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Old 11-30-2015, 11:50 AM
 
537 posts, read 486,298 times
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I am married with two children.

I hear other married people with children get asked things like "Does marriage ever get easier?" "Does raising children ever get easier" and they always say "No, if anything, it gets harder!"

I feel like people always want others to think their life is super difficult or something, because neither of these are (usually) the case.

The hardest period of marriage is usually the first year, although this obviously varies between couples. The hardest part of raising children is also usually the first year, and it gets easier and easier (and more fun!) as the child grows. There are obviously different kinds of challenges with raising children as they get older, but the time investment and effort required in raising children goes way down when they are potty trained, then again when they get into preschool and continues to decline as they become older and more self sufficient. This varies by parent and child tremendously, however.

It's similar with a career. The hardest part of a job is usually the first couple weeks. There will be phases where things are more difficult than normal, but in general a job gets easier the longer you're there. In your career in general, it gets easier as you become more and more of an expert in your field. I remember graduating college and getting my first job. I was scared ****less and had no idea what I was doing. It took a month before I finally was able to exit constant panic mode.

First starting high school is also a really tough phase of life. Time required for school work, athletics, and activities goes way up compared to middle school, and you have to start preparing for things that will affect the rest of your life, like SATs and getting into a decent college. It's a huge adjustment, at least it was for me. First starting college is also extremely difficult for many, as it's the first time they are out on their own.

Life for me is the easiest it has ever been in my life, even though I'm married with two kids. I am more confident in all aspects of my life, more financially secure, and better at everything that I ever was when I was younger. Life in the past hasn't been easy (it never is for anyone), but the trials I have endured have shaped me into someone able to easily weather whatever life throws at me, trials that my younger self would have fainted at. The hardest phases of my life were first starting high school, first starting college, graduating college and working my first real job, the first few months of marriage, and the first year or two of raising my first child (maybe the first few months of my second child - it's easier the second time around when you know what to do).

People need to stop saying life never gets easier. It's very disheartening for younger people, and can cause them to want to give up and lose hope in life. Maybe life itself never gets easier, but you become better at everything, making it seem easier. A good analogy is walking. When you first learn to walk, it's very difficult. Walking itself never becomes technically easier - it still requires the same energy expenditure and the same coordination between the brain and muscles, but as you get better at it, it becomes so easy that you don't even think about it. It's the same with almost every other aspect of life.

So if you are young and find that life is just overwhelming - hang in there, because it DOES get better. Life will only get worse and more difficult if you just stop trying. Keep fighting and working hard, and it will all pay off!
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:26 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 42,098,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BongoBungo View Post

So if you are young and find that life is just overwhelming - hang in there, because it DOES get better.
Yes, it does get better.
But I am of the opinion that it does not get easier... it just gets different.
Every stage presents its own challenges.

I am in my 60s... and there still are challenges!

BTW... the first years of marriage and of parenthood are not the hardest, in my experience. Not by a long shot.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:28 PM
 
Location: Pacific Northwest
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Apparently you haven't had any loved ones die on you yet. I'm 51 and have already lost my youngest son to Leukemia, one husband to a sudden heart attack, and another husband to a bicycle accident. All within the space of 5 years. After that, I'm pretty much a permanantly bereaved person that has to deal with a world that wants me to get over it and "move on". Which definitely makes nothing easier.

Life only gets easier if you are one of the lucky who NEVER lose anyone.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:35 PM
 
Location: New Yawk
9,195 posts, read 6,242,873 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Yes, it does get better.
But I am of the opinion that it does not get easier... it just gets different.
Every stage presents its own challenges.

I am in my 60s... and there still are challenges!

BTW... the first years of marriage and of parenthood are not the hardest, in my experience. Not by a long shot.
Same here.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:38 PM
 
537 posts, read 486,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Yes, it does get better.
But I am of the opinion that it does not get easier... it just gets different.
Every stage presents its own challenges.

I am in my 60s... and there still are challenges!

BTW... the first years of marriage and of parenthood are not the hardest, in my experience. Not by a long shot.
Each life stage has its own challenges, but as you get older you are wiser and more experienced and better able to tackle those challenges. Life definitely gets better for most.

Quote:
Apparently you haven't had any loved ones die on you yet. I'm 51 and have already lost my youngest son to Leukemia, one husband to a sudden heart attack, and another husband to a bicycle accident. All within the space of 5 years. After that, I'm pretty much a permanantly bereaved person that has to deal with a world that wants me to get over it and "move on". Which definitely makes nothing easier.

Life only gets easier if you are one of the lucky who NEVER lose anyone.
I have not had children or spouses die, and think anyone who has gone through what you have will have a very difficult time. I am sorry for your loss! This kind of loss (at those ages and within such a short time frame) is fortunately not incredibly common. As I mentioned in the original post, everyone's mileage may vary. I have had friends and family members pass on, many before their time. It is never easy, but death is a part of this world, and we should make the best of our time before we pass on ourselves. I never spent more than a day or two grieving the loss of loved ones, but then again I never lost a child or spouse. I also think it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Florida
5,817 posts, read 5,260,560 times
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I agree with your basic point. But I think it takes a lot of hard work, level headed decisions, and a pinch of luck.


I'm afraid too many people - not all, but a good amount - want it all right away. That's how huge debt can accumulate and quality of life diminishes.


Good schooling, then good job, then a home, then kids - all while socking away savings and retirement in sufficient amounts. That takes planning and some sacrifice. Not everyone can - or is willing - to do that.

Last edited by kab0906; 11-30-2015 at 12:51 PM..
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:50 PM
 
537 posts, read 486,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms.Mathlete View Post
Same here.
I'm curious what about marriage and raising children you thought was more difficult?

To me, the lack of sleep and the constant need for attention when children are below the age of 4 was incredibly difficult. When they entered preschool, I was finally able to have time to myself again. The teenage years can be difficult in a different way, and I suppose it really just depends on your children. My children are well behaved and so far the teenage years have been a breeze compared to the infant and toddler years.

The first year of marriage for most is the hardest because both people are adjusting to a new way of life. It's often times the first time they are living together and sharing finances. The first few years of marriage can also be very difficult due to financial pressures. My relationship with my wife is something I have worked at for years, and every day I get better at communicating with her. In the early stages of our marriage, we would often scream and threaten and belittle each other. We learned over the years that this was not productive, and we do a much better job of treating each other with respect, dignity, and love. Marriage can become more difficult as people change, but it's the job of each spouse to keep themselves from drifting too far apart.

There were also certain phases of my marriage that were very difficult, but in general those first two years were the hardest.

Life circumstances are different for everyone, however, so marriage and raising children can be more or less difficult at any stage for each individual.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:54 PM
 
537 posts, read 486,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kab0906 View Post
I agree with your basic point. But I think it takes a lot of hard work, level headed decisions, and a pinch of luck.


I'm afraid too many people - not all, but a good amount - want it all right away. That's how huge debt can accumulate and quality of life diminishes.


Good schooling, then good job, then a home, then kids - all while socking away savings and retirement in sufficient amounts. That take planning and some sacrifice. Not everyone can - or is willing - to do that.
This raises an excellent point. Too many people out there want everything NOW, to the point that they sacrifice their future happiness. I was never someone who went into debt for anything, except student loans and buying a house. Too many people get married too soon without getting to really know their spouse first. This can lead to a great first couple of years, but nightmares down the road when reality sets in. I dated my wife for five years before we got married.

If you are patient, responsible, frugal, and hard working, you have a much better chance at life being better in the future than someone who constantly lives in the moment with no regard to their future.
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:55 PM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 42,098,125 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BongoBungo View Post

Life circumstances are different for everyone, however, so marriage and raising children can be more or less difficult at any stage for each individual.
Exactly.
So why counter those who don't have YOUR circumstances and experiences?
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Old 11-30-2015, 12:59 PM
 
537 posts, read 486,298 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitt Chick View Post
Exactly.
So why counter those who don't have YOUR circumstances and experiences?
My original point is that too many people make blanket statements that life can never get any easier, and that you might as well give up hope on ever being happy. This is clearly not the case. I do think that for most people, life does get better, especially if they are patient, thoughtful, and frugal.
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