I thought parenting was supposed to get easier?

I always assumed that as children grow parenting gets easier.  (Until they became teenagers obviously.)  Once we were passed the sheer exhaustion of the baby years, the sleepless nights, the nap battles.  Heading out of those two year old tantrums.  Battling your way through the threenager stage and don’t get me started on the f*&^%g fours.  It was time for parenting to get easier, I mean the only way is up right?

Five was going to be our year.  Plain sailing.  My parenting battles would rage solely with the little one as he heads for his third birthday.  The five year old was going to be the perfect child.  The one who I held up as a pinnacle to my parenting prowess.  The glowing example to us all.

parenting gets easier

I was wrong.

Oh I was so wrong.

I could not have been more wrong if I tried.

Oh my word.  Each and every day is a battle of parenting wills.  A duel of wits.  And I am tired of it.

The attitude, sass and back chat.  If I say something is white he would argue until he is blue in the face that I am wrong and it is in fact black.  Every conversation he needs to have the last word.

Please can you put your shoes on?

Why?

Because we need to leave for school now.

Why?

Because school starts at 7, it’s already 6:40 and it takes 15 minutes to drive there.

We don’t need to leave yet

Yes we do, as I’ve said we’re already late

We’re not late.

Time is still ticking on it’s now 6:42.  Trust me we’re late.

That’s not late

PUT. YOUR. SHOES. ON.

Why?

Infuriating.  And that is on a good day, a day where we will still make it to school on time.  Where I am running through the doors.

The procrastination, the sullen attitude and the teenage sighs forgotten as my sweet little boy gives me a kiss and a cuddle at the door.

The feeling that it is all in my imagination, the difficultness is MY problem not his.  A morning spent away is a morning to reflect, to come up with a plan of action.

And then comes pick up.

And with it a realisation that dealing with a tired, hangry, grumpy child once again means parenting isn’t the walk in the park that I thought it would be as he grew.

Sullen car rides.

Shouted words of anger.

Defiance at the simplest of tasks, no he will not get out of the car, no he does NOT want to go and pick up his brother.  How DARE I make him.

No he will NOT do as I say.

That is NOT the right answer.

Why do I not know and anticipate his every need?  LEGO is boring.  I DON’T like apples any more.  No I CAN’T do that.  I WON’T do it.

The fighting, the pushing, the pinching, the shoving.

The yelling, the screaming, the tantrums.

Time outs.

Time ins.

Cuddles on the couch.

Sitting on the steps.

Talking calmly, rationally.

Screaming like a banshee.

We have the full range each and every day.

And no matter what by the end of every day I am pulling my hair out.  I have no idea where it’s going wrong, where the clashing of heads comes from.

The anger, the defiance, the back chat, the attitude.

I am tired.

And I am lonely

Because it feels like it is only my child providing this level of resistance to parenting.  When we go on play dates, at the school gates, trips out with friends, the other children are perfectly behaved.

They listen, they have conversations rather than back chat, there is no anger.

And yet, at these times I look at my eldest and realise that he too is behaving perfectly.  When he is watched by friends he is a absolute delight and angel.  That when we are out he morphs back into my sunny, happy, little boy.

He saves the depths of his anger, his uncertainty and his defiance to when we are at home and alone.  To when he is safe and can lash out.

So I try to remember this.

And yes, it doesn’t stop me being tired of it, or fed up, or wanting to run and hide under the stairs.

But it does help me understand a little better, hold my tongue a little longer and remember that I am not alone.  That chances are someone else out there is dealing with the same (I hope.)

And that most importantly that although it’s harder than I ever imagined, it is always worth it.  The good moments forever weigh out the tough times.

parenting gets easier

 

 

 

 

I thought parenting was meant to get easier...why is my child chatting back and throwing tantrums when others seem to be behaving?

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6 Comments

  1. March 21, 2018 / 11:55 am

    My five year old is definitely my parenting battle at the moment too. But she does seem to be improving slightly and like yours, she’s totally different when she’s around other people. I’d rather it that way than being fine at home and being awful in public.
    Nat.x
    Plutonium Sox recently posted…26 West Midlands days out Easter holidays 2018My Profile

  2. March 23, 2018 / 11:53 am

    I can imagine its difficult, especially with two. I have a son and we’ve had our challenges, but it does get easier. He’s now 8 and a pleasure… but skip a meal, or an hour of sleep and grrrr!!!!
    Bianca recently posted…The Perfect Home Alone Day for MomsMy Profile

  3. Rachel Edwards
    May 29, 2018 / 8:33 am

    Oh girl! You are most certainly not alone. This Doha heat does not help either. My 3 going on 4 year old who is the size of a 5/6 year old is driving me nuts. We just moved here and he will start school in September and I’m having the same conversation with myself everyday. “It’s supposed to get easier.” I’m waiting for the easy to kick in, alas, it eludes me.
    He will act sweet and play nice when I’m not around but as soon as we’re alone, I’m smothered by him sitting on me, jumping on me, accidentally kicking me. He yells ALL DAY LONG and I feel bad that he hardly hears my real voice because i’m shouting through gritted teeth half the time. I’m either trying to explain why we do everything, putting him in time out or repeating myself 115 times to accomplish 1 task. You are not alone.
    I never want to complain because I battled infertility for 10+ years and I wouldn’t have him if it weren’t for the help of modern science and 2 very talented, amazing and expensive doctors. I feel like I don’t have the right to complain. He’s a gift, but between you and me, he can be a real s#%t sometimes. ‍

    • Laura
      Author
      May 29, 2018 / 9:03 am

      I hear you!! I wonder if some of that is the age because my three year old is currently in the same stage!! You definitely have the right to complain – just because you need to let off steam doesn’t mean you don’t realise how lucky you are to have him xxx

  4. May 31, 2018 / 6:47 am

    I totally get this Laura. My boys are now 4 and 8 and i’m finding 8 so much harder than 4!
    I’ve been told something recently that I didn’t know, it takes at least 5 seconds for them to process what you have asked them to do. I now try and count to 5 before repeating my comand!
    The only other thing that helps with my eldest is that he benefits so much from some one to one time. But that isn’t always easy to give.
    I have days where I just feel like I am constantly on at him. He wants to be treated like he is older but he gives no thought to his actions.
    The parenting minefields just seem to be getting bigger!

  5. Jo
    June 27, 2018 / 11:37 pm

    Had exactly the same problems with my eldest (now 15.5); Shw was awful. She stopped napping abou 15 months,fought us over everything and would settle in bed at night till very late. We thought we were the only ones battling every day and watched as other went on to have more babies but we could barely cope with our one child. She was an angel with other people so nobody believed us (still don’t!). She did improve around 5 in fact and we have another now who is 9. It does end but takes longer for some kids. She’s a lovely girl now, very kind and sensitive and emotionally mature. It did get harder when she became a teen – that will fullness resurfaces. But we’re happy with hw she turned out. Keep the faith!

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