’t be on her back – which, as you can imagine, makes sleeping kinda tricky – for both of us. Not only is the sleeping thing a bit of a drag, watching the most precious and important thing in your world in so much pain is beyond hard.
The thing is, even when my Edie snapped out of this and was sleeping through the night I still lived in a world of anxiety, waiting for the crying to start and walking on eggshells in case I woke her and she never slept ever, ever again in her whole life. It’s important to share with you that I’m not one for ‘winging it’. I have a plan for everything I do. I like to be in control and I like a routine – babies aren’t mad on letting you have either of these things.
Edie is now a toddler and I finally feel like we’ve found our groove. In fact, compared to the baby stage I’m in HEAVEN. I can’t get enough of her. Some people think I’m nuts, ‘what about the tantrums?’ and the ‘but you can’t go anywhere’.
The thing is, I would take the tantrums over the non-stop crying any day of the week because now she can communicate. If Edie is having a tantrum at least I know what she wants, even if she does look like a crazy little drunk person pointing and slurring her words. There’s no more trying to figure out what’s wrong with with her like when she was a baby (usually nothing), now if she’s crying it’s because of something ridiculous like she wants to take the jar of vegemite with us to the park. But at least I know. I finally know. Now she’s like my little mate, she communicates with me, she points at the fridge and I know she’s thirsty and wants some water or she brings me her snuggie and sleeping bag and I know she’s ready for bed. Hallelujah!
I can’t imagine there is a parenting stage that’s harder than the newborn stage but apparently I am wrong. A recent study found that mums of middle schoolers (12 – 14 year-olds) feel worse and more stressed than parents of infants, toddlers, primary school aged children and adult children.
These are the years when kids become increasingly independent. They can become argumentative and often ‘vicious’ – yikes. But they are also super sensitive and easily hurt. They can be moody and sullen at home but out going and excited with friends. Parenting young adolescents can be challenging partly because their stress tends to rub off on us. Good times ahead ah.
I’ve got a few years before I reach this stage which is just as well because I am not ready for this at all. My daughter is going to be my mate forever, always be happy to take my calls, never get moody with me and tell me everything, right? RIGHT?!
What is your favourite parenting stage?