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The weight 
of parenting 
is getting lighter

Raising kids can be hard. RACHEL MCFEDRIES discusses how it gets easier with time.

When you’re in the blur of the first few years of raising children, the load can seem never-ending. But trust me, it’s not going to be like this forever. The weight does get lighter. My children are now aged six, four, and two years old, and it’s just in the last six months that I have noticed my load lessen.

My eldest has been able to get his own breakfast. He has enough strength and control to pour milk onto his cereal without it going all over the place. He can also open a tin of spaghetti, heat it, and serve it safely by himself. All I have to do is turn the element on for him and hang around to supervise. I’m so thankful for a meal that I don’t have to prepare for him, I don’t even care that it’s not healthy!

Both of my boys are safe enough now that they stop at intersections without me having to remind them. They zoom ahead on their bikes, way ahead of me following with their little sister in the buggy. They stop and peer back… I bet they think, come on Mum, why so slow?!

They also occasionally dress themselves. I know – it almost seems like a miracle! I don’t even care that they might not do it “correctly”… I’m celebrating this win!

Our eldest has flourished in looking after his little sister. He can lift her out of her cot and bring her out to breakfast. If we hear her waking from her nap, I know I can ask him if he wants to get her and he will jump at the chance. When I give him the time and space to take responsibility, he will hold her hand, help her climb, and lift her around the place. It’s a delight. He also hits her across the head sometimes too, never fear; no kid is perfect.

I know that people say enjoy the little years, and honestly – I am trying to. But the reality of parenting three small children is that there’s almost constant jobs to do for them/with them. It’s just within the last six months that I’ve started to feel the intensity and burden of the hard manual years of parenting ease.

I know that there are other challenges ahead; the continued emotional and social growth of my children, the guiding and walking alongside. Heck, I know that parenting never ends!

But for now, I can feel the weight of parenting three kids under six easing, and it’s a blessing that I intend to soak in.

May this time be remembered as the parenting milestone that it is. Small children growing up, becoming more physically independent and responsible, and flourishing into the next stage of childhood. Using the skills that I’ve spent the last few years repeatedly teaching and showing them. All my hard work is paying off.

The next stage is coming, and I’m grateful.

Rachel is a mum of three who lives in Christchurch and blogs at: thestayathomeot.com  She is a registered occupational therapist who is passionate about play, nature, and mental wellbeing.

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