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Four kids, four lessons learned

Posted by Patience on October 17, 2008 at 6:01 AM in Patience
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So I'm only three weeks into this life with four kids but here's what I've learned so far:

1. Four means chaos. It isn't necessarily a bad thing, it's just kind of crazy. All of the sudden Jorge and I looked at each other and I said, "Wow, there are A LOT of people now." He laughed and replied, "And they all need something."
Everyone talks, laughs, cries and yells at the same time. There is more of everything, joy too.

2. Going anywhere requires a strategy. This laid back mama is going to have to plan ahead. Gone are the days of throwing a sandwich in a bag and running out the door.
Is it pathetic that I was proud I actually got them to school on Tuesday? No, not made it to school on time, actually arrived there at all. I had to declare Monday a mental health day as 3 out of the 4 children were crying while we were already 10 minutes late. The adjustment had caught up to everyone so we needed a day to be together without the time monster breathing down our necks.

3. The baby will be mauled. It's like Lyra has her own personal paparrazi and it is enough to make anyone crazy. Everyone wants to touch, hold, pet (as Lucy calls it) her ALL the time. The baby is currently like a cat and only prefers me. I must admit she tolerates the enthusiasm and love pretty well.

4. People stare. Now we are far from the people with the 17 children but everywhere we go I feel people looking at us. It makes me laugh and wonder what they are thinking. Adoration, horror, confusion? People with large families please weigh in. Does this happen to you? or am I paranoid?

I have a feeling this is just the beginning of lots of big family lessons learned. If you have a larger family, please share your stories of tips, triumphs and trials in the comments. I'd love to read them.


Meagan Francis writes...

Welcome to the club! My fourth is now going on three and I have finally gotten used to seeing people try to "do the math" when they see us all come in somewhere together. Now that I'm noticeably pregnant with #5 it's even more entertaining to see the looks on people's faces and the surprise when they realize that yes, they are all mine. (which is funny because I grew up in a family of four kids and I don't remember that being so surprising then?)

Owen, my youngest, has been mauled since he was a baby and has become very adept at expressing himself--i.e. shrieking for his brothers to STOP TOUCHING HIM. He can definitely take care of himself.

We talk all about raising larger families over at should come check it out!

kristen writes...

Oh I have to laugh, I have four that are ages 8 to 1 and I have to say the third baby was the easiest and the fourth gets whatever she wants. If I don't act fast enough the other kids do it.

I'm lucky they are all very caring for each other and my oldest/youngest are girls so they bond and it's like having a real life American Girl Doll!

It does get crazy, especially at dinner time and it seems like there is always someone that doesn't want to go with the flow but when it's not crazy it's too quiet.


Lisa writes...

I have just three kids, but everything you wrote rang true for my family, too! With just three, I'm surprised that I get as many stares as I do. Maybe it's because they are all girls, and they all wear pink from head to toe. We're like a blob of cotton candy with legs. :-)

Congratulations on your new baby and best wishes to you all!

Anita Kaiser writes...

I'd say awe! When I see multiple kid families - 4 and up I am always awed that they can do it............especially when the kids are looking mighty well behaved!

MoMMY writes...

I have 4 boys, 8, 10, 12, 13. Lots of stares, lots of chaos and yes, my husband and I often feel like there are just so many people (even now it sometimes catches me by surprise). The craziest part? Now that they're older it's not unusual to find 6-10 kids in the family room on a weekend. And often have 2-4 kids sleeping over at a time. Talk about crazy! (all boys!!!)

Mother of * writes...

Two, four, six, eight, who do we appreciate? Or shall I say what do we appreciate? 10 even 5 minutes of total peace and quiet. I am the mother of 8. That's right 8. We've got 4 boys and 4 girls 14 months to 19 years olds. So I am surrounded by every age level and there is definetly no rest for the weary. My stragey for an outing is to pray that I don't leave any behind when I leave the house. I'm always counting. No really, I can't say that I have a set scedule or things so organized. It's nothing like that. You have to try many things before you find the perfect fit for you and your family. I remember going on vacation when my 5th was 1 yr. And the stares and the comments even then. One comment was how can you be on vacation and enjoy it with so many kids. So you can only imagine what it must be like now. And I get a lot of comments like "I take my hat off to you" or "You're my hero" or "I'm going crazy with my 1, how do you do it?" I have to admit it's not me, It's all God who strengthens me daily and I have to pray quite often, day to day, some times minute to minute. I too often find myself with someone else kid. So enjoy the chaos, and everything else that comes with rearing children because they will not be little/young always.

Kati writes...

I am one of four and only have two girls myself so far, but let me tell you what I've learned as an adult with 3 brothers.

1 - The kid you are closest to growing up isn't necessarily the one you will be closest to as an adult. It's good to have choices.

2 - Four kids spreads the love and attention when the kids move out of the house and your parents might be a bit too focused on your personal life (when you're getting married, when you're having kids, how your job is going, etc.). Moms / mothers-in-law can only get but so obsessed when they have lots of kids to track. This is a good thing.

3 - Familial chaos is a good thing and will teach your kids ultimate flexibility. Think Gumby.

Congratulations Patience - you're an awesome mom. I'm impressed you are able to get this blog written! Awesome job!

thatgirlblogs writes...

I have four, and what I've noticed most is the VOLUME (the loud family), and the reaction I get from other people is always, "You have FOUR kids?!" like I live on the moon. Can't imagine what people with 4+ hear all the time.

I admit to using it to get out of things sometimes...

Mother of three writes...

I think you guys are all amazing!!!!
I am a mum of three girls-4 year old twins & Bubs.
We have been thinking of having another one just would love your feedback of how you felt when you had three & thinking for another one.

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