They were the toughest days

I ran in to my old day-care-mum last week. I haven’t seen her in a while and we were chatting to each other about the kids. Her girls are all grown up and have left home (they were in high school when my boys used to be in her care). It’s nice to see someone who, at that time in your life, you really relied on and trusted. All 3 of my boys were in her care when they were little and I was trying to work. She was really important to me as I have never had any relatives around to help me while I worked. I always had to pay for day care.


I started to reminisce on my way home after seeing her. I shook my head and thought they were the toughest days ever. They were really hard… on so many levels. Little kids, trying to work, still breastfeeding… yep that was me. I feel stressed just thinking about those days. I had to work. We needed the money, but I had 3 small kids. I remember even calling in to her house at lunch times so I could breastfeed. In hindsight that was crazy. I’m not saying it was wrong because I know so many women do it, but at that time I remember juggling so many balls and I remember being so unhappy about it all.

I don’t think I truly enjoyed those early days with a brand new baby and 2 toddlers. I much prefer the age my kids are now. Some women love babies – I love school aged kids. But I was so young back then when I had them in daycare. I was in my 20’s with 3 kids and it was mayhem. We had a new mortgage, a business and I paid about $360 a week (it’s gone up since then too!) in day care. Gulp! I know some of you are doing that exact thing right now… We just make it work though don’t we? We just do what we have to do to get through?

But, it gets better doesn’t it? If you’re in that daycare zone now, I promise it gets a little easier. I looked over old photos last night of when the kids were little. They were so cute. I was barely in any photos, but when I was, I could see I was so unsure about myself. I am reading your blogs and you have 2 year olds and 4 year olds and you’re having days which never end. There’s never a moment to yourself. BUT it will get better.

I’m glad my days aren’t that tough any more. I’m grateful we came out of those early days unscathed… onwards and upwards!


  • Anna Worland

    Yes this is our family right now!! In the crazy rush of last week I did think… Surely one day I will look back and think ‘ how the hell did we manage?’ But I suppose like everyone else, you just power on!! Yes daycare fees have gone up and it’s ridiculous!

  • Angela Mitchell

    I love empty nesting, I was a parent at age 16. We put off a lot to raise our two children. Now I have a driving license and have been working the last 13 years which has aloud ourselves 4 overseas trips in eight years.
    I value being able to grow up with my children, now 26 and 24, I wouldn’t change a thing.

  • Krystal

    Thanks Katrina, really needed to hear this today. I’ve got a 5 year old, 2 year old and a nearly 1 year old and 3 out of 5 in the family are struck down with a vomiting bug at the moment (myself included). Just to have a shower on my own would be an achievement!! Have just returned to work a few months back and trying to do the juggle of work, daycare and school commitments whilst still breastfeeding. Exhausted would be an understatement, but I take comfort in the fact that it does get easier although some like to tell me otherwise.

  • Kylie Coleman

    Mums always need to hear these reassuring words.
    I reminisced tonight whilst rummaging through the keepsakes to find some baptism momento for school news. When my eldest two were in nappies & toddlers – 21mths apart, my hubby worked in Sydney 5 nights a week, home for three. I also worked two days a week in Sydney and carted expressed milk back and forth, frozen in a mini esky. Crazy!!!
    I don’t regret it though.
    And I always wish that I was in more photos with the kids!! Hopefully my kids realise that I was there too, just behind the camera – like I’m always behind them (supporting in every way I can, including financially).

  • Seana

    I’m so much better with the kids now they’re older. All at school now. There’s still plenty of mum stuff to do but it’s all much much easier. These days I feel good about having four and happy it worked out this way. Took a while !!

  • Karen Inall

    I needed that little read tonight! Thanks for the inspiration

  • Kerry Closter

    Lovely post Katrina and so true for most of us in some ways, thanks for the reminder and cheer out to Mums now doing the same. X

  • Anne Stubbs

    It’s funny how different times are hard for different people. I had 3 under 5 and then another later- busy times!! I find now really hard when they are growing up up and leaving home for uni!

    • Bev Seaman

      Yes me too ..I had three boys under 3 then a six year gap and had another boy …found it really busy but they all got on so well and still do but three older ones all in twenty s and left home within a year of each other ..only youngest at home with all these empty bedrooms ….took us ages to adjust ..we are very lucky all still in same city so see them them regularly

    • Katrina Chambers

      Maybe I’ll circle back around to that feeling Anne when they are start to leave me boo hooo

  • Regan Marten

    Hit the spot… thanks for your perspective & reminder that there are different stages and challenges and now is not forever. “This to shall pass”!

  • Alana Higgins

    Oh god your timing is impeccable needed to hear that today! Thankyou! It feel like it just can’t possibly get harder so it must get easier! One very exhausted mumma waving the white flag

    • Katrina Chambers

      I much more enjoy these days where there’s a level of self sufficiency! Hope today is a good day for you. X

  • Cat Kennedy

    So so true! My son is now 12 and I remember juggling day care, university for me and work plus all the other mum stuff and and and dialysis for kidney failure. Lucky I only had one child to juggle!!
    You know what? We all get through it though, and our babies are ok! Thanks for the great post!

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