It Will Get Easier, I Promise
My husband and I recently welcomed a foster child into our home. The kiddo has since moved on (all good stuff!) but I came out of the experience realizing I think I’d forgotten what the infant stage is like. I say stage. Maybe I really mean fog. That hazy, what-time-is-it what-day-is-it period of life when you aren’t sure what’s up or down and everything’s a blur — having a 3-year-old and then suddenly having a 3-year-old and a several-months-old child between one night and the next was a picture in contrast.
With just a 3-year-old…we could put her to bed at 8PM and have a little time to unwind from the day.
With just a 3-year-old…we’d sit at the dinner table to eat as a family.
With just a 3-year-old…I could fit my whole posse in the cart at Jo-Ann Fabrics (the carts at mine have toddler seats, but not enough room for a carseat).
Then there was sleep. Or, you know, the lack thereof! Comes with the baby territory, I know, I know.
But the thing that I came away from the experience with was this: it really does get so much easier as little ones get older. You don’t feel all the changes at once, so I think it’s easy to lose sight of both just how hard babies are when they come back into your life (either permanently or less so). Often you and the babies grow and the seasons turn, and little incremental changes happen — they sleep for more consecutive hours, they learn to self-soothe, your breastfeeding relationship changes. All of these little changes take time and they add up to life adjusting into a more manageable routine (hopefully!).
But in the fog, it’s easy to think it’s always going to be this hard. You’re never going to sleep again. Your body will always ache. Getting in and out of the car will always be a production.
It won’t be though. It will get easier. Yes, some things will get harder. Children will have their unique challenges, their developmental leaps and hurdles, there will be new anxieties and fears and things will happen in life that seem sent to test you. But you will sit at the family dinner table (sometimes), you will have a moment of peace (sometimes), you will sleep (sometimes). You will feel confident in your abilities as you and your child grow and walk down whatever path is yours in life. You will come out of the baby fog stronger, I swear it.
Having a baby come briefly back into my life for a month was a reminder of just how much I know how to get through, and just how much little ones change your life over time. The mists have cleared for now, but I remember, I see you, and I’m here to tell you: it will get easier with time, I really really promise. Not all of it. But some of it. Every morning the fog will clear a little more, until one day you wake up and there — it’s sunshine all the way through.