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Does it get easier as they grown up?

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#1 mandarins

Posted 04 February 2013 - 08:57 PM

I have been thinking about how tough I find it being a mum.
Sometimes I feel desperately sad at how overwhelming and never ending parenting is.
This is not a thread that I want to go down the track of "I regret having children", but I simply want to hear from people with older or grown up kids, how is it as the get older. And when does it begin to get better? 15? 18? 20? 25? Never?

We are past the baby stage, but my kids range from preschool to end of primary ages.
People often talk about getting over the baby stage and it becoming easier but we are past that now and I find the demands of my kids much tougher now than when they were infants.

So does it get easier as they get older or are the little bits I've heard about how horrible and difficult teenagers are true?

Are these the hardest years or do I need to brace myself for what is coming?

#2 QueenIanthe

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:02 PM

I am finding life a lot easier now. My kids are 16, 12 (both in high school), 10 & 8 in primary school and 4 (at preschool). They generally play ok together, they are all much more capable. I really feel that we turned a corner these holidays.

#3 KLF84

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:10 PM

Even though ds is only eight going on 18, I felt life was so much easier and less demanding and controlled when he was 2/3 years old. I miss the younger years.

#4 What'sNext??

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:17 PM

I can't tell you when it gets easier.  But do have to say the angst of an emotional 8 year is making me very nervous about what is ahead.

I think the baby years are unique in how physically demanding they are, but the mental & emotional battles are in some ways even harder.

A lady at a shop last week commented on my children (eldest 8, youngest about to turn 1) and said "you may think you don't have control now, but let me tell you, you have control. When they are older they want you to fix things you really can't control".  Her children were all grown.

Good luck with it all.  I'll be watching!

#5 CalmMyFarm

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:33 PM

I'm not gonna lie - I too find parenting hard.  My child is 12 and a half and sometimes I feel that being a parent is truly the most thankless job ever.  I don't expect thanks all the time, I'm just saying that sometimes I throw my hands up in the air and ask myself WHY.  Why did I bother becoming a mother if my kid shows me so little respect and only wants me around when she needs me.  At this point in time I feel like I'm only there to pick up the pieces when she's had a bad day at school; feed and clothe her, wash her clothes and keep her (our) home clean, make sure she eats properly, worry about her, love her and take her outbursts of hormonal abuse.  

I feel like kids are super selfish - it's all about them, them, them.  They don't think we bleed when we are cut.  I'm so nice to her friends and treat them like my own but instead of appreciating it, I'm told that I said this wrong or that wrong.  

No doubt about it, it's hard.   I take my hat off to those parents who seems to just glide along and believe that their kids are so worth it every day of their lives.

I love my daughter, I would lay my life down for her.  I feel it's a bit one-sided though, to be honest.  No one ever warns you about that.  Please don't flame me.  These are just my feelings.  I want to support the OP because I get it.

I do have days where I find parenting very rewarding and I feel a rush of love and pride in her but many a day I feel almost cheated.  I feel like, wow, is this what it's all about?  Really?

#6 tel2

Posted 04 February 2013 - 09:55 PM

When I had my first born, I was sleep deprived and all and asked my much older cousin (who had teenagers at the time), when does it get easier ?  He replied it never does but the responsibility changes Eg When they are babies you worry why they arn't sleeping at 2am. When they are 18 you wonder where the hell they are at 2am.

So in short, it never gets easy, parenting just changes  original.gif

#7 Tranquille

Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:06 PM

I have often said there is not much difference between teenagers and toddlers

#8 katrina24

Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:40 PM

I think it's a hard gig too. I also think that different people find different ages and stages more or less challenging.  Hopefully the next phase is one you find easier.

#9 Feral Grey Mare

Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:46 PM

Wait until they learn to drive, then you have no control over where they go and with who (whom?).Then they turn 18 and its "I don't have to tell you anything now because I'm an adult".

#10 Bernard Woolley

Posted 04 February 2013 - 10:49 PM

My Mum tells me her mantra is 'Think 35'!  wink.gif

To be honest, I think my brother and I have come good a little earlier than that, but yeah: it's a slog, as far as I can tell. I don't know - maybe it's about finding the good (bearable?) bits in whatever stage you're in?

#11 mpoppins92

Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:04 PM

To the parent that said she feels it's a thankless job, I promise you one day your child will see everything you did for them and it will shock them, and they will be very thankful. They may not ever outright say it but they will think it. And even though it's probably no comfort, they treat you that way because they know they can. It's a gift you have given your children that they know they are safe and secure enough in your love that you will always love them.

I can't imagine a world where I felt I had to tread on tip toes around my mother and prove myself worthy of her love. And she says all the same things about when I was 12-17, that I was so selfish, that I appreciated nothing. That's true, but now I do appreciate her more than she will ever know, because she let me be all those things and she still loved me. According to my mum I've hit my peak at 20, this her favourite age yet.  tongue.gif

#12 IShallWearMidnight

Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:12 PM

mum always said she loved the ages of under 5 or over 15, but would happily skip the middle 10 years

#13 L&E

Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:01 AM

My mum has a saying: when they're little they make your arms hurt. When they're older they make your heart hurt.

#14 FiveAus

Posted 05 February 2013 - 05:00 AM

When they grew up and left home.

Kinda kidding (but kinda not). I found parenting to be a lot of work, no thanks involved and largely unenjoyable. I loved the newborn stage with all of them, and then I enjoyed individual kids at different ages but didn't particularly enjoy any of them as teenagers.

Only one of them now appreciates and understands, but he has a child of his own. As far as one of my daughters is concerned, nothing about her upbringing was good enough......we were't rich enough, she didn't do enough/have enough etc. etc. and she lets everyone know her feelings.

I was a single mum for a good part of it and worked fulltime to support the kids, as their father moved overseas so he wouldn't have to.

#15 Natttmumm

Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:11 AM

My kids are school age and preschool age and baby arriving soon. I don't believe it gets easier. The challenges change.
It might depend which parts you find hard. For me no sleep, constant whinge, crying and refusing food gets me - that will all stop eventually but then I'm going to worry about where they are etc.
I just try to enjoy each phase even though that is hard too

#16 Bart.

Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:32 AM

OP, I can't help with your question as mine are still babies, three and one years old.  But I'm reading this thread wondering what I've got myself into!  Is this really the cost of maternal instinct?

To me, you can't get any more perfection than a newborn and I'd have ten of them over a single toddler. laughing2.gif  

#17 cinnabubble

Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:35 AM

I can't imagine a world where I felt I had to tread on tip toes around my mother and prove myself worthy of her love.

I can.

OP, I don't think it gets easier, you just get more used to it.

#18 sophiasmum

Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:41 AM

Mine are obviously not at the ages OP is talking about, but I find it gets easier as each year passes. For example when DD2 was 3 we got rid of all the baby equipment (prams, high chair, portacot, cot etc) but she still couldn't go a whole day out somewhere with lots of walking it was too tiring for her. Now that she is 4 she is able to do everything the rest of the family does & copes really well. I'm sure when she turns 5 it will be easier again, etc. The only thing I find is the older they get the more activities they are involved in, so it's busier from that perspective.

#19 Gudrun

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:04 AM

Parenting is forever and I remember the shock when slow me realised that.

Whether it gets easier or not and when probably depends partly on your own disposition and partly on  what befalls you.

I think the secret is to just roll with it rather than hang out for when you think it will get easier because that saps you in itself and if it doesn't happen, then what?    

You do realise it does get easier when you look back without being able to necessarily pinpoint when that happened.

I gave up waiting for a decent night's sleep and it eventually came but I only appreciated it in retrospect as I was already onto worrying about other things.

I found teenagers the best and knowing one definite thing and that is that legally I wasn't responsible once they turned 18.

Grandmother with very old children.

#20 Lagom

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:20 AM

My children are still very young but I have found DD starting school has made things soooo much easier.  She's still hard work but I at least get a break so when I do see her it's easier to be patient.
Birth to 4 was particularly challenging with DD1.  DD2 has been a dream in comparison and I'm enjoying her two-ness at the moment.   I'm sure all children are different and therefore when they become easier is all relative.  There are plenty of people who worry about their adult children (DV, drug abuse, financial worries, illness etc etc)  
As my Granny said, 'Little children, little worries.  Big children, big worries.'  wink.gif

#21 Fluster

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:25 AM

QUOTE (FiveAus @ 05/02/2013, 05:00 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Only one of them now appreciates and understands, but he has a child of his own. As far as one of my daughters is concerned, nothing about her upbringing was good enough......we were't rich enough, she didn't do enough/have enough etc. etc. and she lets everyone know her feelings.

I was a single mum for a good part of it and worked fulltime to support the kids, as their father moved overseas so he wouldn't have to.

I'd want to choke her.  Actually, having been a single mother with sole financial responsibility, I will choke her if you want  happy.gif

QUOTE (Gudrun @ 05/02/2013, 08:04 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think the secret is to just roll with it rather than hang out for when you think it will get easier because that saps you in itself and if it doesn't happen, then what?

Totally agree.  I was a single mother when the realisation hit me.  Knowing that I wanted some actual love, affection and attention, I went and found a husband.  Now at least one person in the house appreciates my cooking!  DH and I are now trying for a child and although I'm the one that pestered, he's the one that's now really keen - all I can think is 'well, if we're infertile, we'll be able to afford some cracking overseas holidays'.

#22 StopTheGoats

Posted 05 February 2013 - 08:51 AM

I remember feeling horrified when a random dude said to me whilst I juggled a 5 month old in a fog of chronic, anxiety inducing sleep deprivation, supply issues, isolation, mastitis and low weight gains that whilst the baby years are tough he'd trade them for his teenager any day. "Little kids, little problems. Big kids, big problems". It was one of the single most deflating, depressing moments of my life.

#23 JRA

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:01 AM

I can't tell you when it gets easier. But do have to say the angst of an emotional 8 year is making me very nervous about what is ahead.

I will replace that with 10yo

Baby was easy, toddler was easy, preschooler was easy. The 9-10 has been really hard work.

#24 tres-chic

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

My mother is having a hard time with my brother (I won't say DB because he's a pain in the a**) and he is nearly 50.

An expression she heard was 'a mother is only ever as happy as her unhappiest child' and for her it is true.

Mine are 2, 4 and 6 and I find it gets easier every month that goes by.

#25 Soontobegran

Posted 05 February 2013 - 09:19 AM

I don't think there is a parent anywhere that will not at some stage wonder what the heck they were thinking when they chose parenting but if it becomes a daily grind then I think it is time to seek some professonal help.
From my experience every age group has it's trials and tribulations but as has been said previously you are usually getting a little more sleep and life does seem better when you are not always in a constant state of sleep deprivation.

I have done the babies, the toddlers, the teens and now adults and can honestly say that the teen years were probably the most mentally challenging as opposed to the physically challenging years when they are younger.
I also found it important to have my outlet which was mainly though working where I managed to maintain an identity other than parent. I know this is not important to some but to me it was.
I also had an involved and committed partner, this also helped me cope.

I can now sit and reflect on our lives as a family and to see our children flourish and become amazing adults, most with families of their own I can honestly say what a joyful experience it has been to be their mother but that being said I know I have at times felt just like you OP.

ETA--IME you do not ever stop being a parent and all the anxiety that can bring whether they are 3 or 30  original.gif

Edited by soontobegran, 05 February 2013 - 09:20 AM.

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