It’s been a while; a while since I have written something about the kids or about me on my little space online, so here we go. Life has been hectic for so long now, I’m not sure I’ve even had anything worthwhile saying. Time is flying. My middle daughter starting telling me how she was remembering us playing out loads last winter when it was cold; as we did so much during lockdown. A year has passed since then. My kids are growing and growing up fast and of course this means they are becoming a little more independent and starting to do more for themselves. I find myself socialising more, having a little more time for myself. I exercise, go out with friends, run with friends and generally have fun. However, is parenting really any easier as the kids grow up?
Does Parenting Get Easier?
With three children, now an 8 year old, 5 year old and almost 3 year old, life is always going to be mad. I currently only work 2 days a week as a dietitian and have one day a week to myself, where I do try and get some of blog work done. The other two I look after my little boy, do school pick up and juggle the house and general life.
My little man is still in nappies and potty training is not yet going anywhere, so I still have nappies, a buggy and a little boy who refuses to sleep a full night in his bed.
However, the baby stage is over and almost the toddler phase. My little man will hopefully start more formal childcare after Easter and I will have even more time but is parenting easier?
I’m not sure.
Babies and toddlers are demanding. They take over your life. Life is never the same again. You don’t sit still and you can’t take your eyes off them. They may not sleep and eat well but they are not at school. You don’t want to leave them at night and you worry about missing every milestone but they don’t have any worries at that age. You worry of course and those worries change from worrying about the colour of their poop, to worrying about them having friends, the right friends. Are they doing enough homework, reading or extra activities?
I don’t work lots but am I still spending enough quality time with them? Yes I’m home but the time flies. I’m cleaning up, sorting homework, sorting washing and literally being pulled in 3 different directions most of the time. Is the time I spend with them good quality? It’s a thought that often flows through my mind as the days fly by.
My eldest is 8 and would quite happily sit playing on her phone games in all her free-time! She is growing up hugely. Her voice her expressions and just some of the things she comes out with. I know she is a mature 8 year old but this in itself is scary. I listen to her telling me about things I don’t even know about. I listen to her telling me about her friends, her fall-outs, her school days and begging me to let her bake by herself. She needs me so much but it is all so different now.
My middle daughter is 5 and has just started reception. Fiercely her own person, which I adore, her need for me is still huge. She doesn’t like me going out and leaving her; still begs me to dress her and refuses to get off my knee for a good while after her bedtime story. She’s not a baby now but she still is really. 5 small years she has been on the planet is nothing.
My almost 3 year old is the most confident of my children. Happy to be left with most people. Chats away and is extremely sociable and happy in other’s company but he’s still 2. He still refuses to do things he doesn’t want to do. He needs the exact colour bowl he wants. He’s still in nappies, still uses a buggy and tantrums when he feels like it! Life is easy somedays with him and a complete pain the next. I never know! However, I also know he is my last baby and once he is in full-time care and school, that’s it.
Life with 3 kids is crazy, hectic and never quiet. They all want their own special time with me. They fight. They won’t go to bed. They are constantly learning, asking questions. Growing. Wanting to see friends. Wanting to be more independent. Wanting to do what I do, watch what I do.
What is Coming Next?
I know what is coming, especially with my eldest; growing up. High school. Puberty. Periods, moods. Wanting a phone. More school work. Friends, relationships. A whole confusing, web of changes for them to navigate with the help of me. Me. With what experience I have had. Teaching them to be kind, accepting, tolerant, to work hard and build a life for themselves. That feels hard.
I know they won’t want me to wipe their bums and spend hours lying with them at night anymore but they will still need me. It’s already seeming a little different with me eldest. She does spend more time alone but will just appear to ask me something, seek reassurance or tell me something. The needs change.
I know I’m getting a little more time to myself; to find me again. To be with friends, to exercise, to spend time with my husband. Things I lost a little after my eldest was born. These times it does feel easier but reality always hits when I return.
I know parenting does get easier in some ways but I don’t think it will ever be truly easy. With 3 children, all growing and demanding me for different reasons, The need will just change as they all grow into little people and young adults.
The juggle will always be there. The Mum guilt will always be there and I hope I can be the best Mum I can be for them.