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Does It Get Easier?

Does It Get Easier?
Dear Jennifer:

Does it get easier? I have five under 7 years old and it is really hard. I read your blog and just love your family. I know we have never met but I feel you are very wise woman.

Thanks for your help,
Weary Mama

Dear Weary,

Yes, yes, yes. It does get much easier. And it sounds like you are getting close now. Your older ones are nearing an age where they can be a real help to you. Once that happens, you will no longer feel so outnumbered!

The hardest stage for me, hands down, was when I had four under 7. My husband was working crazy hours during his internship year, and I felt constantly weary and exhausted from trying to keep up with my very young brood.

But those days are a distant memory now. Those first four little ones are all grown up: One is married with four of his own, two are in dental school, and the youngest will begin medical school in the fall.

Fortunately, God blessed us with eight more children after those four, and I still have little ones at home to cuddle, else I’d be facing an empty nest right now and longing for those days gone by, for they pass. so. quickly.

So be encouraged, Mama. Stay faithful in the small things. Have fun with your little ones and train them to be obedient.

Be mindful that the season you are in will not last forever. Treasure the good parts: the snuggles, the kisses, the story times, the absolute wonder of childhood.

Do not despise the difficult or mundane parts: the seemingly endless stream of diaper changes and midnight feedings and runny noses and cranky toddlers and crying babies.

Just do the needed thing day by day, minute by minute, relying on the grace and strength of God to carry you through, as He surely will do.

Take naps when you can. Relax your standards on housekeeping for a time if necessary. Train your children to help — even the younger ones. They are usually eager to work alongside us if we’ll let them.

And if you’ve never read To Train Up A Child by Michael Pearl, read it (even if you have, read it again). I re-read my copy every time another of my children turns two. It is short, but such a great reminder that training children encompasses much, much more than correcting wrong behavior.

Good child training requires us to clearly explain to our children what is expected, to model the character we want our children to develop, to consistently enforce the rules, and to build lots and lots of good memories and shared fun and positive exchanges WITH our children, so that they will WANT to please and obey and emulate us.

It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it. And that somebody, sweet Mama, is you! May God strengthen and equip you to do just that!

Be faithful. Be disciplined. Be loving. Your children will thank you in the end.

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  1. I’m wondering if gets easier too. My oldest will be 7 next month, then I have a four year old, a two year old and a six month old. The baby is the easiest one. The older ones fight and whine and scream and I’m losing control too easily with them. Help!

    1. As I mentioned above, Heather, having four (roughly the same ages as your children are now) was the most challenging season for me. The exhaustion began to lift by the time number five was born and has steadily improved ever since. Bad attitudes are enough to drive any mother crazy, though. Check out these posts on my suggestions for dealing with whining and bickering. Hang in there, Heather, and God bless you all!

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