I found out I was pregnant in January 2011, at the time I already had three kids. To be honest, I was a little anxious about adding a fourth, but I was pregnant, and I was going to figure it out. Three was already a handful, but I had already adjusted so much from having one to two, and then two to three. I was wondering what this new adjustment would be like. I had nine months to prepare, which was nice of course, but having three young kids and being pregnant was definitely difficult. I obviously did not get a lot of time to rest, and had a lot on my plate, it was tough, especially toward the end.
My baby was born that September, (He is almost two now,) I was happy that he was a boy. That meant I had two boys and two girls, and that was what I was hoping for. At the time my oldest son was 6, my daughters were 3 and 1. It was definitely an adjustment bringing him home, but how much more of an adjustment? What was different? I do feel that since I already had three kids, I was used to being a mom, I was used to the ages and stages children go through, and I felt that one more wasn’t a huge adjustment. It was still more difficult than three though, especially in the beginning. Here are some of the differences:
1.) Lack of rest, of course- I now had a baby who was waking up in the night for feedings, which meant I was exhausted for those first few months. My other children all slept through the night, and I still had to wake them up for school in the morning. Luckily, two of my children were in school at the time, so I only had two children during the school days. I was able to take a nap sometimes with the younger two. Even as my baby grew older, and all my children slept through the night, they still don’t all fall asleep at the time I would like them too. The more kids you add, the more likely someone will be the lone night owl, (aka: my daughter)
2.) More time getting everyone ready- Since there was four children now, it took longer to get everyone bathed, dressed and ready in the morning. Sometimes my house would get messy in the process, since they didn’t always stay right with me while I was dressing the others. I felt more rushed for sure, and was just trying to get out of the house on time.
3.) More hectic- Things are definitely hectic with 4 kids, especially at home. Someone was always getting into something, there wasn’t always enough of me to go around. I had to cook dinner, clean constantly, change diapers, feed the baby, help them complete homework, the list goes on and on. It was nice that when we went out and went to the park and went for walks, things were pretty peaceful actually.
4.) Logistics- I could not be a mother to four without my double stroller. It all time favorite baby product! I put my younger kids in it, and the older two hold onto the sides. When I had three kids, it was similar, but only one held onto the side, that part wasn’t a huge transition, I anticipated it. It is still a bit harder going everywhere with 4 though. Its just more kids to manage. In the grocery store, one kid sits in the front of the cart, one in the back, and two hold onto the sides. I am strict with this, because I have to be. Things would be crazy if I weren’t. It is hard going around everywhere with four kids though, but not that much harder if you are already used to three. Another thing is, most vehicles do not safely seat more than three children in the back, I have a minivan, and I made that transition already when I went from 2 kids to 3.
5.) Keeping the house clean- Once again, another kids equals more responsibilities. The more kids you have to manage, the harder it is to keep the house clean. With four kids, I am cleaning like ALL the time, yet you wouldn’t know it if you walked in my house. Its just kind of how it is for now.
6.) Longer till all the kids are in school- For me, it didn’t make sense to work a regular job when I had several small kids at home, babysitting would have eaten up my paycheck. Besides that, I want to take care of my children myself. I plan to go back to working a typical full time job when they are all in school, having one more affected that.
7.) Another family member to love- My baby is almost two now, he is talking, running around, and really beginning to show his personality. I love watching him interact with his siblings, he is especially close with my youngest daughter they are inseparable, my older daughter acts like a little mommy to him. I love all of my kids, and each one of them bring something different and unique to my family.