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'The parenting fear that consumes me.'

There are lots of things that mothers worry about.

From whether the kids are healthy to whether their shoes are comfortable.

Worrying started the minute you fell pregnant, and I can’t image it ever allays. But your fears transform don’t they as your children grow?

My current fear is a little more obscure, a little more imprecise than shoes or illness. It’s a fear that I hope is misguided, but yet I can’t quite seem to escape its omnipotence.

I worry that this is it. That this is as good as it is going to get. I worry that I have reached the golden years and that the slide from here is just downhill.

Being a mum is about worrying.
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My kids are in those middle ages of childhood.

The ages where they still believe in Santa and that a kiss from mum will fix a scraped knee. They haven’t yet discovered sexting and sulking and slammed shut doors and they are finally getting to the age where they put on their shoes.

They rush out of their classrooms eager to see me and engulf me in their arms. They chatter about their days and their biggest concern is whats for afternoon teas.

It's glorious.

While it’s not yet easy it is definitely easier but I am scared that it’s just a brief hiatus before the real hard work begins again.

At ages eight and six and four my three kids are finally hitting the strides of childhood.

Shauna'a three kids.

The baby stage is far behind us. The constant relentless grind of a newborn.

The toddler days are gone – as delightful as they are with their waddling bodies and dribbly smiles the tantrums and tears of over tiredness are in the past only occasionally rearing when my four-year old pushes herself too far.

They are little people with interesting conversations and crazy, imaginative ideas.

They are learning independence – slowly – but with the right kind of encouragement and at the very least on their twentieth time after being asked they will get themselves dressed, find their hats, do up their shoes. Eventually.

Oh, four-year olds are wonderful. Here is a little celebration of the four-year old. Post continues after video...

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They still wake up throughout the night but they are beginning to understand its not all about them, there are other people to consider when they wake. After being comforted its time to go back to sleep or else they will have one cranky mama the next day.

They mess a little less and laugh a little more.

They play with together and claw at each other in hysterics when they wind each other up. They actually enjoy each other’s company and seek each other out after school.

The baby stage is far behind us.

The three together are bound at the hip in their adventures – games of imaginary lands, of conquering battalions, of dragons and zombies and farm-yards and flying unicorns.

Sure, they fight and push and shove. They cry and bicker. They fill their lungs with air and holler like they are in pain at the injustice of losing a toy to one another and they sob like their heart is broken over atrocities like stolen licks of lollypops or skipped turns.

Yes they whinge and whine over homework and refuse to eat the food that took hours to cook preferring to gulp down the easy pre-prepared garbage they say tastes so good.

But they genuinely like each other – as well as love.

And they seem to genuinely like me.

These days my three are often no where to be seen on the weekend - off playing in the garden, building Lego palaces, finishing homework and as I stand in silence (the brief calm before the storm).

I remember the times of stirring pots of pasta accompanied by a baby fixed tightly to me in her sling a permanent position to save her from well intentioned kicks from her jealous two-year old brother. I remember the hours of rocking from colic and the foot-stamping tantrums that seemed to go for eons.

I am not so sure I ready to parent a tween, or a teenager.

And as they tumble in from the garden filled with laughter and make straight to the fridge I vow to myself to remember these times because they might just be the easy ones.

I am not so sure that parenting tweens will be my forte. The world of screens and devices and cyber bullying looms ahead and intimidates me.

The days of moody teens and body image crises and all that goes with those difficult years are far enough away to almost be unimaginable and yet before I know it they will be here.

I tell myself each morning as we rush and charge to the door to slow down a little and enjoy this time in case my premonition is correct.

What if these are the golden days? What if this is as easy as it gets and the long years of parenting ahead are a return to the trenches?

What age of parenting have you found the easiest?

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