Eleven Things I Have Learnt Since Having Four Kids
Eleven Things I have learnt since having four kids
I can honestly tell you I never expected to have four kids. When I looked forward to my future, four kids were not part of it in any way shape or form. I mean, I thought there would be kids, I just didn’t expect to have so many.
But I have learnt a lot in the last 9 months.
And here is my list of the main things I have learnt since having four kids.
1. Someone is always crying
I am not sure why this one is true, but it is true nether the less. The more kids you have, the more likely there is to be one crying at any given time. I am hoping this gets better as they get older, but I am not holding my breath.
I guess the more you have the more likely there is to be a child having an issue at any (every) time. It’s simply a numbers game.
2. Its next level busy
If you have one or two children, you probably have time to sit down occasionally. There are times throughout the day when you can take a little break. Once you have more than 2 kids though, this changes. Whole days can go by before you get a chance to sit down. Honestly, this one shocked me more when I went from 2 to three kids, it was just the busyness of everything that surprised me.
Between nap times, school drop-offs, snacks, games, cleaning, nappies, and well, everything that needs doing, the days can be a whirlwind of busy.
Just remember you are important to Mama, you deserve time for yourself as well, so be insistent about carving some time out for you each day (mine is to go to the gym and pop my kids in gym creche, or to do a yoga session at home via an app). Don’t wait for someone to give you permission either. If Mum is ok, the family usually operates better.
3. It doesn’t matter how many kids you have, you can always love one more
I don’t know a Mum alive who hasn’t at least secretly felt worried that they might not love their next child as much as they love their current ones. But we always have the capacity to love one more.
Our arms are full, and our hearts are even fuller.
I read a quote recently that said, ‘You never regret the babies you have’ and while I don’t believe this is true 100% of the time – it is certainly true for us. We couldn’t imagine life without Coco now and it feels like she has completed our family. We didn’t even know she was missing until she came along.
4. You can say goodbye to sleep
With four kids under six, there is honestly not much sleep happening in our house. Both of us are on deck each night with different children.
But our kids are still little, and they still need us overnight. We view it as relationship building – if you need us, we will come. Plus, we are too exhausted to implement any type of system.
Sometimes we do wish they didn’t need us quite as much though.
5. You don’t need to pack that much in your nappy bag, actually
When I only had Bella, I had a huge full stocked nappy bag with contingencies for all possible occurrences. Every night I would restock and repack the bag ready for the next day. I swear it weighed over 5kg. Carrying both Bella and the nappy bag was like lugging around a lead weight.
These days I rarely leave the house with a bag. If I am heading out with my husband as well, I literally only take my phone.
There are a few reasons for this – If we are walking somewhere, we probably aren’t going far enough to need to bring anything with us, it’s not too far to come back quickly if needed.
If we are driving anywhere, I just have nappies and wipes in the car. We might pack some snacks if we are going to be out for a while, but we have learnt we don’t really need to take that much with us anymore.
My nappy bag now is a $10 faux leather backpack from Kmart – and I only take it 50% of the time.
6. This is the first thing people say to you as they pass you in the street
Without fail, when I go anywhere with three or more kids this is said to me at some stage:
‘Wow, you’ve got your hands full’
Once an old bloke finished it off with ‘You’re awesome’ which I think is the only acceptable way to finish this sentence.
Even though I think the sentence itself is well-meaning – who wouldn’t want a nice positive affirmation at the end of it? SO if you feel tempted to utter this at a Mum today – please add ‘You’re Awesome’ to the end.
7. Getting in and out of the car is almost mission impossible
For some reason, there is always one that doesn’t want to get in/out of the car – and it is never the same one each time (just to really keep you on your toes).
This morning I had to extract my 2-year-old from upstairs – where he had fled claiming he wanted to go to sleep – after everyone else was already in the car. It was only 7 am.
Although my top tip in this space is that if you do have a baby and older kids, let the older kids into the car first – even if they do have to roam free – while you get the baby strapped in. Then you can work on them. That way they are safe, the baby is safe, and you can negotiate with them to get into their seats. For this tip don’t turn the car on until they are ALL buckled in though.
8. There are three inbuilt ‘baby watchers’ to help you out
Maybe help is too stronger word, but there is literally A LOT of helpers or ‘baby watchers’. You will always know where the baby is because not only will they all be there too, she is likely to be screaming from all the ‘help’ she is receiving.
Sorry Coco, they love you, they really do.
9. The house is always messy
I feel like this is a no brainer, but I felt like I should include it anyway. With 6 people in one house – it’s always messy. Even when you tidy it up, it’s still messy.
10. Your parenting standards drop – and that’s not a bad thing
We used to worry about so many things in regard to our kids, and we still do, but with four to help navigate life, we have to be a little bit more hands off.
At the playground, they need to be able to climb themselves. It is physically impossible to help each child with everything, but we’ve learnt that we don’t want to now either.
It’s been a surprising lesson actually.
We just don’t sweat the small stuff with our kids, we know to leave the worrying to the big things, and to let more things go, and it makes for happier family life and more resilient kids.
11. Its happy chaos – most days
Its total chaos, some days we are just hanging on by our fingernails. Some days are just unrelenting.
But honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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