Whilst pregnant with child number two, it suddenly began to dawn on me what we had actually done – the full horror of having two children under the age of five and no family support. I would often discuss this with friends who have had prior experience of this. In my experience there are two types of people, who give a particular type of response – those that “tell it how it is” & those that fabricate the truth perhaps so not to worry you or because the experience was so traumatic the mind has repressed it ! For example, when asked they managed to cope with two children under the age of five a common response is, ” the second child just fits in because they have to” personally, I have found this to be the biggest lie ever told about parenting!!.. I would prefer that people would give realistic response so that one can prepare better for parenthood rather than giving a rose tinted view of it.
Another example is, “It will get better after 4 months…” when in fact this does not happen for all parents. I guess this would depend on what the definition of “better” is seen to be as around this age both my children started teething leading to sleep deprivation, irritability (for both parents and child), general fussiness which inevitably meant the child not allowing the parents to eat food etc. Teething and colds often occurred together plus, the seemingly never ending list of immunisations and the physical & psychological effects of these on children that parents also have to manage.
Finally, another example is “Children – once they are able to walk will become more tired and begin sleeping through the night” – my son is nearly two and a half and has only managed this a couple of times and in fact, the more tired he is, the less likely he is to want to sleep.
There are so many examples of such mis-truths that people tell – these are but a few. If you are one of these people that does so please note you are giving long suffering parents hope, which is unethical as things do not improve significantly until children are five years and over! The next time someone asks you about the hardships of being a parent – be realistic – if you are not, they will be in a big shock!!