Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Does It Get Easier?

Since becoming a parent almost 5 years ago I've notice that parents tend to say 'If you think they're hard now, wait until they get to __ age'.  I never wanted to hear it. Ever! Why would I want to hear that it's going to get worse? Isn't diapers, crying, spit up and no sleep the worst? What's worse than that?

Phrases of that nature bugged me so much I have tried to adopt a different approach and when people ask about the challenges of children at this age I usually 1 of 2 things depending on how hard the kids have been that day. I either say 'they're crazy. Yep my kids are crazy' or I say 'some things have gotten easier and some things have gotten harder'. So may see that as not very helpful but really it's the truth. There's things at each age that looking back you realize were easier than you realized and things that were harder.

As an example here's a list of a few things I've found easier about preschool aged children, and some things I've found easier harder:


1. Once they're potty trained you only have to wipe the occasional bum and clean up the occasional mess. It's awesome. I don't miss changing kids one bit and I certainly don't miss smelly poop!

2. They understand simple rules and instructions which means they can do chores! We have our children do several chores in order to earn an allowance and they have to give part of that allowance to a charity of their choice. I've also started giving them a bonus allowance for additional chores. It's awesome.

3. They are big enough to get into their own carseats. Yes, yes. Don't worry frantic moms I ALWAYS double check to make sure they're in correctly and tighten up the belts myself but it's great that I don't have to lift them up anymore.

4. They can play on their own. Now they don't always DO this but they can in fact do it. I've seen it and I remind them frequently whenever I hear a 'Mom, what can I do? There's nothing to do.'


1. They talk back, can be rude and something say hurtful things. Oh, and sometimes they even backseat drive. It's annoying.

2.  They ask 1 billion and 10 questions about every little thing. Once they get on a roll it's no longer to distract them into stopping with 'Hey look, there's a person on a bike over there!'

3. They fight with each other all the time. They can be playing so nicely for 2 minutes and then suddenly someone is crying. We've been trying harder to let them sort it out on their own but nothing seems to be working. Letting them sort it out on their own just means I have to get off my butt less to go break it up which I guess is still a win.

4. They remember things. Example: Mom, remember when you said next time we were really good in this store you would take us out to McDonalds for lunch?  Ahhhh, yeah - crap. I didn't think you'd remember that.  Oh no. Now you're going to remember the word crap. CRAP!

Those are just a few things I'm finding easier/harder with preschool kids. Anyone else have anything to add about the upcoming ages and challenges I will soon face? Help a girl out and give me some warning!


  1. My son is almost six:


    1) He can make his own chocolate milk without spilling it.

    2) He has important information memorized, which calms my mind in case we were ever separated.

    3) He puts up his own clothes. (The lower bar in his closet is only about 4 feet tall.)

    4) He completely showers and/or bathes himself (depending on what mood he's in) including turning the water on and off for himself and drying himself off.

    5) He's big enough to help me with little random tasks when I need him too because I don't have enough hands. He'll let out the dogs or grab the mail if I ask, for example.

    6) He understands how to work the iPad, iPhone, Wii, DVR, TV, Cable, etc better than I do, which is a big help.

    7) His attention span is longer so we can enjoy more quality time together. No more taking out the paints and setting them up only to have him move onto something else 5 minutes later. We're able to really enjoy chapter books together now because of this too. (We're currently on chapter 12 of the 2nd Harry Potter book.)

    8) We can share jokes. He'll get the punch line. He knows when I'm being sarcastic and he pokes back at me.

    9) He kills the spiders. "I'll get it mom. I'm the man of the house." ;)


    1) He LOVES the Wii. This can make it hard to pull him away from. "Just ONE more game...."

    2) He KNOWS how to negotiate and he'll do it until he gets a better "deal," no matter what it's about. He's strategic in asking for things. He's learning how to play mom and dad against one another on a higher level.

    3) LETTING GO. He's so independent and I have so much more babying I want to do of him. But... I have to make myself step back and let him do things for himself. I'm learning, but it's definitely something that does NOT come easy for me (or most moms, I'm sure).

    4) Since he understands so much now, there's PLENTY of things we can't "spell" around him. No more, "Hun, I think it's time he gets a N-A-P." If you say that you'll hear, "I don't want a nap!!"

    5) Also he's at a hard age where he understands when "bad things" happen but isn't big enough for me to really explain in depth. Like, the death of my grandmother's dog for example. Or, when I'm sad he wants to know exactly what's wrong. I can't just smile and say, "Oh, mommy's happy," and him "believe" it like he would have a few years ago.

    Overall, I must say.... every stage is my favorite stage until I hit the next one.... then THAT one is my new favorite. We're about to move onto a new one that I'm scared about.... kindergarden. :( I hope that one goes as well as the rest have. *sniff sniff*

    Jackie @

  2. Your Harder List 1-4...YES, YES, YES, and YES!!! Oh my goodness, is this naturally ingrained into every child this age or what?!? And the 1 billion questions, I promise I feel like my brain is a ticking time bomb getting closer and closer to exploding with each approaching question.

  3. Jackie - awesome list!

    Rachel - I'm sure it's similar for most kids but I sure wish someone would come up with a guide to get them to only ask a few questions at a time!

  4. I think every age and stage comes with the matching ups and downs. I can identify with your lists and I had to laugh at #4 on your harder list. I have come to realize that I need to be extra diligent with what I say while driving. My daughter picks up on everything!!!

  5. Great post! I hate it when people say, "You think it's hard now..." too. Then I find myself saying it to others :-(