I have been thinking a lot lately about how life is slowly getting easier. Let me clarify...parenting. At least in the physical sense. I don't think emotionally it will ever get easier.
I realized it this summer. On our trip to the beach, I had to pack no diapers or diaper bag. We didn't take the pack and play (we went the sleeping bag route...he still isn't quite ready for a bed!). We didn't even take the stroller this time. The older kids could at least put outfits together for me to double check and pack for themselves. It was just a little easier...
Now when we go out for dinner (like we did tonight/last night depending on how you look at it), we just go. We don't pack a diaper bag or bring bowls of Cheerios to tide them over. We don't bring a bib (though sometimes that is still needed; tonight we used a napkin to protect the shirt). We just go. Even the wait is getting easier as our youngest gets more interested in coloring instead of waiting for food to arrive.
While I am still a stickler for naps when we are home (or at least a quiet time for the older kids), if we need to go somewhere in the afternoon, I know that we can survive (though there may be an earlier bedtime in the future...). That has opened up a lot more possibilities for us.
Even the bedtime routine is getting there. The oldest three can get ready for bed completely on their own (though we still read and pray together). And the youngest can get ready for bed with just a little supervision.
It is getting easier. Slowly but surely.