Be Quiet! Don't Tell Me 'It Gets Harder'

Sasha Brown-Worsham
6

We have all been there -- struggling with our baby when some well meaning mom with an older child comes by to "help" us.

Until she opens her mouth. "If you think this is hard, wait until they're 2." Um, yeah. Thanks for the help.

Who hasn't heard a father with a 5-year-old say, "I thought 3 was hard until my kid turned 4" or "Oh just you wait, the hard part is coming"? Most of the time, these comments are made during our most vulnerable moments, too. The times where we're sure we will never sleep again and our sanity is hanging by a thread.

Why do they feel the need to say such things, anyway? And why do I find myself doing this myself sometimes?

It's like we all have some kind of internal desire to let other parents in on the secrets, but most of the time those secrets are bad.

Why do I feel the need to tell a pregnant woman who is suffering with morning sickness that "this is the easy part"? I cringe when I think of the things I have said like that because, although they are true, they are most certainly not helpful.

Maybe we should all sign some kind of pledge that we won't tell other people the truth because it's true that 3 is harder than 2, but it's also better in many ways. And things do get harder, but they get better also.

That baby that can't talk? Will be able to tell you why he or she is crying in a few months. She will also be more demanding and more likely to throw a fit, but some of the harder parts of babyhood will be behind you.

But that isn't the part people tell you, and as parents of older children, we often have the luxury of selective memory. We remember the good things, but not the hard things, so yes, to someone on the other side of "sleeping through the night," 3 might seem harder, but go back to that newborn stage?

Not me. No way. I'll take 3 any day.

So let's keep our bad news to ourselves. Sound like a deal?

 

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