I love doing holiday activities with my oldest (the little one is still too little to get it). But the 4 year old really “gets” it. She loves getting into the crafts and making stuff with her hands. She gets excited about learning about things and really the whole process of seeing things come together. Kids really do make the holidays more fun. Today we decided to color some eggs while the baby napped. I really enjoy the time alone with my oldest. It gives us some quiet time to bond together before the chaos of juggling two kids starts back up once nap time is over. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy spending time with them both. I especially love to watch them play together-there’s no better feeling. But lets be real: 4 is pretty magical. It might actually be my favorite age. She’s just at a really good age of understanding repercussions, and she’s learning to be more patient, and well the bonus is that she’s potty trained. Of course, we still have our moments of meltdowns and tears but for the most part if she’s not over tired, it’s really, really good.
I always like to look at new parents and tell them that “it will get easier” because I think it does. Many people when I was deep in the throws of struggle with a newborn who would cry literally for hours and not sleep more than 2 hour stretches that “it doesn’t ever get easier, it just changes”. Comments like this would really overwhelm me because some of those moments I felt like I was at my breaking point in parenthood. We live here in Seattle far from any family who can step in during those overwhelming moments and give us a break. The feelings of being alone coupled with the comments of “it doesn’t get any easier” didn’t make the moment I was in any easier either.
It’s true, parenthood is never “easy”. There are these magical moments that we hang onto when we are feeling overwhelmed on the hardest days, but in a sense there are times even seasons that are easier and that’s what we should tell new parents. More so than that, lets tell new parents that we are there for them and that we will happily take the baby or help fold laundry when they are feeling overwhelmed. Just knowing that you are not alone and that we are all in this together goes a long way on those hardest days.