The Most Difficult Stage in Parenting

The Most Difficult Stage in Parenting

Posted on Posted in Merry Moms, Milestones, Uncategorized

What was your most difficult stage in parenting?  We asked and you answered.


“Hands down, my daughter, aged 2 through the very end of 3! She is now 4 and a bit, and I am just starting to like her again! My son is 2, almost 3, and he has not shown the other side of his personality yet…still very sweet, and temper tantrums are very manageable. Not saying that I love either one of them more, they are just different kids with different personalities.”

-Olivia, unknown


“The first four months, hands down. When I say our son was colicky, it’s an understatement. If he was awake, he was crying.”

-Angie, Denver


“My son is 13 months so that is all I have to go on as of right now. With respect to the first year, the hardest age for me was weeks 2-8. The first two weeks they just eat and sleep.. and then all of a sudden it gets tough! I think it was mostly being a new parent and trying to figure everything out, but it was extremely stressful.”

-Carolyn, Wisconsin


“I think the hardest milestone for my little boy was when he started teething. Honestly he was an absolute champ, but I think that the teething is the milestone he noticed most because of the discomfort and pain. He got his first tooth around month 4 and had 8 by month 8.

I think his first birthday was the hardest on myself and his dad. We are big babies when it comes to seeing our little boy grow up. His actual birthday was not hard it was the weeks and days leading up to his birthday. We gave him an early birthday present the night before and that is the moment that got both us emotional.

All in all, we’ve celebrated and appreciated each milestone that he has conquered. We look forward to each milestone to come as well. This whole experience is a new one that all of us are navigating through together. ”

Monica- Cheyenne, WY


“The most difficult stage is the stage your child is in at the moment.  The easiest is the stage they were in yesterday… or tomorrow!”

-Jill, NH


“I have a very active toddler & a newborn. My newborn is definitely much easier, but I so enjoy my toddler.  It is fantastic to see that she learns every day, you can really SEE her growing & learning & turning into the person she wants to be, it’s fascinating, even though I think that 2 to 3 years is the hardest part , because they can’t really talk, and get frustrated so easily.”

-Mimi, unknown


“Well the milestone that is hardest for me and my baby is breastfeeding…”

-Marisol- Annandale, VA


“As a mother of five, the hardest milestone is most definitely potty training! I would’ve thought it would get easier with each one, but they have minds of their own and no amount of training/tricking helps with my kiddos. It’s as if they wake up one morning and decide, on their own terms, that today is the day they are done with diapers and pull-ups. We have tried stickers, special potties, music, watches, etc. to no avail. 3 & 1/2 seems to be our magic number, which is a long time when you have two or three in diapers! I currently have two in diapers, one of whom is approaching the magical 3 & 1/2 mark. I am so hoping she wakes up and decides today is the day!”

-Dana W.- Hughesville, PA


” The hardest milestone for me and my little one is the breastfeeding part. My son initially had tongue tie which made latching difficult. Now that his tongue has been clipped his latching has improved.”

-Evelyn- Columbus, OH


“After 16 year’s I stared all over with a beautiful baby boy that was very hard.”

-Edith, unknown


“Potty Training was our hardest milestone. My daughter seemed to understand how to use the potty but continued to have accidents almost daily, especially pooping.  It was so frustrating to take her anywhere and to daycare and she kept having accidents.  We started adding Miralax to her morning drink, and it helped some, but she still had too many accidents for a child her age.  It took us a long time to realize that it was a medical condition, and she currently sees a pediatric GI doctor for constipation.  She is 5-years old now and still has occasional accidents.  I would advise anyone that struggles with potty training to speak with their family physician or pediatrician.”

-Karla, Oklahoma


“I think the most difficult stage /hardest milestone was when my daughter turned a month old. That’s when all the cluster feeding came in effect, it was super hard because my daughter had a tongue and lip tie! Having to nurse my daughter every 30 minutes to an hour was so hard. Her double ties made it so worse. There were days where I just wanted to give up, I wanted to stop breast feeding and just give her formula but, I didn’t. Even though it was extremely difficult, this was a goal. This was a bond that me and my daughter were able to share. The bond that we had & still have at almost 3 months old, made those rough days and nights so worth it! I’m so glad that we pushed through and continued to breast feed! She is almost 3 months old & we had her tongue tie clipped and is so much better now! I know if I gave up, I would’ve regretted it. Being a parent is so difficult but it is also SO rewarding, the most rewarding job out there! I’ve learned that you can’t just give up when things aren’t going your way, push through it and you both (baby & mother) with make it out okay. I’m at peace with my decision. Regardless if she is breast or formula fed, fed is always best. I’m just so grateful I can continue with this goal of mine!”

Cecelia- Jacksonville, NC


What do the experts say?

Each new milestone has its own challenges and there are many factors that play a role in whether it becomes the hardest for you and your little one.  In the end, we push through to find ourselves in unfamiliar territory as we find ourselves working through a new milestone.

I really enjoyed reading the view of Clinical Social Worker, Debbie Granick.  She put it like this:

“The worst year is the one you are least prepared for, when their behavior is most not what you had in mind, it’s when you are put in the position of having to be a person you least like.  It’s when they hit on your vulnerabilities, those years are difficult for everybody.  It’s typically when parents most often turn into a version of themselves they like to keep hidden from the world.”  Read more here.


Ain’t this the truth!  Anyone hate when Momzilla comes out to play?!  The sleepless nights in infancy, the annoyance of potty training, etc…they can push you to your limits and make you wanna slap your Momma! Seriously though, Granick speaks truth here!


Lastly, in my search for the universally accepted hardest stage, I found most people feel it is the middle-school age.

Just think guys- the worst has yet to come! Maybe this has to do with the transition of our role in parenting rather quickly as they enter these years, plus I am sure all of their pubescent changes around this time does not help!


In an article by Bob Hostetler, he explains the transition of our roles through parenthood.  There are four stages according to this school of thought.  They are commander, coach, counselor and consultant in order from Newborn to adulthood.

It is spot-on if you ask me.  Check it out and let me know what you think!


We would love to hear what your hardest milestone, age, stage in development has been thus far.  Leave a comment below and let us know.

Related:  The Best Approach to Measuring Your Child’s Developmental Milestones

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