I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said to myself, “this has to be the hardest phase.” And it always seems to be true. Every phase of parenting, since having Laken, has felt like the hardest. I feel like, at some point, it has to get easier.
In January, at a birthday party, I told a couple who were expecting their second, that “this has been the hardest year of my life.” I don’t want to sugar coat and make them think it’s all rainbows and sunshine. Having two children is hard. At that time, Zane was three and a half and Laken was two. That had been a really tough year, with Laken gaining mobility and all of a sudden being able to get into Zane’s toys. Zane wasn’t happy about this… “No Laken that’s mine! Moooooom Laken took my toy!” I’d have to try to make Zane understand that Laken was little and didn’t understand, and that he needs to learn to share his toys. For the longest time, I let Laken get away with a lot, and Zane probably didn’t really understand.
Now, Laken is 20 months and we haven’t been allowing him to get away with so much. It’s still a constant challenge. And it goes both ways. Neither of them can have what they want when they want it. They still fight a lot, and when they’re not fighting (or sleeping), they’re being wild crazy boys. They climb on me. They wrestle. They run around. And eventually someone gets hurt. I can’t put into words how wild they can be.
Zane is a moody four year old. He has his own expectations and desires. He wants to do things his own way and in his own time, and that can be a struggle, when we want things done “now.” We need to learn to give him space to be his own person, while also being a respectful, polite and honest young boy. He wants time with his family but he also wants time to himself. He wants us to play with him in his room. He wants to be the boss. He wants to do everything I do. He wants to be Batman.
Laken is finally learning more words. Not many words that actually help us figure out what he wants, unfortunately. (But I’m LOVING his expanding vocabulary!!) He will just cry and scream. When Zane makes him mad or hurts him, he points and Zane and screams. But that doesn’t tell us what actually happened. I guess the hardest thing with him is the lack of communication. Also the fact that he is just so darn cute, it’s almost impossible to be mad at him. He does something wrong, and I go to scold him, and he looks up at me with those beautiful blue eyes and that big smile. How can I be mad at that?
So… this is the hardest phase. Six months ago was the hardest phase. And I’m willing to bet six months from now will be… the hardest phase.
I believe it will get better, easier. Its got to eventually, right?
You tell me: What’s been the hardest phase of parenting for you?