When the kids were all very small, and we were exhausted and the house was destroyed and we felt like we were behind with pretty much everything (laundry, exercise, relationships), we told ourselves “It will get easier.”
The kids are now a bit older, but we are still exhausted and the house is still destroyed and we are still behind with pretty much everything. Can we keep lying to ourselves that it will get easier?
I don’t think so.
The truth is that parenting never gets easier. The challenges evolve into different challenges, but I no longer believe that it will be easier to manage everything that comes with parenting.
Parenting a child with special needs throws another loop in the crazy roller coaster of life. Alex is having a terrible day; there have been many more tantrums than moments of compliance (same goes for yesterday). This is probably because our schedule was off this week, and he’s out of sorts. This doesn’t excuse his behavior; at least, not in my eyes, because we aren’t asking him to do anything out of the ordinary. Clean up toys, take a bath, be a kind friend, and (for the love of everything pure and good) stop burping every five seconds; each of these directives has caused at least one tantrum this weekend. I’m out of ideas, and can only hope that Thanksgiving break won’t be as exhausting as this weekend has been.
This is not to say that he hasn’t had great moments this weekend; that would be completely untrue. Sadly, though, he saves those shining examples of his awesome personality for almost everyone but me. I selfishly want him to reserve at least some of those moments for me (Santa, are you listening?!?), but all I can do is wait out his tantrums, keep faith that he might grow out of this sooner than later, and try not to look ahead and panic over the thought of an even longer holiday break next month.
I do think it’s fair to think that things will get better. Better is different than easier, so it’s still ok to tell myself that.
At least, for now.