As your children get older, physically they need less care (it turns into just reminding them to wash, change clothes etc) and is physically easier (just gets harder emotionally). However with this ease, life changes - with the independence it becomes easier to bring back your old hobbies and return to work. The rhythm of life changes. The need to stay focused on the middle years is important. Its the bridge to teens. In these years they will remember and they will see you live out your faith. They will learn from you what you really believe and if you apply it to your life.
I have 2 school aged children and 2 at home. I know the physical demands of a baby, toddler and preschooler. I know its physically demanding and requires a lot of patience. It is also fairly simple in comparison to the next stages as you are their main influence. However as they reach each new stage it is harder to know the best approach.
I live in a house of boys and whilst they are under 5, mummy is number 1! They love to play any game with you. As they get older, boys need their dad more and more. They want to learn what it is to be a man - their dad is their best teacher. Their games become rough and tumble more frequent, no matter how calm the game started out. Everything turns into a gun, or sore hands (as the action figures have war). They like to build, play sports and explore, which I like to encourage - I want my boys to be boys - however it is hard. I personally am not outdoorsy, have no interest in sports at all - in fact i would say i hate all sports especially watching them on TV. I didn't have brothers and have no idea how to really play action figures with them especially war type games. I enjoy art, dancing, shopping, spa time, make-up, cooking, making a house to a home - well all things girly. The things I enjoy, do not even come up as a small blip on their radar of interest. It is hard living in a house of aliens.
Whilst I could type and grumble about how hard it is, I am so blessed to have these boys, to have 4 children! They have been given to me by God as gifts. I want to have a relationship with them - not in a dutiful way but a real relationship throughout their lives. I want to model to them what a Godly wife and mother is, I am their first experience of woman. How tender or distant I am with them will have a real impact on their future relationships. Sometimes it will require sacrifice from me, as I learn to engage in their interests, to show them that I am interested in them - sometimes it will involve them sacrificing some of their wants to learn and build a relationship with me. Either way this is all possible through love and when I feel a bit downhearted about being the only girl - I know i have a loving God who I can pray too and to remind me how precious the gift of motherhood is.
I may live in a house full of boys but that does not mean I am 1) in anyway a tomboy and enjoy male activities 2) that I understand them. There are times when I think why? but I know God will give me grace to get through it. There are times when I really enjoy it, I love their cheeky expressions, their unique perspective on life, they are all so cuddly and loving with me. There are lots of benefits to having children all the same sex and I love having a big family. I am truly thankful for them.