Our third child has been by far the easiest. I could put it down to my well honed parenting skills and be boastful about how I’ve finally nailed this motherhood malarkey. But in all honesty I think the real reason behind the third’s relative calm character and my more relaxed approach is that phases no longer faze me. For I know from often eye-wateringly painful experience that these said phases do end…Eventually.
In the beginning, when you’ve just had your carefree life pulled from under your puffy feet, and you have a colicky baby strapped in some convoluted hippy scarf, someone telling you it’s just a phase will likely make you feel like smearing baby posit (as my mum lovingly called it) into their smug little face. Harsh. But true. Really though you should be hugging them tight, as it is the most truthful piece of advice a been-there-done-that can bestow upon a distressed newbie.
I also know that when you’re deep in the trenches of a particularly challenging phase and you feel like you’re grappling in a bath of treacle, it’s hard to imagine an end. You’re exhausted or frustrated or both. But rest assured there usually is. And often it creeps up unnoticed and suddenly wham – you realise that they’ve slept through for an entire week, or stopped their ‘clearing the throat’ tick that left you panic-googling at 2am. You’ve ridden the storm. Hoorah.
To prove my point here are some of the phases we’ve survived thus far:-
Our white noise weapon of choice – the hoover wired through to our bedroom phase
The drastic vibrating cot gadget phase
The slapping me in the face when they hurt themselves out of embarrassment phase
The determined to set fire to the house by putting toys in the oven phase
The sticking squidgy fingers down his throat phase (delightful)
The brumming his cars while telling them to F off phase
And of course there are the ones we’re still living:
The waking up nose to nose with a five year old who’s crept into our bed without a peep phase
The toddler screaming in the middle of the night expecting an episode of Hey Duggee phase
The ‘I hate school’ phase (questionable if this one ends)
And I’m fully aware that we have a whole host of wonderful phases ahead of us to conquer as a family, but now we come equipped with the knowledge that they do usually pass. Yes patience is required in abundance – it’s grit your teeth and suck it up kind of stuff, but I find adopting an internal mantra helps.
It’s just a phase. This too shall pass..and breathe..and repeat..