Kids are a blessing, really! There are moments filled with joy, pride and bliss. But let’s be honest here, parenting is not without challenges.
Gone are the days of amazing sleep, small responsibilities, doing things last minute or without planning. Parenting has been a humbling experience, to say the very least. At the same time, parenting has transformed my relationships (for the better), showed me how strong I am, brought me joy that I never knew existed.
I remember a time during lockdown when my husband and I turned to each other and laughed about how amazing lockdown would have been if we didn’t have kids yet. I mean we love our kids to bits, but we dreamed about the lazy days and all the work we would have been able to do if it was just the two of us.
As our kids grow and we find ourselves beyond the craziness of those first few years, we have come to realise that there is a lot about parenting that gets easier as time goes by:
Here are 11 things that your future holds that will make parenting a lot easier to deal with.
- Your children will start playing together. They will be able to go outside and kick a ball or swim together or build Lego as a team. This will give you some much-needed quiet time that you now wish for so desperately. They’ll probably fight a lot as well, but at the same time they’ll learn to navigate these situations.
- They will learn to use the toilet on their own. Once they are potty trained and able to use the toilet independently the rather huge parenting task of changing nappies and cleaning up accidents will simply disappear.
- They learn to communicate. Once children are able to communicate it is so much easier to identify and meet their needs. You can also start explaining your own needs, or what you expect from them. At some point they can start contributing with ideas and solutions. This is a whole different world from dealing with a baby or toddlers’ cries and tantrums.
- They can help themselves when they need certain things. Once they can reach the kitchen counter and pour themselves some juice, make a sandwich or grab a snack, thing really start to feel different- being independent is a skill every child needs to learn.
- They start sleeping better. Generally children do start sleeping better as they get older which means you no longer walk around in that exhausted haze of sleep deprivation. If your kids are still struggling with sleep as they grow older, give the ladies at Good Night a call.
- They start going to school. If you are a stay-at-home mom then those hours where they are at school are sanity savers. You get to reclaim some time for yourself and are no longer at their beck and call for hours on end. It also means that you are no longer solely responsible for all their stimulation and learning needs.
- They become more independent. As they grow and learn they can do more and more on their own. This includes dressing, brushing teeth, taking a bath, packing their own lunch boxes and making their own snacks. Your role will become less the slave and more the mentor!
- Date nights and weekends away can happen again. It is not always easy to leave young babies with family or a sitter, but this changes as they grow older. You can start spending time on your relationship again.
- Getting out and about is easier. You can eventually travel without all the extras – nappy bags, clean clothes, snacks, bedding, car seats, toys. Outings are holidays are just so much easier.
- They become able to make positive contributions to the relationship. Playing with a toddler is fun, of course. But as your children grow they can start having a conversation back and develop a sense of humor and understanding. This is a whole new phase of your relationship.
- You have more me time. With all the above, you will start having more time for yourself again. Of course there are other things taking this time, like playing taxi and helping with school work. But in a way life can carry on.
What is the message? The early months and years are just a small part of your life as a mother. There is so much more to come. Hang in there mama. Try to grab on to the good moments, and don’t attach that much significance to the rest as it will pass.