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It gets easier

    There’s a super cute mom at preschool pickup who reminds me so much of me just a few years ago. She has an almost four-year old who holds her almost two-year old’s hand to cross the parking lot, while she awkwardly carries her newborn in a cumbersome baby carseat carrier to pick up her just turned five year old from pre-k. She is happy and generally put-together and sweet to her girls. Motherhood looks good on her.

    While in line for lunch at our kids’ mothers day tea, we started chatting – about how many children we have and how far apart they are … you know, the things moms naturally talk about while standing in line with strangers – and discovered our families are very similar in age spread. Since I’m a few years ahead in the mothering-four-close-together-children-thing, she asked a question that I haven’t stopped thinking about:

    At what point does it get easier?

    It was so cute the way she asked it because it wasn’t at all in a complain-y voice like when with they stop needing me every second of the day? or even said out of desperation like when am I going to be able to breath again?! but really just a question of stages, a curiosity of what’s coming next. I loved it.

    Mostly, I loved answering.

    It gets easier. Soon, it will be so much easier.

    They will be able to get dressed on their own and buckle their seatbelt. They can play quietly for longer periods of time and you won’t have to dread the silence (because we all know that a silent two year old is an up-to-no-good two year old). You can sit at the park and watch them climb without having to stand at their sides ready to catch them when they fall. You can even sleep in on saturday mornings and vaguely hear them pour themselves a bowl of cereal and not feel like you better hop out of bed and get them breakfast because they are now capable of doing this on their own.

    That’s the stage we’re at with our kids. We’re at the point when it is easier. And it feels amazing.

    It’s harder, too, don’t get me wrong, but in very different ways. You become less concerned with things like drawing on walls and fingers in electrical sockets and pay more attention to issues like character and relationships and tone of voice (ahem). It’s a whole new stage of parenting we’re entering with a 10, 8, 6, and 4 year old.  Less physically demanding and more in our minds and hearts. We’ve made it successfully past the precious but constant newborn stage, the darling but mischievous toddler era and now we’re guiding these little people to become kind and generous, responsible, enjoyable, gracious bigger people. What a beautiful, tiring, challenging, joy-filled, selfishness-exposing honor it is to raise kids.

    There are times to come when I will look back on those early, early days and think that was easy. And I’ll probably look back on right now and find it difficult. I’m only 10 years in and surely there are the highest of highs and the lowest of lows to come. I still have so much to learn. But as my husband likes to say, perspective is everything.

    Be encouraged, weary mom with nursing babe in one arm and pant-less toddler running wild. And keep on going, mama who hasn’t slept in three years and can’t remember the last time you washed your hair.

    It gets easier.

    You’re doing a great job.

    . . . . . . . . .

    Just for fun, here are a few oldie photos of life when my babies were babies:

    emily and two little

      umbrella

    boys at wedding

    emily and no3

    mom's wedding

    audrey and mama.jpg

    walking into school

    It was tiring back then, but so, so sweet.

    63 thoughts on “It gets easier”

    1. Hi Emily! It’s my first time to visit your blog and I already love it so much! I enjoyed reading your archives and this post is, so far, my favorite! One of the most beautiful, honest, and sweetest I’ve read in a long time. Thank you. I just had my 3rd baby almost a month ago, and I def needed to read this. :)

    2. I had 5 children in 7 years (and there were no multiple births!!) . I knew people talked about me, because sometimes the whispers weren’t so hushed!! I am sure they all thought we were crazy. The real crazy part? I wanted 6 children, but my husband wanted 2, so we “compromised”. (Who got the better end of that deal???). He has never regretted his compromise, I assure you. Not only that, but #5 was born in the car on the way to the hospital and delivered by my husband! ha! I had five toddlers, five young children, five teenagers (!!!) and now five adults. Without a doubt it was chaotic at times, but it was wonderful. Those were the best years of our lives! Our closest family lived 400 miles away, so we had to do it all! It gave the 7 of us an incredibly close bond. The worst part? Seriously, it is that they are so close together in age, that they are gone just like that. In seven years time all five children had graduated. Now THAT is the hard part. Enjoy ever minute with your family. The days are so busy, that they go by before you know it. Believe me, I’ve lived them! Lori Lucas

    3. I read this and that young lady with the small kiddies is just were I am. My boys are 4 and 3 and my little girl turned 2 on the 7th of June. I am that chicken running madly around, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
      I just want to say thank you for this wonderful letter and the way you said it, it was exact to the point correct.

    4. Lovely post. What I would say to any mother out there with young children is to enjoy and savor every moment. It all goes by to fast! My oldest just graduated and I can’t help but wonder how we got to this place in life. I feel like it was just yesterday she was born. Now, she will go off to college in just a couple of months and I don’t like that feeling! But, I feel that we did a great job raising her and she has such a great head on her shoulders! Now, it’s just a different kind of parenting for us! I pray like a mad women for her! Thank you for sharing!

    5. I really needed this! I have a six month old and an eight year old and feel like I always am running around with my head cut off…. Barely keeping it together. Thank you for the encouragement!

    6. Thank you. This made me cry because I have been feeling so overwhelmed lately. I’m trying to adjust to taking care of 3 children. My baby is 2 1/2 months old now and it’s been harder than I thought! I needed to hear this today!

    7. Thanks so much, I needed this today. It’s a constant struggle for me, wanting to be able to do more and just completing a project would be awesome, ya know?! Someday. I love dreaming about when my kids are all in school and I have the house to myself during the day, like you often mention. Being able to sit down in an office and accomplish things. To create. *sigh* But here’s to enjoying them while they’re young and here. Speaking of both just started crying from their naps. Thanks again. Your blog is a favorite.

      Sarah

    8. This was so sweet. I’m sure you connected with a lot of people with this topic…me being one of them. I know you said you are attempting to be “more real” and I appreciate this wisdom. Thanks! :)

    9. What a wonderful, honest post! Thanks for encouraging lots of young Mamas. I’m a member of the mom of 4 club; 20, 22, 25, 28 and my third child just graduated from college last weekend. I was laughing to myself at how different mothering has become as I picked up a growler of his favorite beer to have in the refrigerator for his visit home.

      I still wonder how I survived the “early years” but somehow I did and my young adults have become amazing people I love hanging out with! (Of course the youngest still has me praying nonstop and gaining more gray hairs…)

      You nailed it when you said it becomes less physically demanding and more about mind and heart. I encourage everyone with littles to remember that God loves your children even more than you do, and He’ll help you raise them! MOPS is a great support too~I love being a mentor mom.
      Love your blog Emily!

    10. Such sweet words of wisdom! My oldest just graduated from highschool and I’ve never been so emotional in all my life!! Looking through baby pictures and thinking back over the years—-my heart has been going through the ringer—and I’ve never cried so many tears! My kids think I’m losing it. Oh yeah–and I have to do it three more times! I have a 15, 13 and 9 year old—I’m going to be like 100 when it’s all said and done. :/ There are days when wiping toddler noses and changing diapers sounds amazing—snuggles and story time –oh how I miss that!! I guess no one can prepare you for what’s ahead but if I can say anything to you sweet mommas of littles—take a deep breath and enjoy every minute!! It’s so cliche but it does go so fast—sending them into the world is the hardest mom thing I’ve ever done. Thankfully—God is the one in control —doing my best to trust Him with the letting go.

    11. Thank you for sharing this, Emily. I have twin 4year old girls and a sweet boy who just turned two and it really feels like we’re in the midst of the busiest time ever with the three of them! When my boy was born, we had a nice period of newborn bliss, where it was all cuddles and sleepy time (for him), but now that he’s two, it’s like I have triplets! They love playing together all day, and it’s super cute, but they’re also full of so much energy some days it’s impossible to keep up.

      My husband is my rock, though. He stays at home with the three of them while I juggle a full-time job that requires long periods of international travel and spend my ‘free time’ on the new business I started last year (wedding planning, no less).

      When my mom stays with us to help, and I asked her for advice (because she had three of us too – spaced 18 months then 5 years apart) she literally laughed at me, saying that my situation is so different because I have three that are so close in age, and that I should lower my expectations for perfectly behaved children and a perfect home, while they are so little. She’s so right, but it was hard to come to terms with that perspective.

      We are now thinking of going for baby #4, because even though our days are full, we still have space in our hearts for more of the joy a little one brings. Wish us luck, and thank you so much for always ‘keeping it real’ on your blog. In the midst of my new business craze, I stopped reading up on my favorite blogs for some time, and now realize it’s something I must keep up so I can feel connected to other women going through the same challenges I face.

      xoxoxo
      {Haydee}

    12. I have a 2 yro, 1 yro, and due with our 3rd boy in 3 months. This post made me cry.. (ok a 7 mo pregnant girl crying isn’t unusual) but the anxiety i feel about what the heck i am going to do in 3 months is hitting me hard this week. Thank you for your sweet words.

    13. This was encouraging to me, today, too! I have a 5 yr old, 3 yr old, almost 2 yr old, and our 4th is due in September! Oh, and our 3 yr old broke her leg and has a full leg cast :( I really love so many things about having our kids close together, but it is physically exhausting right now, in a very real, muscle- aching, brain scrambled kind of way! :) It is helpful to be reminded that some of the physical demands will slow down. I’m well aware that it will become hard in new and different ways, but I still appreciate your encouragement :)

    14. I love this. As the mama of a 4 year old and a 2 year old I am WORN OUT. My husband asked me tonight why I’m so tired…and I honestly don’t know…but I am tired. The 2s tried to do me in the first time and they’re rearing their ugly head again. It’s not the 3s for us…it’s the 2s. Whew! I try to remind myself all the time that this time is short and I will MISS it. I know that I will. I look at my boys and think how grown they look already. I will miss it!

    15. Sweet words for this young mama. I have my 3 and 1 year old running around me right now and I am oh-so-grateful and oh-so-aware of how precious and sacred this season is. They are hilarious little bundles of JOY. But also… also they are exhausting. Also, this can just be difficult. I so appreciate your words from someone who is walking a few years ahead of me, really, I do. Love this perspective.

    16. I really love seeing you with your boys {and your daughter}. I guess I’m a mom of two small boys so I’m always looking for things to do with them {I’m a stepmother to teenagers-girls and a son-so they are on a whole different level}. Anyway Your boys are adorable and so is your little girl!

      1. I don’t show the boys very often – not sure why – but they are so fun. I’m not terribly sporty (they are not either, I guess) but we try to get out on adventures as much as possible. Boys are great.

    17. Thank you, Emily! I never comment, but as I sit here enjoying a few minutes of downtime, I felt compelled. Boy #3 is due soon and I’m at that point of excited and scared. Can I do it all? How will the older boys adjust to this change? Is there enough of me to go around? Will I ever sleep through the night again?!? Thank you for your encouragement and honesty.

    18. Hi Emily,

      I am the hospitality coordinator of my MOPS group in Lake Stevens at Clavary Chapel. Tomorrow is our last meeting of the year and would love permission to share this with our 60+ moms. So many can relate on this level. We have several mom of 4 kiddos in our group but I think that even our mom of “ones” can appreciate this. I have 4 kids, ages 4-almost 16 and I couldn’t have said this better myself! It does get easier but equally as hard, emotionally and mentally. The teen years really give you a run for your money (especially having 3 girls first!). I love your husbands comment that perspective is everything, how true! Thank you for being lovingly honest and allowing moms to know that what they are going through is completely normal!

      Here is a quote I have in my kitchen: Raising teenagers is like nailing Jello to the wall.

      -Becky

    19. Our No.1 is 9 months old and we’ve been starting to talk about when No.2 will be coming. I’ve been questioning my abilities as a mother and whether or not I can really handle up to 3 babies like we had originally planned because sometimes it is just SO HARD. This post was exactly what I needed to see in my inbox this morning. Thank you!

    20. You are so right! I “only” have 3 boys, they are 7, 5 and 1 year old and the youngest just started to sleep through the night! Hurray, so great! I hope it’s ok I linked your article on my blog. Please let me know if not!

    21. Hi Emily! What a beautiful and encouraging post you wrote! Thank you.
      Loved the pictures, so precious!
      May God bless you!

    22. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This was so well timed today. Our kids are 7, 4, 2 and 6 weeks. I am a small business owner too. And man, is this season exhausting in a wonderful (albeit exhausting) way! :)

    23. This is just what I needed today! I am a mom of 5, 2 two through the miracle of adoption and then 3 miracles from my own womb. The oldest is 6 and in kindergarten, then 4, twins who are almost 2 and a nursing 7 month old. I prayed so hard and continually for the wonderful blessing of motherhood and I cherish it, truly, but some days being the mom if so many littles is so overwhelming! While I do my best to enjoy this season of life, I do look forward to the days where more than one can buckle their car seats, pour drinks and dress themselves… :)

    24. Your post is encouraging.. I must truthfully say that with kiddos 5,5 and almost 4, work outside of the home, and my little crafty thing going on in the evenings, there is not a lot of time and momma feels tired. Although sometimes I am tired and weary, I am happy to say that everyday I’m amazed at the opportunity God has given me to experience the beginnings of these three lives in my care. I can only pray that I parent from a place of love and grace and mercy.

    25. Hello, I always enjoy your website, blog and I purchase many of your products. Love your home as well.

      I do have to say though as a mother of three – ages 42, soon to be 30 and 27…it really does not get easier – just different. Of course feeding themselves, etc. is wonderful but especially in the teenage years there are so many challenges that you must face. Challenges which can affect your child for years to come. College the same and even as young adults supportive words are needed when you don’t meet the man of your dreams, or you are tired of your relationship, or you cannot get the job you want. It’s a journey through life that is always there. Of course after they leave the house you can sleep in….. but I always keep my phone in reach and soon I will have a grandchild……uh huh.

    26. What a lovely post! I, too, have four children. There were days when I was exhausted and very much looking forward to next week, next month, next year. Truth be told, I would go back in a heartbeat and do each one all over again. Hang in there, Moms…these are the sweetest days!

    27. I love this post. I feel like I ask that question sometimes to other moms (my kids are 7,5,and 3) and then other times younger moms are asking me that. We are about to start all over again as Im expecting in November, but I really feel like we are over the roughest little kid hump. Its such a joy to experience all the stages just as long as we actually remember too!

    28. Super sweet post. I am even further beyond the stage you’re in (my two kids are 18 and 14), and feel an intense desire and urgency to mentor other young women who are just entering the realm of parenting.

      Instead of competing or criticizing other moms, helping them navigate experiences we already survived can only strengthen families, which strengthens our communnities, which strengthens our nation. Other than my husband, I had no relatives or close friends to help me.

      Your conversation with that young mom will probably stay with her when she’s in her darkest moments. How awesome that you were able to help her put her current stage of life in perspective.

    29. Okay, this made me weepy and I think it must be because I just finished putting together a slide show for the wedding rehearsal dinner of our second son. Feeling very nostalgic today and wondering how we arrived so quickly at this stage of one getting married! But every stage is beautiful in its own way – I am now looking forward to being a MIL for the first time!

    30. thanks for the lovely words of encouragement. As a momma getting ready to embark this fall with a newborn and a 2 year old, it’s important to hear those words from a momma that’s already been there. I’m already weary just thinking about it while i chase around my toddler!

    31. I needed this post today! I have an almost 2 year old and a newborn, and this week has been tough! This morning we managed to get out and get the oldest a haircut and summer sandals, and now I’m consuming massive amounts of chocolate during naptime. ;) The early days are so sweet, but so demanding…it’s a good reminder that it does get easier and I think, the days get sweeter. You have a beautiful family. Thank you for sharing and encouraging us today!

    32. Gosh, I needed to hear this today. I’ve only got one so far (a beloved 10 month old who has forever changed me), but today I’m sick, hurting, but baby still needs me and I have 8 hours of work to do, and babysitter got in a wreck so I spent three hours on the side of a highway helping her with a crying baby on my hip who was missing her nap. And so I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my cheeks, knowing that today is hard, but also sweet, and that tomorrow will be easier.

    33. Hi Emily,
      I am the hospitality coordinator of my MOPS group in Lake Stevens at Clavary Chapel. Tomorrow is our last meeting of the year and would love permission to share this with our 60+ moms. So many can relate on this level. We have several mom of 4 kiddos in our group but I think that even our mom of “ones” can appreciate this. I have 4 kids, ages 4-almost 16 and I couldn’t have said this better myself! It does get easier but equally as hard, emotionally and mentally. The teen years really give you a run for your money (especially having 3 girls first!). I love your husbands comment that perspective is everything, how true! Thank you for being lovingly honest and allowing moms to know that what they are going through is completely normal!
      Here is a quote I have in my kitchen: Raising teenagers is like nailing Jello to the wall.
      -Becky

    34. Emily, I have been reading your blog for quite a while now and love your tutorials and craft ideas, but this post just hit the spot! We have two girls, one almost 9, the other 5, and our third baby is on the way! And so I find myself able to relate to both as I anticipate going back into the newborn stage that I love so much, but with two helpers who are getting so big and independent that some days it almost breaks my heart. I have enjoyed having my children farther apart in age as I felt I could really pay attention to each individual one and focus on their specific needs, which were quite different for each child at the same point in time. It definitely has kept me on my toes as well to deal with character development issues and toddler issues all in the same day, but thankfully God gives each of us the grace and strength to handle our own unique circumstances. So I thank you for your kind words of encouragement and wish the same to you as you continue your parenting journey! I especially loved your line, “What a beautiful, tiring, challenging, joy-filled, selfishness-exposing honor it is to raise kids.”

    35. Thank you so much for writing this! Today I am officially 2 weeks in to life with a newborn and a 2 1/2 year old. It’s been a challenge for sure adjusting to life with two. I know it will get easier but hearing it from other moms often is what I need to pull me through!

    36. I too am the mother of four close in age daughters who now range in age from 24, 25, 28 and 30. To both of you moms, enjoy every minute. Those days are gone so fast. I am now looking forward to grandchildren. Can’t wait to be involved in all those things again!

    37. thanks for sharing this emily! i was nodding my head in agreement with everything you said! i have an 11, 8 and 6 year old, so we are right there with you! it is so nice to be out of that life saving stage, but i still miss the days when they learn something new and exciting every day. and this stage is so much easier in so many ways, but definitely more mentally exhausting! i’ve caught myself thinking a lot lately that having big kids is so much fun!

    38. Thanks for the encouragement Emily! I ONLY have 1 and have been thinking recently about the fact that things are pretty easy right now compared to how their going to be when I have more! Ah….. Loving this time but the lack of sleep sheesh! Thanks for your posts. I read them every morning as I drink my coffee and I find them encouraging. Your sweetness shines through your writing. Thanks for being real and talking about REAL LIFE. It’s refreshing compared to all the other blogs out there that are not this way. Bless you pretty lady :)

    39. Oh, Emily! What precious words of encouragement! As a mom of 12, the youngest a 2yo, I have experienced all the stages, (except MIL & Grandma! =) ), and I must agree with the statement that no stage is really easier, just different. The challenges change as children grow older….and that doesn’t necessarily mean more mature! even though that is what we are working toward. God has blessed us with a beautiful family, but there are a couple of trials we are facing with two daughters so I would add this additional word; do your best and don’t be overcome with guilt or feelings of failure if your children don’t hit the mark you are aiming for as you train them, just keeping trusting God for the final outcome. Grace & Peace~ to you and all of your readers!

    40. I loved this! My little loves are ages 1, 2, and 3 and I am loving this time, but it IS very challenging!! :)

    41. Love this post! I have a terribly rude question though-in the 6th picture, you are wearing a beautiful silver necklace with 4 initials on silver circles. Could I ask where you got it? I have been looking for something like this and nothing seems to be what I want. Thanks!

    42. Enjoy this season of ‘easier’ – it really is bliss where you are right now! In a few short years you will face another sort of ‘hard’ – teenage stuff which is a whole different kind of difficult and wonderful all rolled up into one big hormone! I cracked up when I read the comment above me about driving lessons with her 16 year olds – that’s where I am with my 15 year old – Lord help me!!!
      xo~Jill

    43. I loved this post. It is so nice to hear honest words from a fellow mommy. I have three kids {ages 15 months to 9 years}, with one on the way and it is so interesting to see how life changes as our kids grow older: the challenges change, the definition of “hard” changes…

      I also loved the old photos. What great memories! Thanks for sharing :)

    44. Thank you for this post, Emily! I am pregnant and have only about one week till expected day of birth. In these days, shorthly before a totally new and unexpirienced stage-of-life, I am getting so nervous (well, anxious might be the right word…). To read your post, its kinda amazing, because I prayed today “oh Jesus, please let me know, that being a mommy is worth all the stress and worries that come along with it!” WOW. Thats a response, just in time! :)

      many greetings from germany

      1. Thinking of you, Ola. Congratulations on your new little one! The amazing thing is God has already equipped you for everything you need for each new day of life with this little one; He made you uniquely just for your one-of-a-kind masterpiece He has been knitting together the past few months. And, the good thing is…on the really hard days AND the really happy ones, His mercies are new every morning. From one newborn Mom to another across the world, grace and peace to you.

        (And on the practical side, SLEEP. Sleep. SLEEP. :P)

    45. Thank you , sweet Emily, this post was perfect for today! I feel the exact same way, helps me to enjoy today! -even with all it’s struggles and demands, it will be over faster than I can imagine.
      Hugs,
      -Brie

    46. Beautiful post Emily. Perfect for me because my sweet babes (I have twins) are turning 16 this Sunday. Wow, have I been reflecting back to the baby/toddler days. You know, I think every stage has it’s ups and downs. Right now they are learning how to drive. I come home and have a drink after every driving session. It’s exhausting! Peace to you and your babes!

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