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Does it all get easier after a year?

(48 Posts)
moomin35 Thu 14-May-15 08:43:47

Does parenting and doing stuff get easier once you're baby is one or older? We've found it so difficult to do regular stuff since baby was born and our relationship has suffered too.

flanjabelle Thu 14-May-15 08:53:06

I think it's more fun. Dd is 19m now and she is hilarious. She has become my little sidekick and there are so many more things to do together now.

I think the regular stuff has in general got easier, but I wouldn't make the mistake of expecting her to tolerate boring adult activities. I think if you angle your activities towards things that are fun for them, everyone has a lovely time.

The french have a name for the effect of the first year on the relationship, it's called le babyclash. I think that is a fab way of explaining it. It is such a huge change, suddenly your lives have to completely revolve around this other person in order to keep them alive.

I do think it's easier to make time for yourself and your needs after A year or so. You can do this sooner if your relationship is suffering though. Can you get some childcare and make time for datenights etc?

ToastyFingers Thu 14-May-15 09:30:29

For us it was more like 18 months, but then it really got easier.
Once DD better at sleeping, eating and playing by herself (I.e. without constant encouragement from me) I found we were able to just hang out and enjoy eachothers company.

Also, if days out are stressful, maybe try a different sort of pram, DD hated her stroller because it leaned back slightly so we got one that sat bolt upright and she was much happier out and about then.

Dp and I never argued before DD came along, then it all descended into chaos. But DD is 20mo and we can laugh about it now smile.

trilbydoll Thu 14-May-15 09:34:58

It got easier when DD started nursery, got into the routine of one nap in the middle of the day which in turn made her more tired and easier to deal with at bedtime. We can watch TV in the evenings now, is amazing grin

They are less portable though, a toddler won't just sit in a pram watching the world go by like a tiny baby will. It helps not to be too ambitious - you can't do an 8 hour shopping marathon with a toddler, but you can have a lovely day out at a zoo / farm / play park etc.

TheEggityOddity Thu 14-May-15 09:36:59

I think you just start to adapt. If by regular stuff you mean things like shopping for food, going somewhere further than 15mins from a chair and a nappy change facility etc, then yes it really does. If you mean meals without interruption, cosy uninterrupted movie nights, big nights out, you'd better reset your expectations now! I think sex is a big factor too and I think gradually that starts to improve again, but you need to set the pace, not him and trust your instinct. I think going back to work helped me too in a weird way start to feel more like myself again. It is really all encompassing at first, thats normal. By age 2 it really isn't any more and between then and now it will get easier every month for you.

Jackiebrambles Thu 14-May-15 09:48:52

In some respects it does, they sleep so you feel more refreshed. They eat what you eat (mostly).

But then they are a toddler so then you get into tantrums and them destroying stuff/endangering themselves, so I still find it hard! But then I'm 34 weeks pregnant now so chasing after a toddler so they don't jump/climb onto something inappropriate is hard!! My DS is 2.3 now.

It is easier in that he will now sit quietly/safely and watch a programme like Fireman sam which gives me a few minutes to get on and Mumsnet/cook etc!

But in terms of our relationship, it is hard. We are both working too so we are knackered to be honest. By the time DS is in bed we only have a couple of hours of cooking/chores etc before we are both ready to collapse. We need to make more effort to get sitters/go out just the two of us.

Jackiebrambles Thu 14-May-15 09:50:20

Shopping with my toddler, beyond a short supermarket trip, is just impossible. He won't sit in the buggy so wants to be out and then is running riot/behind the counters, climbing on stuff, grabbing shoes/other products.

It is seriously stressful and not worth it!!

moomin35 Thu 14-May-15 09:55:40

What about eating out for instance. There is NO way DS would sit quietly in a Highchair whilst we had a meal like I see some babies doing. I would currently be holding him, jiggling him up and down etc but is this because he's still young, will this bit get better?

SycamoreMum Thu 14-May-15 09:57:54

I've found it gets easier in certain aspects like they sleep longer, eating much better and more grown up food. My DD is 13 months and is walking strong by herself so now she saunters around the living room and hallway by herself, not needing me anymore during playtime ��grin

However, the tantrums have started along with the mischievousness. Eating random crumbs/beans I might have missed during clear up. Ripping the new mail thats on the table up. Sucking her shoes after I've just taken then off her feet.hmm Throwing a flippin hissy fit if I dare leave the room without her; I must wait until she toddles up to me with apple sauce and mooshy wotsits seeping under my nails and down my arms.

flanjabelle Thu 14-May-15 10:08:49

I think eating out very much depends on the temperament of the child. I can go out for meals with dd no problem as long as I take things to amuse her and don't expect her to sit in the highchair for the whole time. I just put her in the high chair for the time she is eating and otherwise have her sitting on laps, playing with toys sitting next to the table, going for walks to look out the Windows together, popping Outside for fresh air. If you work it around her it's really enjoyable. If I tried to get her to sit in a high chair for 2hours all hell would break loose.

Just to say. I'm not one of those mums who lets their toddler run wild, usually I get comments about how people didn't even notice she was there.

Op I think that it does get easier to go out for meals once they can entertain themselves with toys and colouring, but you can't expect them just to sit there and be ignored. You must include them in the meal and bring things to entertain them.

trilbydoll Thu 14-May-15 10:32:11

DD will do some colouring for 10/15 minutes and then the food will distract her, until she's finished and then we need to leave! So we can't go out for a long 3 course meal, but a lunch in a fairly quick chain restaurant like Pizza Express is possible.

I don't think you can shoehorn a baby into your adult lifestyle but you can definitely adapt various bits and maintain something that looks a bit like what you had before!

Jackiebrambles Thu 14-May-15 10:38:21

How old is he Moomin?

Same as Trilbydoll my DS will do some colouring (like, 2 mins) and I always take a sticker book for him to do whilst we are waiting for food to distract him. Or one of us will go with him whilst he wanders around if he refuses to sit in the highchair.

Then we'll all be eating so that will keep him busy.

So we can eat out and often do on a weekend, but it isn't a long, relaxing meal to be honest. It's a max 2 course, hour affair!

YouMakeMyHeartSmile Thu 14-May-15 10:38:21

It entirely depends on your baby. Mine was a dream at eating out etc when she was younger and would happily sit in her highchair. At 18 months she just wants to run around so we have abandoned restaurants for the time being. She also still doesn't sleep, so I am no less tired (I'm also pregnant). She will only nap in her cot so I find we are much less flexible than we used to be, I breastfed so found it really easy to go out for day trips etc when she was smaller.
However it is easier in the sense that she's much more independent. At 18 months she can play by herself, follows directions (usually!), feeds herself etc. She is also great fun and I love interacting with her. Absolutely have to get her out of the house morning and afternoon to run around/play with other children/burn energy though so our days are pretty exhausting now.

ArcheryAnnie Thu 14-May-15 11:02:05

For me it did get easier after a year, yes. Mainly because my DS was reliably sleeping through, so I had regular sleep for the first time, too. It made all the difference in the WORLD.

I look on that first year as if it was conducted in a sort of haze of madness. I was working (part-time) too, and find it miraculous that I hung onto a job.

YouMakeMyHeartSmile Thu 14-May-15 11:39:30

Still in that haze of madness at 18 months here Archery and longing for the day she sleeps through, however am 32 weeks pregnant so think the haze will go on for some time yet wink

Artandco Thu 14-May-15 12:00:08

It depends, when ds1 reached 1 we had ds2 and started again! But both have always been fine in restaurants and out

How do they find occupying themselves at home? I think this is key to sitting nicely/ drawing/ looking at book alone in restaurants. Try leaving them to occupy themselves 10 mins each morning and afternoon and encouraging them to do that themselves and gradually increasing so they can play alone 20 mins without help. Then more likely when in cafe to happily draw/ eat cookie/ play with toy mini dinosaurs alone

ArcheryAnnie Thu 14-May-15 12:14:24

OMG YouMake!

When DS was about 9 months, and I was COMPLETELY NUTS with lack of sleep, I met a work friend at a swanky work do. He had an eight-week-old, I asked how they were all getting on, he replied "she's sleeping through" and I may or may not have blurted out "YOU BASTARD" at him. (He understood!)

YouMakeMyHeartSmile Thu 14-May-15 12:27:49

I can't imagine what parenting would be like if my baby slept through, I think it would have been a breeze!!

HoggleHoggle Thu 14-May-15 12:38:38

Ds is 17 months now and it's become both easier and harder.

Easier in that he can be entertained now, can walk so we can do things like parks etc. more communicative so there's more back and forth.

But harder with the tantrums! And ds needs a huge amount of activity to keep him from climbing the walls in boredom (literally), so I'm making a big effort every day to do fun things whereas I found the baby stage much more portable.

But overall, I'm really enjoying the 1+ stage.

NutellaStraightFromTheJar Thu 14-May-15 12:39:44

I found it was easier between 1-2. I absolutely loved that time. Then the terrible twos hit and it all became harder again! Oh and we had a second child when DS1 was 2.4, so then it became even harder! 1-2 was great though, DS was mostly sleeping well, had a good routine, was fun and interactive and learning new things all the time, but hadn't yet hit the stroppy tantrum phase too badly. However if you go back to work around then and your DC starts childcare be prepared for all.the.illnessess.

Mopmay Thu 14-May-15 12:41:34

Mine don't sleep reliably and never did at all until 3 onwards. They don't sit still and never did. They are lively and boisterous. As a result our life bears no resemblance to before! We eat out but some where that is child
friendly and before 6pm! Our life is geared round us as a unit of 4 not 2 adults. You adapt and change with them I think. We do lots with them and have fun, but it's different

mrsmugoo Thu 14-May-15 12:49:02

Mine is 14 months and it's got so much easier in some ways (eating /sleeping are pretty much nailed now) but much harder in others (tantrums!)

AGirlCalledBoB Thu 14-May-15 12:54:47

I do like the past one stage. My son is 20 months and is a right little character. He does so much more and so we got out and about and he is like my little buddy. They do sleep better as well freeing up evenings more, mine doesn't.

However once they are past the baby stage, you can leave them more with babysitters. My son used to be terrible and clingy, but now he is older off he goes to his nan no problem.

The only thing now is the tantrums and the into everything!

Could you do date night or something? My oh always make time to do things together, we are off to Thorpe Park soon for the day just us two. Kids do put a lot of pressure on relationships.

NickyEds Thu 14-May-15 13:05:11

DS is 17 months and, as pp have said it's both easier and harder. It's loads easier to throw him a pear than sit and bf him but when they're little at least they stay where they're put! DS sleeps through which makes everything (on. the. planet!!) easier. Plus he's so funny and sweet. It's still tough as he's into absolutely everything. I thought I understood that phrase but I really didn't until he stated to climb.
Me and dp never used to bicker even. Now there is plenty of that. We must have got on at least once though as I'm 31 weeks pregnant!

Millionprammiles Thu 14-May-15 13:44:04

Moomin: to be honest I wouldn't expect to have leisurely meals out with a toddler...
We've had lunches in cafes with dd since she was around 18mths but they've been fairly rushed affairs. Kids can get bored trapped in a highchair once they're mobile.
Dd (3) is pretty good and will play with toys/books etc if we're still eating but she doesn't exactly want to be stuck in a chair for hours.

Having said all that we've found the toddler years waaaay easier, dd's pretty good as a toddler, especially if there are other kids around. She was a nightmare baby, we never went anywhere.

And get yourself a good babysitter, its important to have time for yourselves.

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