Parenthood: degrees of normality…

define normal

Re-visiting this post I wrote last November for this week’s Theme Game from Jocelyn at The Reading Residence and Iona at Red Peffer – this week’s theme being “Parenting”.

Everyone seems to agree that having your first baby is a big shock to the system (whether it be a time of doe-eyed adoration or sleep-deprived witchery). Nothing will ever be the same again and there will never be a ‘normal’ the same as the ‘normal’ you had when you were child-free.

I was making the kids dinner the other day when the thought occurred to me that I was on edge. Then it occurred to me that I’m pretty much always on edge these days. When you’re in a job where you are ‘on call’ even though it may be a quiet day you won’t be able to switch off. That’s a bit like parenting, and I speak from the perspective of a parent who has only so far experienced babies and pre-schoolers but I assume that will probably always be the case from now on. Despite that fact I also assume that ‘normality’ (whatever that is) – will return, perhaps with a gradual lessening of the weight of responsibility to the point where your children are completely grown and old enough to be entirely responsible for themselves and their own actions…

From my perspective I look back at the time JJ was between two and three and I remember starting to feel like I had some semblance of a ‘self’ returning. As he began to gain a few words and phrases and was able to communicate a little bit more coherently and understand and respond to requests (assuming the planets were aligned correctly of course) it felt a bit more manageable. I remember thinking that it was a complete doddle compared to my six months of newborn colic hell.

Then EJ came along.

I’d be interested to know the opinions of others with children of varying ages to find out if you agree with my theories about degrees of normality in parenthood…


The Reading Residence

8 thoughts on “Parenthood: degrees of normality…

  1. I can empathise greatly with wat you’ve said here. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve had the chance to feel ‘normal’ in the five years of pregnancies and babies. We started trying for #2 when 4yo was 18 months, have a 2½ year gap, then fell pregnant with #3 when #2 was 15 months. I’m thinking in our house we’ll get some semblance of normality back when our little man starts school in five years time… maybe sooner, who knows? Now we’re parents I think our definition of normality has changed forever 😉

    • Yes, I’m thinking its the school years which will make life seem a bit more normal again. I guess we should just embrace the fact that normal is not always best and these few years of intense abnormality are tiring but filled with special moments!

  2. I find it much easier as they get older. Yes it brings with it different issues, but generally I enjoy it much more now. I find I live very much in the moment of my children’s ages-then look back and think ‘where on earth has the time gone?!’ thanks fir sharing with #TheThemeGame

    • Ah thanks Iona. I was always told not to bother getting too excited because “things don’t get better they just change” which I always found to be a really depressing way to look at things! And i don’t agree either – things *do* get better and easier (not ‘easy’) – I know that from my own experience now. X

  3. I kind of think that this is the new normal! Screams and demands will hopefully diminish, and of course, I’ll spend less time with them when they go to school, so i think that’ll be a huge shift. But we’re always going to be on call! Thanks for sharing with #theThemeGame

    • Funny you should mention about them both being at school – I was just thinking today “I’ll be able to get so much more done with two free days – I can’t wait…” and then I stopped in my tracks and reminded myself that I’d rather not wish it away – tears, tantrums and all, the love, adoration, cuddles, cuteness, laughter and togetherness make life right now pretty special and I need to focus more on the positives! X

  4. Oh god I am totally with you as usual Sam! What the heck is normal? Life now is much easier than in those sleepless colic, scream filled baby days, but still not exactly stress free, and then number 2 is coming soon! aaah, what am I doing? I was trying to explain to a non parent just the other day, how hubby and I struggle to really achieve things these days. We had a ‘to-do’ list for the house and garden that gets longer and longer. Each thing should be achievable, but isn’t when you are also trying to keep a toddler entertained at the same time. i am really hoping that as they get older it well get easier…. but that may just be wishful thinking!! x #thethemegame

    • Its ridiculous isn’t it? I actually paid to do an NCT refresher course when I was pregnant wih EJ – there were five of us, three of us second timers and one third timer (although she only managed one session as she then had her baby prematurely!). Every one of us said to the course leader – forget childbirh – we know about that, what we really want to focus on is what life will be like after birth – how will we cope with two? That was useful actually although out of that group I am only really in semi-regular contact with one of the others (who has two girls) so new friend-wise it wasn’t as good as first time round. I’m still grateful that I have one new friend though who knows exactly what I’m going through! Read my post entitled ‘It *will* get easier’ for some more encouraging words!! X

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