Overwhelmed working moms want to know: When does parenting get easier?May 19, 2021
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This post will benefit you if you’re a working mom and wondering if your life as a parent will ever get easier.
Before I had my oldest son, Owen, I remember being terrified of labor. One of my best friends (a mom of two) offered some great advice. She said, “take labor like a wave”. Being in this mindset helped tremendously as the contractions came and went. Eventually, the waves of pain ended and I had a beautiful boy to cuddle. As every mother says, it was all worth it.
Fast-forward four years and now I’m the mom to two boys. But I’ve learned to apply the “wave” idea to motherhood in ways that have been incredibly helpful. And it’s one of the top parenting tips I love to share as a working mom. As you know, the ups and downs of being responsible for other humans consume every part of our day.
Do you ever feel like you’re rocking in the ocean of parenthood? Some waves are tiny and just push you a little, while others seem to completely knock you down, don’t they? This is how it looks in most of our worlds; One minute you’re enjoying life with a happy kid who is laughing with you and then suddenly that same child flips a switch and is having a full-on dramatic meltdown because you turned off the TV.
The roller coaster ride that parenthood sends you on is inevitable. And while we all go through it, sometimes it feels like we’ve been thrust on a deserted island where no one else is experiencing what we are. So, the million-dollar question that working moms are begging to have answered is, “When does parenting get easier?”.
Here’s my take on that very question. (Keep in mind I have two toddlers and have been through just a few phases of parenthood so far so take this “parenting tip” for what it’s worth):
Parenting doesn’t get easier, but it does change.
What I’ve found when I reflect on the idea of parenting getting easier is that each phase is very different. Some are easier to navigate than others. We finally finished potty training with my oldest, causing many rough waves to come crashing down on top of us. However, he’s at such a fun age—learning, exploring, and using his imagination like crazy. I absolutely love that part. My youngest is on a mission to get to the top of every piece of furniture that’s not meant to be climbed. At the same time, his sweet smile is infectious and his cuddles make my heart melt.
If I ask a seasoned mom with three teenagers, “When does parenting get easier?” she may laugh back on the toddler years and promptly let me know I have it easy right now. The waves she’s dealing with today could seem bigger and more impactful. I’ll take any parenting tips she wishes to give me!
The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what phase of motherhood you’re in or what types of unpredictability you’re currently experiencing. We all have our own wavy paths we are trying to navigate, especially as working moms.
7 parenting tips to make the waves of motherhood easier to ride
While being a parent doesn’t exactly get easier—motherhood automatically brings on worry and stress—there are ways to take some of the pressure off of yourself. See which ones resonate with you:
1. Focus on the good when a tough wave barrels you over
There’s almost always something positive—or a lesson to learn—that comes from hard parenting moments. Rather than dwelling on how hard that wave hit you, change your thinking. You were pretty brave to get back up, weren’t you?
2. Understand that what goes up must come down
Life throws highs and lows at all of us. You can’t always be ready, but knowing there’s calm on the other side can bring you some peace. There is an end in sight. You’ll be back to one of those sweet moments to remember in no time.
3. Realize you’re not alone
So often we think we’re the only ones asking when parenting gets easier. But someone else (probably even a good friend) is likely going through something very similar. While you may not always want to talk about it, knowing that you’re not alone can help. And while the situations may be different, the feelings you have are not.
4. Talk to a mom that’s going through some similar
If you do want to talk about your situation, find a mom who is also navigating the same choppy waters. Share your experiences and be open to advice. Just make sure that when you talk through your troubles, you’re also helping each other come up with solutions. Don't let it turn into a woe-is-me conversation.
5. Find a mom who has already been through it
Chances are if you’re trying to get to the other side of a big wave, another mom has already conquered it. Reach out to moms with kids a bit older than yours and see what kind of advice and insights you can gather from them.
6. Take much-deserved time away
It’s perfectly acceptable to need time to yourself. We can’t be “on” all the time. Spend 10 minutes taking a walk or reading a book. Self-care is critical to making your life as a working mom easier. And it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your precious time. Just be sure you’re letting yourself take breaks from your kids when you can.
7. Make work work for you
As working moms, we spend most of our time and energy focusing on two areas: parenting and our job. If you’re going to work you might as well be doing something you enjoy. Trust me, it only makes your role as a mom easier when you can finish up work and still be in a good mood!
Waves can be harsh and beautiful at the same time. Try your best to remain focused on the ones that keep you floating peacefully in the ocean of parenthood. Embrace the idea that parenting doesn’t necessarily get easier, but it will change, leaving you learning more than you can ever imagine along the way.
Leave a note in the comments or send one to me directly so we can post it for other working moms to see.
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