“When Does Motherhood Get Easier?” Here’s The Answer To The Question

As mothers, we often wonder, if it will ever get easier. What if we have been asking the wrong question and it is possible to make it easier?

It is a usual Friday morning at the bus stop. My 5-year-old and I, both sprint towards it. Between 7.13 am – 7.15 am and 8.27 am -8.30 am, I think I bear close resemblance to Arjun, aiming at the eye during the fish task.

During these specific times, my only agenda is to help my girls board the school bus before we miss it. The little one hops on the bus with agility. I wave at her with a big smile and blow her a kiss. She returns the favor generously. Slowly my vision improves.  I now see a cherubic little boy, waving at his mother. The bus leaves and I turn around.

Another Arjun, a voice in my head whispers, looking at the mother.

From one mother to another, we all have the same challenges

We exchange the morning pleasantries darting towards the building. And then she asks anxiously, ‘When does this get easy?

I look at her. She has to get rid of her messy bun and pajamas and head to the office, I can make out.

‘It doesn’t get easier. We learn to get used to it and get past the question,’ I reply bluntly.

The rest of it is all a blur. I do not know if she heard what I said, or whether she understood what I meant. Did she find my answer abrupt? Rude, maybe?

Mothers all over have been asking the same question

By the time I reach home, I am transported to a night when I asked myself the same question with tears in my eyes and a three-month-old baby in my arms. I must have tried everything under the sky to get my baby to sleep and despite that, I never got to sleep in the night for an entire year. On several such nights, I used to ask myself and God, When does this get easy?

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When my elder one’s sleep issues were sorted, her hyperactivity, eating issues, playgroup activities, and other household chores made me lose my hair. And then I birthed my second baby.

The younger one slept peacefully during the night but made it very clear from day 1 that she only wanted to be breastfed. No formulas, no bottles. I have had days where my nipples have bled to the point where I felt they would break away. I have nursed them with creams, medicines, and warm water and have got ready for the next feed, gnashing my teeth together for the excruciating pain I was about to suffer for the next several minutes. The elder one would often cry for my embrace at such times. She was only three then.

The never-ending struggles of motherhood …

I was exhausted, in pain, and guilty.

The guilt of not being available for my elder one, the guilt of not earning my buck, the guilt of not finding time for a 30-minute walk, and the guilt of not enjoying my motherhood like others-I became the epitome of guilt. As the younger one grew up, and both the girls began schooling it was time for more tiffins to be packed, double the time to get their homework and assignments done, and infinitesimal strength needed to tend to them during sick days. Not to forget the patience needed to cope with the moral policing in this era of new-age parenting.

… coupled with being the only parent

That I am a mariner’s wife is the icing on top of all these problems. Someone whose husband is sailing in foreign waters for 8-12 months. Even though he is there with me in spirit, his physical absence has made parenting challenging to the power of infinity!

My girls will soon turn 9 and 6 years, in a couple of months. At no stage did I have it easy.

All I found out was this–As your children grow up, so do the problems. Some problems may be physically challenging, some mentally exhausting, and a lot of times, both.

Coming back to the question. When will it get easy?

Change the question to how to make parenting peaceful

As a mother of two girls, I can tell you this-Change the question. I did.

Do not ask-When will it get easy?

Instead, ask yourself-How do I make my parenting journey more peaceful and worthwhile?

Tips for managing the role of motherhood

Here are some of the ways that have helped me do the same:

  1. Start your day early and make that time exclusive for yourself

Wake up early. Spend the first few moments of the day with yourself, for yourself. Stretch. Have tea/ coffee in a relaxed corner. Read a book. Or just sit and have warm water and breathe. Suppose you can journal your thoughts in the morning; that is even better. I have observed on days that I can wake up early only for myself and not for my family, I feel I am in a much more confident space to face the day.

  1. Build in a certain discipline in life

Have a routine and stick by it. For instance, have a plan for the day. Your exercise time, time for reading with your children, a time to sleep and wake up. Yes, there are going to be days where things will not go as per plan but that should not stop you from having a schedule on all other days. Yes, the weekend can have a night where you sleep late but that need not be a mandate just because the whole world is partying.

  1. Choosing your daily battles wisely

As a parent, your job card is quite exhausting. Don’t sweat over the more minor issues. Why does the house and my kids look so messy? Why did that relative pass this comment about my baby’s height? Why do I look underdressed in this party? The day you understand that you have no control over these noises is the day you will also have time for the bigger and better things in life.

  1. Take help and never feel guilty about it

One of the few things I regret in life is not asking for help when my first child was born. I bore the brunt both physically and mentally. The second time around I made amends. I let my husband take over responsibilities without pitting his ability against mine to carry out the same task. Almost 2 years ago I hired a cook only because I was feeling overworked shuttling between kids, the kitchen, and my writing desk. It may seem like an extremely silly thing but that decision was a game changer for me. I only cook dinner now. I have been able to make some significant strides in my writing journey only because I could focus on myself. Just because you can do everything does not mean you should do everything!

  1. Hold your tribe close

I am not restricting relationships to your parents or spouse. I am asking you to engage beyond those relations-Friends, neighbors, cousins. Quality human interactions are so undervalued, I feel. On stressful days I simply hang out with my friends from the building and vent. It is therapeutic! A good bond with cousins and neighbors is a blessing not just for you but for children as well. To have people to talk to, and to laugh with, has its rewards.

Most part of parenting involves showing up every day for your child; how you show up as a parent is what makes all the difference. Let us try and show up as a happy parent.

Image Source: Canva Pro

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About the Author

Varunika Rajput

Varunika lives in the city of Mumbai with her two gregarious girls and her husband and is happily taking care of her nest. In a parallel universe, Varunika is the author of the book WOMEN & read more...

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