Letting go of the challenges of parenting.

Being a parent can be hard. It’s exhausting, relentless and it can be, dare I say, boring. Although being a parent is wonderful most of the time, I think every parent at some time or another has wished for a sunny beach, peace, quiet and preferably a margarita in hand! But I’ll tell you a little secret that parents of little ones don’t know or even have time to think about….it does change and get easier; almost overnight and then you will miss those challenges with all your heart.

The hurdles that we face as parents are only stages in our lives and we need to let them go to fully appreciate the parenting journey. Because of course, a journey always has its ups and downs.

I vividly remember my son going through ‘the yelling phase.’ Basically, he yelled in the night when he wanted something! It could be a drink, a biscuit,  a cuddle, a story, a banana (yes, really!) a new toy….just anything so that he could get our attention. The thing was totally irrelevant but because we had another child that we were frightened would wake up, we tended to go into his room as quickly as possible. This meant one of us was ‘on stand by’ throughout the night and we were exhausted. Of course, we could have left him to cry and yell but for an easier life and because we were not entirely sure he was awake half the time, we got up and went to him. He was only about 2 after all. This became part of my night time thing and I used to dread it. I remember thinking that I couldn’t possibly be this tired and still function. It was awful. And then, one night, it stopped. He slept through without the yelling! Could we be this lucky and have a whole nights sleep? He never yelled out in the night again and this phase in our parenting journey was over, just like that.

When my daughter was about 6 she would not want to go to sleep. We tried the usual stories, milk, teeth, bed routine that had always worked. We tried extra cuddles, we tried rewarding her with a sticker chart and we tried telling her off. Nothing seemed to work. There would always be a reason for her coming down….’ur I can’t sleep….I need a drink….mummy can I just tell you something……ur can I have a grape?’ The ‘Can I have a grape?’ became a family joke but this stage went on for about a year. Yes, a whole year of her coming down in the late evening as she couldn’t get to sleep. Then one night,  it stopped. As quickly as it began, it was over.

I think what I’m trying to say is that the challenges you are facing right now will soon be done. The ‘problem’ that exhausts you or makes you despair will one day be over. Whether it be a fussy toddler that makes you cry with frustration because they will only wear red or the child who lives off fresh air because they never seem to eat a meal. Whether it be the child who refuses to sleep in their own bed or the child that will not settle in the morning at school. These are all challenges at the time but one day, they will stop and life moves on. Children grow and change whilst us parents try to adapt to the changing direction that parenting takes us.
So when your son asks you not to get stressed when he accidently breaks the window of your Greenhouse by launching a hockey ball down the garden, pause, take a breath and smile. He doesn’t remember the 3 DS games, the new Hoover, the car radio or the countless TV remotes that he broke as a destructive toddler. Those were our challenges as parents so let them go and move on. One day, I shall remind him of the Greenhouse window and hope it will become a family story to remember and retell rather than a challenge to overcome.

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  • You’re really hitting it out of the park lately!! Wow. Yeah, I’ve been complaining about these parenting challenges a lot lately. They are so tough. They do feel like they’ll last forever, though of course they’re only phases. I can’t imagine a day when I miss these challenges, but I believe you. 🙂
    PS My oldest did the 2yo sleep challenge, too. I heard it’s a common phase if you have a newborn then, too. Sigh…

    • Ah thank you Katherine. I just think when you are in it, it’s so hard to see the point of parenting! It’s sooo hard isn’t it?
      Good luck with your babies. Xx

  • Ahh lovely post … yes I’m still in the waking through the night / yelling / fussing /early mornings phase with my little 4 and 1 year olds but I do keep reminding myself that things change all the time! So I’m sitting here at 6.30am watching CBeebies (we’ve been here for a while!) and enjoying my (very strong) coffee!

    • You see… I kinda miss CBeebies!!
      I’m still in bed (sorry) also enjoying a strong coffee whilst the teens sleep in. But then they were up until the early hours. See?? Still no sleep! Thanks for commenting. X

  • I can relate to the yelling part, years ago when my milkman called for his money, he told me that he had felt sorry for my children the previous day as he had heard me shouting at them, I was so embarrassed that I swear I never raised my voice again #satsesh@_karendennis

  • So very true,especially when your fully emerged in this challenges, it is hard to see the horizon. Just.rake one day at a time,it is mantra I follow to ease the burden X #thesatsesh

  • So needed this right now. I find myself in a phase where I’m just truly tired, and i find myself yelling at my kids more than normal. I know that it is temporary, and I am not usually like that, it’s a phase. When I talk to other parents (with older children) they tell me, it’ll go by really fast. But I always tell them that what they’re seeing is the big picture, but when I’m going through it, it doesn’t seem to go by fast at all. I know it’ll get better though, and that’s what keeps me going. #thesatsesh

    • Sweet dreamer I do know what you are going through and I promise it will get easier. Try to enjoy it. My friend once told me, “think of it as your job; the most important job you will ever do.” Xx

  • Yup – I need to remind myself of these stories of your children at night/ in the eve when I am feeling frazzled from disturbed night’s – this too will pass. Thanks for the reminder and yes deep breaths help a lot! #thesatsesh xx

  • Totally! Its like my teen son going through a ‘stage’ at the mo with how to assert himself, can be really tiresome but again its just a phase and we have been through many, many phases over the years. We have a puppy now and I find myself thinking exactly the same as I have always being a parent, this phase wont last! To be honest some phases I moaned about when they were young I actually miss now!! #mondaystumblr

    • I know exactly what you mean Sharon! Teen stages can be tougher in a way! Thanks for commenting

  • There are so many things like this that I thought were the end of the world at the time, but when I look back now I smile.

  • Ahh, I love this. I just have 1 tiny at the mo, with number 2 cooking, but I am always trying to remind myself that one day he won’t want to snuggle in bed with us from 5am, and I bet I’ll miss it then! Thank you!

  • Sophie, once again you are there with a grand slam post, that I needed to read at this very time. Thank you lovely, for your thoughtfulness and help! #MondayStumble You are so right on point in this post! xoxo

  • #thesatsesh this is why i never allow myself to get angry about little handprints on mirrors and windows – one day I’ll miss them deeply. I guess challenges just alter as do joyful moments.

  • Thus is so true and love the idea of reframing problems as things we will one day look back on and tell stories about, hopefully while laughing. I’m going to be trying this mindshift tonight when my son takes an age to actually get to bed and has just one more urgent thing he needs to tell me, and when my daughter shouts that she wants to get up now at 3 am 😂
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x

    • Ah that’s it isn’t it? Do you know Alana? I miss those days if a cuddle in bed at 3am!! I never thought I would write that! But it’s true….life moves on too quickly sometimes. Xx

  • Yes! Love this! We all need this reminder. And it really is amazing how abruptly some of these challenges can end, even when you think it’s impossible and it will last forever. Thank you so much for the reminder.
    And congratulations because someone loved this post so much, they added it to the BlogCrush linky! Feel free to collect your “I’ve been featured” blog badge 🙂 #blogcrush

    • Thank you LUCY! That’s awesome!
      I haven’t been linking lately…..so busy….but will do soon. Xxx

  • You are so right!! God the trauma we put ourselves through with the littles. Every thing was such a worry and then absolutely, spot on, we didn’t notice the passing. Usually, because something else had taken it’s place. I believe these are the phases to which we fondly refer. Thinking they would never end! The benefit of hindsight, eh?! Thanks for sharing with #tweensteensbeyond

    • Yes! At the time, toddler tantrums was the end of the world….until the next phase! Thanks for your kind comment. Xx

  • It does get easier, doesn’t it? Each phase passing adds to our experience and understanding of what parenting is all about. I’m savouring every minute of their tween and teen years. It will all be gone too soon. #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Thank you for commenting Cheryl. It certainly changes but easier? No possibly not! But you are right…it goes too quickly.

  • I remember feeling something similar when our second daughter was small and going through all these phases. With a huge gap between two children we realised that nothing – teething, trying to put everything in their mouths, tantrums, whatever – goes on for ever, that there is life on the other side of it, and that before you know it that troublesome toddler is grown up! #tweensteensbeyond

    • That’s it Mary but I know that it is tricky to remember sometimes isn’t it? Thanks for the comment. x

  • Yes let’s raise a glass to those phases past and present. Thank goodness the little ones are past though. I am not sure which phase we are in right now. My daughter’s age 14 phase is different to how I remember my son’s and he at 18 is now going through a phase normally associated with the menopause – forgetfulness and absent mindedness. Four lost driving licences in less than a year! He swears it’s only 2 of course. Love the story about the hockey ball – keep it and use it as a prop for a speech at his 21st! #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Absolutely!!
      In fact, perhaps that’s why there are so many phases…so we can embarrass them at various functions! xx

  • Tthat is so true. I feel constantly bogged down by challenges. Do wonder when the sleeping in own beds and going to sleep challenge will end though. O and the food, so many things they dont like challenge. Older boy is now 10 and neither show any sign of letting up. Still when he is 20, I will no doubt miss needing to think about what the kids wil eat and miss being woken up in the night. Also true that they aren’t aware of the cumulative effect

  • ‘This too shall pass’ is a phrase that is perfect for parenthood. You are so right that things seem a big deal at the time but when we look back they pale into insignificance compared to what we are dealing with now. Glad no-one was hurt by the hockey ball! Thanks so much for sharing with us at #TweensTeensBeyond

    • Thank you for commenting Sharon. Always appreciated. Xx

  • Reading for the first time! so relatable, thank you for sharing. As busy and tired moms, we need this kind of reminder and encouragement!

    • Well I glad you found me! Thank you for your lovely comment. Yes, we all a little pick me up every now and then, don’t we?

  • Soooo true. I have a 16 month old, and I already deeply feel this. Some nights I can’t wait to get to bedtime just to have a break, then afterwards I miss her and wish I could go re do the whole day. It is hard when you are in it but the struggles are one of parentings greatest gifts that can really bond a parent and a child. I am going through an intense toddler phase right now, but I know I will look back and miss it. Even though I can’t get anything done without her tugging on me, she’s always wanting my full attention. I know one day I won’t be the center of her world and I will long for these days. Wow, your article hit me!

    • Oh it did lovely! X
      Just enjoy as much as possible. I have one child in New York at the moment aged 17 and one who is off to his girlfriends after school. I miss the stage’ you describe and honestly, you will forget the bad days although perhaps not the exhaustion! Have a fabulous weekend. Xx

  • This was great insite. I have a 14 month who never seems to want to stay in her room all night. Every night she climbs out of bed and comes screaming to our room. It feels like this is never going to end.

  • Thank you I needed this right now..I am in tears..had such a frustrating morning..year really..you’re so right..I need to let go..move on quicker. thank you so much

    • Oh no poor you! Parenting is the toughest job in the world as it is relentless. Hang on in there mama. Xx

  • With autistic children, my challenges just change, rather than stop or disappear. It IS exhausting, and I don’t actually know if there will ever be a time that they’re not with me so I can take a breath. But yes, for most typical families, it’s just riding a bumpy sea until you reach the calm! #bloggerpinparty

    • I have taught autistic children and there are many challenges. Do you get a moment when they are at school? it must be tough and exhausting. I wish you well. xx

  • I understand! My daughter is only 2 and a half, i forgot all the fun things she did when was little. That was until i had my second child, I remember all those funny moments. they just pass so quickly. You just get so focused on the new things they are doing

  • This is so refreshing to read and also a great reminder that everything is a stage that will pass. My husband and I have two beautiful little boys that can be challenging and now we’re expecting triplets (complete surprise)! I keep asking myself how we’re going to get through this and thinking how I’m never going to sleep or have a moment of silence to myself. But I know I need to just enjoy every single moment as each stage will pass and we will miss each stage as it passes.

    • Triplets? Wow! Congratulations. That’s lovely news. Yes, all parenting moments pass and life moves on. Hold on to your hat mama…..xx

  • This is always a good reminder for parents. Like all parents I experience my fair share of challenges. I do try to remind myself as often as possible: one day my two year old will be twenty, and these days will be a distant memory that I would love to live over again. Thank you for sharing!!

  • This is great advice. My four year old is in the phase of stalling from going to sleep, like you said you 6 year old was doing. I hope it would just come to an end soon. In the mean time I will try to take to your advice. Thanks!

    • Ah thanks Edward! Yes, just remember, it will be over soon and it’s just a phase. X

  • This article is just what I needed to read today. My current challenges are very close to what you’ve written, and it’s always a good reminder to let go! Thanks for sharing.

  • I love this post! The truth is we never know when it’s the last time we do something with or for our children. This touched my heart!

  • Wow! So true.. and we are just getting started with all this parenting adventure.
    Im new at this blogging community, i invite you guys to take a look at my blog and give me some ideas thanks

    • Welcome and I would love to. Thank you for stopping by the old house. Hope to see you again. Xx

  • I love this article so much! It brought tears to my eyes. Not sure if it did because I’m 8 1/2 months pregnant or because my daughter is 5 and I miss those obnoxious days where I felt drained and in the blink of an eye they’re over. They grow way too quickly.

    • Ahhh medical mama I didn’t mean to make you cry but do sob away my lovely, you have an excuse! Hold your babies close….it does fly by. Xx

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