Why Do I Find It So Hard?

Why Do I Find It So Hard?

So we all know parenting is hard, any reader of any parenting blog will know, as will any parent. People have made money telling you just how hard it is to be a parent or how you could make it easier. Make no mistake I certainly fall into the ‘it’s bloody impossible at times category’, but I have been thinking lately, what is it about trying to raise my one and two year old into decent human beings that I find so hard?

You see, I was talking to my mother in law recently, about her mother. Her mother had an eye watering six children, during the war. Her husband was off serving his country whilst she remained home, alone, in Birmingham to raise six children. In a house that was bombed to the ground, twice. I can’t even satisfy two miserable mouths, but imagine trying to cook for six, on rations, amidst having to nip down to the air raid shelter with 6 children. You think you can’t get a coat on your little one, try a bloody gas mask x 6.

Then there was my mother in law herself, she had two children in 13  months, I had two in 11, not that it’s a competition. Anyway in her day, she didn’t drive, she didn’t have her fancy tandem pushchair that I have to cart her offspring around. She lived away from family and out of town. What the hell did she do? I lived out of town for 11 months before I moved us all back to within walking distance for the sake of the my sanity.  There was no online shopping to bring your food to your door. No kids club, soft play or season tickets to Drayton Manor. Instead it was Reusable nappies with a pin (not the kind we know today) and a fire or electric blowers for heat, not a smart meter in sight.

Then there was my mum. She had three children, one who was severely disabled and one with learning difficulties. She wasn’t a single parent on paper but in reality she was. She also didn’t drive, didn’t have the internet, and as the years went by was without friends for moral support. She raised a newborn for 18 years and got nothing back, apart from 2 heart attacks and a breakdown in health. Now that was hard.

So then there is little old me, with my two in eleven months. Me, who does everything for an easy life, if it rains I load the kids into the estate with their bloody isofix seats and we drive to somewhere dry, convenient and entertaining. When I can’t think of another varied yet wholesome lunch to give them, we go out. My shopping is brought to the door. I can run large part of our administrative crap from my fingertips. My house remains up right (centrally heated) and not under threat of being blown to the ground. I have two, recently declared, healthy children who don’t want for anything, so why do I find it so hard?

Am I missing the maternal gene?

Am I missing the patience gene?

Am I missing the enthusiasm for nursery rhymes over and over again gene?

Make no mistake,  my children are so very wanted and so very loved and it is not hard all day everyday. Yet, when it is hard, boy is it hard, but why?

Is it the demand on my time, that every waking second of the hours of 7-7 is dedicated to two others? Possibly, but I happily give it to them. Is it the effect on my bank balance? Possibly, but money can’t buy what my two little terrors do for me. Is it the curtailing of my freedom to do what, and go where, I want? Possibly but I wouldn’t want to be anywhere where my babies aren’t.

I suspect it is a bit of all of the above and then some, but as hard as I find it, Blitzkrieg or not, I wouldn’t have it any other way.


So I guess my point is this, whatever your situation, no matter how something looks on paper, if you find it hard, then it  is hard. It is ok to find it hard and to do whatever the hell you can to make things a little easier on yourself. Let’s cut ourselves a bit of slack, things may be easier than our ancestors had it, but then they had it easier then their ancestors (thanks Jenner and your Petri dish of mould) and no doubt our grandchildren will have it easier than us. That doesn’t however make it easy.

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42 Comments

  1. March 1, 2017 / 5:00 am

    I love this. I agree we need to cut ourselves some slack and do what’s right for our families, whether it looks like what everyone else does or not. #FamilyFunlinky

  2. March 1, 2017 / 6:53 am

    I totally relate to this and some days although nothing major occurs the day is just bloody hard. Obviously our grandparents had it worse but that’s just hpw things were. Whilst we have a meltdown if the washing machine is broken they didn’t even have thay luxury! Thanks for hosting #familyfun

  3. March 1, 2017 / 7:01 am

    You’re so right – yes, our ancestors had it much harder when it comes to parenting – people living in less developed parts of the world still do – but that doesn’t diminish the struggles that we have. Our expectations are different these days. I, for one, find being a parent really hard some days and I only have one – I sometimes feel bad complaining giving that lots of people manage with multiple kids. #FamilyFun

  4. March 1, 2017 / 7:07 am

    Great post. I think every generation has it hard for different reasons. If I think about the freedom I had as a child and teenager, that luxury will not be afforded to my children as the world is no longer as safe as it was 30 years ago. So while some things get easier, others get harder.
    And everyone’s “hard” is different.
    Swings & Roundabouts I guess.
    #familyfun

  5. March 1, 2017 / 7:27 am

    Everyone faces challenges hun it is how we choose to respond to them that is the issue in my eyes. Life can be hard but if we approach it was a smile on our face and humour it can get us through a lot! #FamilyFun

  6. March 1, 2017 / 8:01 am

    This thought strikes me a lot when I compare my experience as a parent to my Mum’s, and then my Grandparent’s. But I think as much as lots of the practical things are easier, a lot of things about modern life do make parenting harder. The pressure on parents to be the best parent they can, while often also holding down a job, is a new development I think. Certainly my Grandmas didn’t work while their children were small, and my mum only went back when all her children had started school. And the fact that we are more spread out geographically from our families and don’t have the same support networks in place. So while things are easier in some areas, there are always going to be others where it’s harder. And I completely agree, if you find it’s hard, it is hard – we need to cut ourselves a bit of slack! #FamilyFun

  7. March 1, 2017 / 9:08 am

    My mum thinks there is too much stimulation now soft plays and 24 hour kids TV make our kids more demanding than we were. #familyfun

  8. March 1, 2017 / 9:28 am

    I think err do have it so much easier than our parents, thank goodness! Parenting is bloody hard work, we definitely need to give ourselves a break! #familyfun

  9. March 1, 2017 / 10:46 am

    It is absolutely okay to feel that it is hard! It does in no way mean that we dont love our little ones to bits. I think it’s all the love we have for them that makes it hard, the constant questioning – an I doing enough? are my kids happy? Healthy? And so on. Thank you for sharing your thoughts x #familyfun

  10. March 1, 2017 / 11:52 am

    My post today is about how I think that things were simpler when my children were tiny. Mine are now 12, 14, 16 and 17. I think things were LESS stressful for parents without the Internet. Everything now is so immediate, that none of us, or our kids have any patience. It makes the pace of life so much more frenetic and makes parents feel so much more stressed out. Then there’s the comparing ourselves with others, who are portraying perfect family life on Instagram and so on. It all makes for life being a harder environment now to bring up kids than when there was less technology, but more time to get everything done. Alison x #FamilyFun

  11. March 1, 2017 / 1:15 pm

    I think the thing is, we cope with what we have to. I can’t drive, so get trams everywhere. As soon as I have been driving for a few months, I won’t know how I coped. I was a single mum for a few years with The Boy, and no family close. Now, I have a supportive husband and great in laws, and I don’t know how I managed. We adjusted to our situations.

    #familyfun

  12. March 1, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    Considering I am about to hide from my girls under the fucking dining room table right now (it is only 8 am) I guess I am not the one to ask.

    It is so hard. Like who can do this gracefully all the time?

    They had their days I am sure. God I hope they did at least.

    #familyfun

  13. Laura
    March 1, 2017 / 2:26 pm

    Hmmm… this is certainly food for thought and makes me feel very inadequate compared to previous generations! I think the problem is that there are very different pressures and expectations that we put on ourselves these days. Very interesting…

  14. March 1, 2017 / 4:38 pm

    I think that because we are comparing ourselves, whether to other generations or to others that we see, that we put unrealistic expectations on ourselves. Especially perhaps, those of us that choose to put our lives ‘out there” more than others #familyfun

  15. March 1, 2017 / 6:06 pm

    I think what makes it so hard for all of us is the weight of expectations on today’s mums, from society at large, that we then put onto ourselves, resulting in guilt when we fail to meet this unattainable standard. Hence the need to cut ourselves some slack. The references to previous generations of your family do put it all in perspective though. Great post!
    #FamilyFun

  16. March 1, 2017 / 6:32 pm

    Love this. No matter how hard your life is there will always be someone going through worse. That doesn’t mean what your going through isn’t hard though. We definitely need to cut ourselves some slack x
    #FamilyFun

  17. March 1, 2017 / 7:15 pm

    I think there is a lot of pressure from society and social media to be the “perfect” mum that we forget to give ourselves a break sometimes. We are all doing a great job no matter what each day brings.
    #FamilyFun

  18. March 1, 2017 / 7:31 pm

    Just cos they had hard times to bring children up doesn’t mean they enjoyed it and if they had the social media we had now they would be saying all the same stuff. It’s never easy. #ff

  19. Mark whyley
    March 1, 2017 / 7:45 pm

    Great post

  20. March 1, 2017 / 8:01 pm

    Wow, you’ve really put our everyday struggles in perspective. I guess each generation faces a different set of challenges, and so much depends on how you were prepared for your lot in life as you grew up. I agree that it is okay to find it hard at times, without needing to compare it to how hard it might be for others. #familyfun

  21. March 1, 2017 / 8:09 pm

    My mom comes from a family of eight, and was raised in an adobe house built by my grandfather. It had one room and a wood burning stove. That’s it. For 10 people. I’m not sure how my grandmother did it, but she did. It helps me to gain perspective to remember her. She obviously didn’t do a craft with her kids everyday, or have the latest toys for her kids. But they all grew up to be functional adults, knowing they were loved by their parents. It reminds me not to stress about the perfection of parenthood we all try to attain, but to just make sure that at the end of the day my kids know they are loved.

  22. March 1, 2017 / 8:10 pm

    My mom comes from a family of eight, and was raised in an adobe house built by my grandfather. It had one room and a wood burning stove. That’s it. For 10 people. I’m not sure how my grandmother did it, but she did. It helps me to gain perspective to remember her. She obviously didn’t do a craft with her kids everyday, or have the latest toys for her kids. But they all grew up to be functional adults, knowing they were loved by their parents. It reminds me not to stress about the perfection of parenthood we all try to attain, but to just make sure that at the end of the day my kids know they are loved. #FamilyFunLinky

  23. March 1, 2017 / 8:37 pm

    You’re so right about this. I have pondered on this a lot and I think part of it is the non-stop culture we live in. Back when I was little, there were 4 TV channels, no internet, no mobile phones and less exotic food options. My mum made the same meals regularly but we were happy to eat whatever. In the evenings she would read a book or watch a TV programme and probably went to bed earlier. Similarly for our grandparents. I think we feel more frustration as parents because we have a split focus. I know I am very often guilty of doing 2 (or 3) things at once! #FamilyFun

  24. March 1, 2017 / 9:50 pm

    Every generation has a ‘different kind of hard.’ Our parents might have had threat of the house being bombed but they had different expectations than we have today. We stress over whether our children are learning enough etc, they were just happy if they survived. You’re allowed to find life hard.
    Great thought provoking post
    #familyfun

  25. March 1, 2017 / 11:29 pm

    I think a lot of it might have to do with social media and being able to compare how others are raising their “perfect kids”

    if you didn’t see any other families too often you’d be happy how yours were turning out as long as they were fed/watered/clothed

  26. March 2, 2017 / 9:50 am

    My Nan had her first child whilst her husband was off fighting in Burma. When he returned he had a four year old! Times were so different and they had to learn to live with what they had and make the best of it all. I sometimes think we have far too much. Kids have too much choice, too many options and are spoilt without us even realising it. Simpler times may have made motherhood a little easier because the children knew they couldn’t have it all and wouldn’t demand it because getting food and toys was near on impossible. It’s something I think about a lot. #familyfun

  27. March 2, 2017 / 11:48 am

    So well said and always nice to read an honest post. Raising kids is hard! I once read a quote that I thought was hilarious “Parenthood, the toughest hood you’ll ever walk through” haha so true! x

  28. March 2, 2017 / 3:04 pm

    This is brilliant! I always feel guilty if I complain about things being hard because my mum really had a tough time of it. She raised me and my sister on her own, in a town where she knew nobody and had no transport. I have everyone and everything i need on my doorstep. But you’re right, yes I have it easier, but she had it easier than her mum too.. there is no need for anyone to feel bad about finding things hard. Especially when we consider how times change and situations change – we don’t have to struggle along with the problems our ancestors faced, but our generations to come won’t have the same problems we have.
    #familyfun

  29. March 2, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    I love this! We are often so hard on ourselves. And mom guilt is real, more so when we compare our (rather more fortunate) circumstances to those of our mothers and grandmothers etc. So I agree, it’s important to remember to cut ourselves some slack sometimes. :) xx #familyfun

  30. March 2, 2017 / 8:28 pm

    My mum had 4 under 5 when my dad went away to uni!!! She thinks it’s harder now partially because we tend to have children later. We’ve been successful at work and we’re not used to muddling through also there’s much more of a previous life to miss!

  31. March 2, 2017 / 9:46 pm

    This is a stand out post hon – brilliantly articulated and extremely reflective. You are inside my head!!! Thanks for putting this into words. xxx #familyfun

  32. March 3, 2017 / 12:23 pm

    My mother is one of 11 children and I often think how on earth my grandmother coped with them all. My mother remembers her childhood fondly as one of chaos and fun. Whatever hand we have been dealt we all have our bugbears about it being tough, I bang that drum frequently as my husband is always away so I feel like a single mum and you are right whatever our respective situations we need to stop beating ourselves up and do things to make things easier for ourselves. #familyfun

  33. March 3, 2017 / 1:58 pm

    This has to be my most favorite post from you. I loved the examples (realities) that you write about regarding women of another generation and what they had to deal with and then the stark comparison to our own. Parenting is tough and it is differently tough for everyone. Understanding others’ situations or at least being a little empathetic toward other parents, even in our generation, gives us a reason to pause and put things in perspective. Excellent post. #familyfun

  34. March 3, 2017 / 6:43 pm

    I think the problem is that in previous generations women were expected to stay at home and raise the kids where as now with the whole equality thing, we now feel or at least it seems to me, that women feel that they can or should do both.
    Back in the day local shops provided everything you needed but now you need to go into town so you need to hurl the kids in the car or on a bus to get shopping.
    I think this generation where we appear to have it all puts pressure on people to be perfect whether it be in looks or behaviour #familyfun

  35. March 4, 2017 / 2:46 pm

    I think its only natural to find it hard and not to beat ourselves up about it x #FamilyFunLinky

  36. March 5, 2017 / 5:06 pm

    You are right about everyone finding it hard now and again. #FamilyFun

  37. March 6, 2017 / 6:27 am

    Great post. I often think how much ‘easier’ I have it than my mum did – she had not many friends near her, only one car between her and my dad who was always at work, and then I wonder why am I moaning! But it’s right, the process, the ins and outs and the tantrums is still hard. And that she can sympathise with! #FamilyFun

  38. March 6, 2017 / 9:37 am

    Such an interesting read. I wonder whether because there was real hardship that the things we find hard now were a dream for them. If we were living in a war-torn country the children would seem the easy part. Life is easy for us now living in the UK so we focus on the hardest parts which is raising children. I think your post has really helped me pop things into perspective so thank you for that! #MarvMondays

  39. March 6, 2017 / 11:35 am

    I often wonder the same thing – how can I find it hard when my life compared to my parents, grandparents etc is so much easier. But then I think, yes it may be easier in some respects such as we now have washing machines / dishwashers/ cars etc but I think we have incredible pressure to be everything and have everything all of the time, a mum, a job, a wife, a friend, a carer, a cleaner etc. Fab post x
    #MarvMondays

  40. March 6, 2017 / 2:07 pm

    I read this last week and really liked it. Sometimes we don’t know how easy we have it compared to our parents and grandparents but it’s all relative so we shouldn’t be hard on ourselves Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays x

  41. March 7, 2017 / 8:17 pm

    Love this – great points and so well written! I wrote a post recently on whether we have it easier than our mothers – ultimately I don’t think we do! #familyfunlinky