Parenting is like a video game: each phase is more challenging than the previous
The best analogy I can think of to describe parenting is a video game. We start slowly at the first level with a tiny being that doesn’t do much else than eating, sleeping and pooping, only to move to the next one and the next one until we lose all our lives and the screen shows the inevitable Game Over, which is basically the day we actually die. But here are more similarities between parenting and a video game: each level is progressively more difficult than the previous in order to surprise and challenge us every time we believe we are in control. Let’s see.
Level One – from 0 to 3 months
In this first level the baby itself it’s not the hard part. He spends most of the day sleeping, he’s light and portable and once you learn how to feed and change him quickly you’ll be fine. Unless you have a colicky baby, the really difficult part in this level is to cope with your own lack of sleep. It’s a way of torturing people in some countries, and you’ll understand why.
Level Two – from 3 to 6 months
When you’re finally getting used to your baby’s routines and to the lack of social life, you’ll find that your baby sleeps more at night but keeps you busier during the day. It’s only normal since he doesn’t know how to do anything by himself, including eating or playing with toys. Introducing solid food is also a challenge at this level. Don’t panic. He will learn how to eat eventually.
Level Three – from 6 to 12 months
Teeth pop out (some babies suffer a lot with this), crawling and climbing the furniture begin and so does your need to be constantly vigilant. This is also when most babies go to the nursery (so long maternity leave), which is the same as saying he will be sick every other week. When reaching the end of this level you’ll be blessed by baby’s first attempts to walk, which also means bumps on the forehead, broken objects and a lot of back pain from walking around bended holding baby’s hands.
Level Four – from 12 to 24 months
When your baby starts walking he also starts discovering the world: plugs to stick his tiny fingers, cell phones to throw into the toilet, jumping from the couch to the floor and a huge attraction to danger. In this level mothers find out they have five eyes and a superpower that allows them to anticipate every dangerous situation.
Level Five – from 2 to 3 years old
The second year of life comes with thrilling emotions such as leaving diapers (which means countless sheets and clothes to be washed) and eating all alone (do remove the Persian rug from under the dinner table unless you want to do a food collage with it). But the most challenging part of this level is the development of the art of arguing or how to explain to a child this age that she can’t go out in trunks when its snowing outside.
Got the picture?
Well there are countless more levels until a child reaches adulthood, but with this few I guess you can get the bottom line: like in a video game, don’t wish the present phase to pass quickly because the next one is much harder. Begin each level determined to enjoy all the good things, even if they seem to be too few because the good things will by far compensate the bad.
Filipa Fonseca Silva is a Portuguese writer and advertising creative. Mother of one toddler with another baby on the way, she felt the urge to share with other mums the incredible things motherhood taught her and no one talks about.
When she’s not writing about motherhood, fashion and lifestyle in her blog, she writes novels. Her first novel Thirty Something (nothing’s how we dreamed it would be) has been widely praised and recently reached the Top 100 on Amazon. Her second one, The Strange Year of Vanessa M. was launched last June. You can find them both at any online bookstore.
Besides writing Filipa loves painting, collecting shoes and eating watermelon.