Is There Really A Magical Age When Parenting Gets Easier?
- Parents Only
From the teething to tweening, from the terrible twos to the teenage years, the wild journey that is parenting is fraught with potholes, detours and no stopping signs.
I confess: I have always tried to embrace whatever the crazy ride threw at me and never felt that hard was the right adjective to describe my experience. Of course, there were challenges. Sleep deprivation? Hell. However, hard wasn't a good fit for me. Relentless? Consuming? An overhwleming emotional roller coaster? That's more like it.
Still, with the benefit of hindsight and a fabulous but feisty 10-year-old now calling the shots, I can look back on a decade of child-rearing and see some significant highlights. Turning three was a fun one, with its heightened sense of identity and personal style; turning five brought maturity, socialisation and the much-needed reprieve of big school; and turning 10? All you need is an iPad and a Westfield. It’s a cinch!
But with a longer stint than mine under her belt, and more kids to apply to the experiment, blogger Annie Reneau believes there is a magical age when parenting does get easier.
In her blog Motherhood & More, Annie reflects on 15 years of parenting three children, and admits that although the beautiful baby-to-preschool were her favourites, they were also some of the hardest.
However, it is also during those crucial first five years that we witness the greatest fundamental developments, and see some of the incessant neediness melt away. Chilldren inevitably grow up. They walk, they start sleeping better, they toilet train, they dress themselves. In the blink of an eye, they are miraculously independent and self-sufficient - and we forget what all the fuss was about.
Though she concedes it is still difficult in emotional ways - and I wholeheartedly agree that this is by far the toughest part - Annie experienced a definitive turning point when the practical aspects of parenting were abated by a positive shift, and she realised that everything just got easier.
According to her blog post, the age when the tide turned and the magic happened was age... six.
When her youngest child reached that significant stepping stone it opened up a whole new world, finally untethered to the humdrum of the early ‘mom-heavy’ years, free from endless snacks, dirty bums and a child constantly attached to her hip. Having fully experienced those glory days, this mum was ready to move on to the next stage of the relationship, without a hint of regret.
Annie admits that the old adage is true - parenting doesn’t get easier, it just gets hard in different ways - but believes that there is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel, and that illuminating force is the tender age of six.
Do you agree?
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