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When did motherhood get easier/more enjoyable for you?

(36 Posts)
golfmonkey Mon 29-Aug-16 13:41:57

I am having a down day despite the glorious weather and the fact I have 2 napping children (albeit with one attached to me).

With dd1 I remember hating motherhood until about 4 months when things felt a bit more manageable and I started getting a couple of longer stretches of sleep. I enjoyed it even more after going back part time at 8 months and really felt I was loving it when dd1 started sleeping through more often than not. She is 21 months and learning to talk and despite the challenges it is brill.

Dd2 is however a terrible sleeper and 4.5 months and I am not enjoying things at all despite her being lovely in all other ways and feeling absolute delight seeing them interact with each other. I wonder if she continues to be a terrible sleeper will I still one day feel like I'm on top of things and enjoying life? And I wonder if being on mat leave again where one day just runs into the next is the reason I'm finding things extra hard, or is it just having 2 kids in general?

I'm genuinely interested in how other mums feel and your experiences, especially those.with bad sleepers or 2 close together.

- did you ever feel like a 'natural' parent?
- have you had a favourite age, or have things just continued to get more.enjoyable?
- did you prefer mat leave, SAHP or working after kids and why?
- if you had/have a bad sleeper into toddler/childhood have you found it easier to cope at any point?
- if you have more than one child how did the second and subsequent children change your enjoyment/dynamic/coping ability?

Would love to hear your honest opinions even if they are that you've loved motherhood from day 1!

Peachesandcream15 Mon 29-Aug-16 14:50:22

There was a really good thread on this subject not too long ago. I can't remember if it was this board or on AIBU. Can anyone else remember /link it? Don't mean to be lazy and not answer your question,but I found that thread helpful! (My dd is only 10m and pfb so I'm not the best to advise!)

Liskee Mon 29-Aug-16 20:49:25

Following out of selfish interest smile

Bubbinsmakesthree Mon 29-Aug-16 20:54:49

Hanging in for the answers - pregnant with DC2 at the moment and fearful that the blissful existence we've got going now (nice work/family balance, easy childcare, funny and loving toddler who is a moderately good sleeper) is going to be blown apart.

SparkyBlue Mon 29-Aug-16 21:01:14

I have an almost four year old and right now I am absolutely loving her company. I am in no panic to pack her off to bed so to answer your question I reckon from about three onwards. Of course I love my two children but I am just not a baby person at all. I hate the uncertainty of it. You are never sure if you will get a nights sleep or not.

Spiderpigspiderpig Mon 29-Aug-16 21:03:43

I breezes through the 1st 2 yrs with my 2, found it all very lovely.
I have stuggled most with the 3yr stage. My dd is in it now. I remember hating it with my now 7yr old.
My 7yr old is an ansolute delight and tbh I can't wait until my dd turns 5.

Liara Mon 29-Aug-16 21:08:10

For me it was really, really difficult until they were 3.

Neither of them slept through the night until they were 4 (yes, really). So that was a big part of it.

I am also not so good with the constant demand of little ones.

From the age of 3, every year was without a question better than the previous one.

They are now 9 and 6, and just fun fun fun all the time. Never ever thought I would enjoy them as much as I do.

AJMcF Mon 29-Aug-16 21:10:23


I also have 2DD. Slightly different ages than yours. DD1 is 3 and DD2 is 6 months.

In total honesty I find two children hard. Don't get me wrong, I love the bones of their little bodies but I find it quite a juggle.

I am still on maternity leave and subsequently I have both DD's all the time. We are very fortunate as when I work our childcare is Grandparents. So being off means I have two all the time.

DD1 is a little Angel, she is funny and chatty and a superstar when it comes to sleep. However she is PFB. She had ALL of mine and DH attention. We adore her (still do) but because of this she has been a challenge when I need to do something with DD2. Quite often says 'Put DD down'

DD2, she is my little smiler. Such a little heartbreaker when she giggles. But, like your DD2 she lacks the sleep gene. I can't breathe wrong when she is down and she will be bright eyed and bushy tailed.
When she does sleep, DD1 will decide that is the time to play wooden blocks and bang the floor (I scream inwardly EVERYTIME)

I have learned to cope with the sleep with DD2. I honestly don't feel as tired/ratty.
However the dynamic of two is different.

I am learning to do a few more things with both, this brings me much more enjoyment. Now DD2 is sitting up, DD1 can interact a lot more. I ask DD1 to give DD2 toys etc.

I also have done a few KIT days in work. I have loved those days. The girls were well looked after and when I came home we have had a wonderful afternoon.

In answer to your question (sorry for the long post) I don't feel like a natural parent, I second guess myself. I see photos on social media and all the kids seem to be loving life, where as I feel I am purely keeping two people alive (yah me).

The sleep deprivation does get easier, once that happens I think you will enjoy more xx

MummaGiles Mon 29-Aug-16 21:11:03

First improvement at about 7 months, and then another massive improvement in the last couple of months I would say, DS is now 19 months and his improved communication, mobility etc have massively helped life in general.

Paulat2112 Mon 29-Aug-16 21:12:27

All my kids are now either in school or nursery (for the funded sessions) and I am loving them right now. I have always enjoyed being a mum and it all felt like that was what I was meant to do. But it's been hard or rather there has been hard bits but they are all at good ages (3,4,8) where they can communicate effectively and I am enjoying having a little time to myself again, then I feel recharged when I pick them up.

RatOnnaStick Mon 29-Aug-16 21:15:36

I have an almost-6 and 3yr old and in all honesty it didn't get easier til last summer when ds2 was 2.5 and a little independence started creeping in. I'm not a natural mother at all, I find it hard most of the time.

jellycat1 Mon 29-Aug-16 21:28:04

Wow OP I have almost exactly the same aged kids as you! A month or so ahead of you and two boys instead of two girls! Also not a 'natural' but dont think I'm too shabby. For me the lack of sleep makes me feel ill and anxious and generally miz, so a combination of luck and stubbornness (mainly luck) means we have quite good sleepers now. Ds1 was hard work as a small baby and I found first mat leave really hard. He's very good now and I've found since he can eat any food (in theory!) and entertain himself with his cars and trains etc life has become a lot easier. All hail the goddess that is Peppe Pig too. Back to work soon but planning to reevaluate the career I have at the moment so that i can spend more time with them. I'm looking forward to ds1 being 3/4 so we can have proper chats.

jellycat1 Mon 29-Aug-16 21:29:55

I also think 17mth age gap will be hellish and fabulous in equal proportion! Time will tell!

SaltyMyDear Mon 29-Aug-16 21:32:22

When they were all in secondary! blush

Baby years and primary years were horrendous for me.

EmmaMacgill Mon 29-Aug-16 21:35:11

3 Up till then he was just hard work and then he suddenly transformed into my best friend

EmmaMacgill Mon 29-Aug-16 21:35:46

Don't ask me about the teenage years though! wine

jellycat1 Mon 29-Aug-16 21:36:29

Oh shit salty shock

Waitingfordolly Mon 29-Aug-16 21:38:23

Around about five or six. Then it started being a nightmare again when DD was 12.

ErgonomicallyUnsound Mon 29-Aug-16 21:38:38

Around 6 yo, and get easier each year. One of each, one now 12 and one now 10.

Expecting teen years to be somewhat different. grin

phoenix1973 Mon 29-Aug-16 21:43:59

It got easier around 4-5 years. I hated the baby toddler years.
Age 7-9 has been enjoyable.
However, she's started getting lippy which I don't like. She's 10 in September.
I was sahm for 5 years. Solely because I was on a shit salary and no benefits plus no part time allowance. So ccare would have been more than wages. It was a dead end job which I had not held for long and the pregnancy was unplanned.

OutOfTime Mon 29-Aug-16 21:44:45

DC 1 about 4/5 became easier, and more enjoyable. dc2 I've genuinely enjoyed it and found it easy ish from day 1. I'm sure this is because I realised how much stress is put on myself with dc1 worrying they weren't sleeping or going to tantrum, not eating etc. With dc2 I know however bad it gets soon it'll be forgotten and I'll miss them as a 1/2/3/4 yo and realise how much I've forgotten sad

Dc2 is a much easier child though! Floats through life with a smile and a funny dance! Dc1 goes against the tide at all times and will argue black is white until you start to believe it grin that might be the truth of it!

elQuintoConyo Mon 29-Aug-16 21:51:14

DS became 'bearable' (for want of a better word) around 3/3.5. Colicky baby, terrible sleeper, clingy, didnt like other people.

At 3yo a little light switched on and although half the day he is a purple minion, he is very independent, imaginative, sociable. And still very snuggly.

He is 4.8 now and just lovely.

I am in no way a natural parent, zero experience of kids before having our own. Just winging it.

OiWithThePoodlesAlready Mon 29-Aug-16 21:53:43

I felt like a natural parent. I had dd1 quite young and was a single mum but it just seemed right. Being the first of my friends to have kids was tough though and I felt lonely a lot. That massively improved when dd started nursery and then school and I made friends with some of the other mums.

She was a terrible sleeper but I wasn't working when she was small so I coped okay with that. She is 6 now and still isn't great at night times tbh. Looking back at her babyhood and toddler years I can see that it was tough but it felt okay at the time if that makes sense. Because she was my first I just thought that's how it was for everyone so I just got on with it. I vividly remember the mornings of counting down the minutes till cbeebies came on air whens you've been up half the night anyway.

My favourite age is where she is now I think (age 6). She's so funny and great company. We have very similar personalities so get along well. She has always had a fierce independent streak so is pretty low maintenance. She can throw a hell of a tantrum though.

I was a sahm until dd1 was 2 which I liked but it was slightly dull. I stared working part time which I really enjoyed. However I'm on mat leave again now and am loving it, not finding it boring at all and will only be going back to work one day a week if at all.

Dd2 is 7 months and has just slotted in wonderfully. It helps that she is possibly the happiest baby in the world. Doesn't like sleeping much though grin

We're going to try for number 3 soon and I am nervous about having 2 close in age. Having dd1 in school half day makes things a hell of alot easier!

Bubbinsmakesthree Mon 29-Aug-16 22:18:10

I remember saying, when DS was 3 months old, that if I could live any time of my life again it would be those 3 months with a newborn. What the hell was I thinking? I mean, with the benefit of hindsight it is just torture!

BackforGood Mon 29-Aug-16 22:28:04

Surely the true answer is when they've all grown up and left home ? grin

In all seriousness, I think once they - and therefore you - sleep through it makes a tremendous difference, because I reckon everyone does better on a good night's sleep.
It changes a lot when they can talk, too. Not being able to communicate can be a frustrating time.
After that, I remember feeling a real breakthrough once they were old enough to be able to leave one home alone for a bit - it just opened up all sort of options.
Teens are the best time though smile

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