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I've heard that perhaps this parenting stuff gets a little easier, but I haven't really heard anyone totally convinced that it does. Are the early years <i>really</i> the "heavy lifting" years or is that just the hopeful vision of mamas still in 'em?
 

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great. that explains a lot. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll">
 

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well it definately gets easier physically...<br><br>
but emotionally i think it stays hard as they get older. there so much more to feel guilty about. yk, school vs. homeschool, am i offering enough opportunities for choice?, freedom vs. restraint, and on and on. some days it just makes me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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My *guess* (and I only have a two year old and one in utero) is that it goes from being mainly physically challenging when they are little, to being mostly emotionally challenging when they are older.<br><br>
I'm not sure which one we can chalk up as easier, though. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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And then starts the hardcore worrying...<br><br>
I think it gets easier some time after we die. Hopefully.
 

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Hey, Annakiss! I think that some things definitely get much easier, but other get harder. For instance, these days DS showers on his own and will entertain himself which leaves me some time to do other things. That is definitely easier. Things get challenging are questions. It used to be a simple answer would work. Now, he needs details.
 

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I don't think you're going to find an answer that fits everyone. It depends on what you like best.<br><br>
Some people think babies are the easiest. I don't. But I can see why some people do, since you can put them down and they stay there and you're in control of most things.<br><br>
For me, parenting has gotten progressively less stressful as the kids have gotten more and more indpendent. I don't enjoy uber-dependent stages very much. It feels suffocating to me.<br><br>
I have to DO more now than I did with babies, in some senses--they've got more activities, they are both more and less demanding of my time (needing less supervision, but wanting more personal one-to-one contact). I actually prefer having less control, and being able to relinquish more to them. I greatly enjoyed working with teens in the past, though I've never parented one and assume it's totally different than a job (that was my experience in having kids and having been a nanny--totally different). So maybe I'll find parenting teens really sucks for me.<br><br>
But I am greatly enjoying the post-diapers, post-nursing, post-100percentsupervision100percentofthetime parenting. I feel more free and better able to be a good parent. I'm not a control freak when it comes to other people's lives, I'm better at helping other people make their own decisions and providing guidance/support for a bit more of a distance, and I like that the responsibility is starting to ease a bit.<br><br>
For some people that's scary. I don't judge that, everyone has their own thing. So yeah, for SOME people it's easier, for some people I imagine it's more scary/hard. You can't apply a generality to something like this.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MissSJ</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7971321"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think every age has its own difficulties!!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nod.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nod">
 

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I also think you can make it harder or easier on yourself depending on how much you have to give. I'm a single mama and I'm not the most energetic person on earth, so I try to pare it down to the basics, man. Slacker Parenting is totally my gig.<br><br>
I won't do Consensual Living - too much work. I do consensus on any issues that lend themselves easily to it, but I also pull out the mama authority where that is the most straightforward route on something I've decided *has* to happen.<br><br>
I make healthy but easy meals, and have lots of easy whole foods snack options. Low drama on the cooking.<br><br>
I don't like playing children's games, so I don't.<br><br>
If she gets hurt, but it's not a disaster I say, "Oh baby! Did you get hurt? Come to mama!" Arms open wide, loving concerned look. But notice I'm not getting up. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
That kind of thing. I love my child, dearly. Love my family. Love being a mama. Do not feel burnt out on the mama gig one bit. And I'd like to keep it that way. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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For me, it doesn't get "easier" - sorry to be the one to tell you. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
DS1 is almost 10 and he consumes MUCH more of my "parenting thoughts" than DS2 (2.5yo) does.<br><br>
I do think that moms of only toddlers/infants sometimes look ahead and think, "well, in 5 years, dc will bathe, dress and feed themselves & I won't have to deal with carseats and midnight feedings and poopy diapers. No one will be putting things up their nose or pulling the dog's tail or cutting holes in my silk duvet with their "child-safe scissors" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> " .......... I had the same thoughts when DS1 was young.<br><br>
But, the trade-off for all of the above is that the issues become more important, imo - social struggles, school work (or just fostering a general love of learning, regardless of your "school" situation), teaching life skills like household chores & money mangement, combatting peer-pressure/materialism/consumerism/bigotry/ignorance and a host of other things that your child will be exposed to outside of your home at some point and will look to you to explain.<br><br>
Explaining to DS1 how some people can think it's ok to hate someone because of their skin color or a handicap or why some men hit women, etc. is BY FAR more difficult for me than explaining (for the 100th time) to DS2 why he can't eat toothpaste or stick my car keys in electrical outlets.<br><br>
Of course, there are some really great things about older kids, too. I LOVE being able to go out for sushi with DS1 and just chat about stuff or when we have discussions about really cool stuff like time travel or UFOs (we have contests where I say anything is possible and then he tries to argue with me or vice versa - which ends up with some really cool conversations usually <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
It's a journey, but it's not all uphill, ime. Ask me again in 7 more years when I'm dealing with cars and college and girls <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:
 

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I think it really depends on the kids. I find ds1 (14) much, much easier than the little ones. However, ds1 is a very happy, confident child - he came out that way, and nothing ever seems to have upset it much. We stay connected, and have occasional issues (such as when he burned his bedroom carpet), but the day-to-day is much easier.<br><br>
OTOH, I'm dreading dd's adolescence. I may be wrong, but I think it's going to be hell.
 

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For me, with DS1, it just keeps getting easier. HE was such an unhappy baby, toddler, even preschooler. He had real trouble expressing his emotions, to the point that it interfered with his first year or two of school, becuase he was so busy getting irate or breaking down into tears.<br><br>
Now, he has learned some great coping skills, and is able to discuss his feelings, and bargain when he doesn't like the way things are going. He's a very curious, empathetic, intelligent kid at 10 1/2.<br><br>
DS2 may be different. He's been very laid-back emotionally, but is super physically active, curious, and persistent. I may be in for a lot more structured and group activities, sports, classes, what-have-you with him.<br><br>
In all, though, I absolutely think the first year is the hardest. Lack of sleep, worrying about health and development, and being "on" 24-7 is really draining for me.
 

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I can tell you that without a doubt it has become easier as teh kids have grown up. It does depend on which specific issues you personally consider hard though. Sleeping? Diapering? Toilet learning? Education concerns? Guidance?<br><br>
I find parenting older kids (say 9 and up) to be easier than young kids because they can do so much more on their own, need less constant direct involvement from me in caring for themselves, and require less supervision. It's more relaxed and less stressful for me. I regularly get enough sleep (or lack of sleep isn't usually parenting related these days), I can take a long bath alone if I want, go run errands and leave them alone, etc. We are past the point of the typical "little kid" behavioral stuff. It's not always perfect though. As my kids become young adults we have to learn to relate to each other in new ways because our relationship is changing. It's a process.<br><br>
On the other hand, a friend of mine prefers the baby and under 5 stage. My least favorite stages have been the crawling but not walking yet stage, the early toddler mobile but not verbal stage, and early puberty. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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Well, it definitely gets <i>different</i>. Actually, I think the easiest part of parenting is middle childhood (6-11); they're more independent at that age, so not nearly as physically demanding, but haven't entered the challenging early adolescence years yet.
 

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I'm a baby person -- I love the night-time feedings, the baby-wearing, and heck, even the diaper changing. (No, that is not sarcasm. I really do love all that stuff). I'd gladly parent babies and toddlers forever, but those little ones have a way of growing up, and for me personally, I am WAY more challenged as a parent of school-age and pre-teen kids than I ever was in parenting babies/toddlers. When they were little, I felt in some ways that I always had a "do-over" available. I mean, if I didn't quite respond quickly enough to the cry the first time, I'd know what it meant and could do better the next time around, ykwim? Now, though, the issues are so much more intense, and there's a sense of shrinking time and growing lessons. IMO, it's much more emotionally draining to figure out the dynamics of 12yo girl relationships and to listen to the 900th recital of every single Pokemon by the 10yo, added to the "hey, I want to be the boss" attitude of the 6 yo.<br><br>
I will say this, though -- it's a whole lot more interesting to parent older children, and in some ways, it is a whole lot more fun. My kids regularly introduce me to new ideas, new places to visit, and new ways to challenge myself. They help plan family vacations, make dinner conversation a whole new experience, and do actually help out around the house (under duress, but still, it's help!).<br><br>
I don't know that the parenting thing ever hits a place where it's "easy", but because it's constantly evolving, there's always the hope that tomorrow can at least be easier than today!!
 

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According to my sister it's ALL uphill and the teenage years are hell. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">: I certainly hope not!
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> I remember adjusting from one to two kids was just hellish. Now, I have an eight-year-old, an almost-six, a three-and-a-half, and baby almost here. In a lot of ways, it's easier. They play together and I've gotten pretty good at this mama gig. In a lot of ways, it's harder. Logistically, whenever you have multiple needs to meet, it's tricky, especially when you're living compassionately and trying to promote standards.<br><br>
So... yes and no? And lots of hugs and love to you, Anna. Easy or difficult, it's definitely worth it, and I bet you're doing an awesome job!
 

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Not that it gets easier per se, but you get more adept at juggling parenting! Hope that makes sense.<br><br>
What specific challenges are you currently having?
 
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