At what age did you find your DC hardest to parent?(22 Posts)
Just that really. I have an 8 month old. She was quite an easy newborn but is now crawling, cruising on furniture, screams if she is left for 5 mintues,, and I am finding it very wearing. Her sleep has deteriorated too. What I really want to hear is that this is the hardest stage and it gets better
I was speaking to a friend with an older DC about this, and she said 18 months was the low point and for her it got better after that. I would be interested to hear other people's experience.
I'm finding older teens challenging. Ds1 has just turned 18 and the last few years have been horrible. In the grand scheme of things nothing major but things that will have an impact on later life and he is the most horrible person ever on a morning. He has broken two beds, wardrobe and two chests of drawers through fighting with his brother or punching them in a mood.
In comparison to toddlers I'd go back to toddlers. He was a delightful baby and toddler.
I think all stages can have challenges though.
I have 3 boys and a girl. The boys were all hardest work at 4 - there's something about 4 year old boys I cannot cope with. Someone told me that's when they get some massive surge of testosterone - don't know if that's true but bloody hell, they were hard work at 4. Soul-destroyingly hard work. And my DD - 13 through to 17 were the really desperate years. She was awful, and I was awful at handling it.
Sorry - not what you wanted to hear. I haven't forgotten what hard work babies are.
So far, much of the first year (but I had PND), then age 3-4 - absolute bloody nightmare!!
Every stage has different challenges. My boys are 15 & 12 and drive me crackers with their arguing and back chat. I am still waiting for the easy stage!
My 9 year old has been dreadful on and off since about 7, doesn't seem to be getting any better either. My youngest is now 5 and has turned into a nightmare too just recently.
I have a nearly 5 year old and an 18 month old. Ds was hardest at 18 months but obviously he's only young so I have lots of years ahead! I think it just depends what bits you find hardest, and obviously the temperament of your child.
0-15 months was pretty awful. Undiagnosed silent reflux followed by actual reflux resulting in projectile vomiting every night. Didn't sleep for more than 1 hour at a time until around 12 months and not through the night until 2. Now 7 and everything since has been a breeze in comparison.
I refuse to think about the teenage years yet but praying he doesn't take after me!
I have a 3.4 year old. The first year was hell. After that it's got much much easier and now I actually enjoy it.
So far, and I've got 5 ranging from 2 to 14, the stage I have found hardest is the crawling/cruising stage, so 7 to 15 months I guess. The in between bit when they are oblivious to danger and go to roll off sofas or throw themselves down the stairs! The constant hovering trying to prevent them from killing themselves!
Once they could get up and down stairs independently and fall over and get themselves back up, it all seemed to get so much easier.
So far I love the teenage years. He's nearly 15 and is charming, funny and generally good company.
My favourite bit has been the newborn stage though. Even though it was hard work, if I could bottle that feeling of the first week after a newborn, I would. I have never been happier. I can't imagine anything topping that.
DD1's worst sleeping phase was from around 10-11 months to when she went in her 'big girl's bed' just past 2 years. Up till then either DH or I were cosleeping with her several nights a week.
She was a pretty easy daytime baby though, and is a (mostly) pleasant toddler.
DD2 at 5 months is great at nights so far (since the first few weeks which were awful) but during the day she's impossible. Can't be picked up, can't be put down, only naps in the buggy when it's moving. She never snuggles up and falls asleep on me the way DD1 used to. Her sunny periods are so few and far between, its really hard going. She's the kind of baby who beams at strangers so everyone she meets thinks she is very easy going....
So reading this - it all sucks!
DS1-3yo tomorrow and last few months he's becoming harder. Pushing boundaries, being 'naughtier', constant shouting/demanding, constant low-level violence towards DS2...
DS2- 8.5mo - this week learnt to crawl, push up to sitting, two new teeth, discovering some great screaming sounds, tries to nose dive out of arms to get stuff, cries if left alone...
I think I'm about to enter some tough months......
1-5 mo sleep was tough
6-8 mo food and weaning was a faff
10-12 mo was desperate to walk and suicidally crawling, cruising and falling
13-16 mo tantrums ramping up but...
So many lovely sides often just the week before/after the really tough times. I Believe in wonder weeks.
At 16mo she's often a real pleasure, sparky, funny, new words and skills every day. I'm personally really enjoying this time and definitely a lot less tiring than cruising stage.
DD1 and DD2 have been hardest at just-turned-3 and about 18 months. Both came through those stages quickly though and are typically just lovely. I adore them.
I'd say around 18m is hard too but also as they get older it gets hard too. Dc1 is 9 and full of attitude I'd love him to be that cheeky little toddler again. All stages of parenting is hard you just face different challenges along the way.
Mine's only 3.4, but so far I definitely found 6-12 months hardest. Sleep was consistently awful til after he was 2 so it wasn't really that. I think he found the numerous developmental things in that time really really hardgoing and so did I.
Obviously I've got loads still ahead of me, but toddlerhood has never ever been anywhere near as hard as older infant here.
I found the ages 4-6 years the most challenging. Teenage years the easiest.
9 months - 2 1/2 years. Mobile but can't be rationed with.
OP I found the stage you're at difficult, but mine (DD and 2 DTS) all were happier/calmer once they'd started walking properly as they had overcome the limitation. 18 months-ish I found was a fun stage (although a bit nerve wracking with DTS).
I absolutely loved ages 5 to about 9. Finding the pre-teen hormonal stage rather a challenge now though...
I loved the small baby period , and the pink and white sitting baby squidgy stage !
Best years are probably 5 to 12 , chatty , always doing new things able to join in etc.
Worst by far has been teenage , if you get it wrong with a teenager you can't make it better with a cuddle , mistakes can sometimes have lifelong consequences , very hard to watch them making those mistakes and not be able to solve the problem .Also I have no privacy , the oldest two go to bed after us , the only way DH and I can talk without being overhears or interrupted is to go out .
Teenagers. No hesitation.
Babies and toddlers can give you difficult times but it tends to be short term, and the smiles and giggles are the reward. There are not many rewards living with teenagers, ime.
I think with your first every stage can be a challenge because you haven't done that stage before. Motherhood like everything else is something we all have to learn and it is hard if you care and want to do it properly.
I think as they get bigger their problems get bigger along with some of their behaviour but mothers/parents become more experienced to deal with gets thrown at you.
It's very hard with an 8 month old because there is no "breathing space". You can't just go for a walk or for a coffee or even quietly do the ironing or clean the downstairs loo to give yourself a break. It was the curtailing of my freedom that I found hardest.
All babies and children are different. My DS has always been challenging but temperamentally not difficult. DD has always been difficult but never challenging if you sort of see what I mean. DD seemed easy in comparison even though she cried more and was clingy because I had done it all before.
DD was very hard work as a toddler when she cried if part of her wasn't touching part of me. She still has her anxious moments as a 17 year old. DS was utterly vile from 15 to about 19 - opinionated, argumentative, angry, oppositional and staying out too late, too young and not keeping in touch.
Good luck and don't be too disheartened.
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