Four kiddos … to some people that sounds like a lot of kids. Sometimes I will glance at a picture of my brood of four, and even catch myself thinking, “Wow, that’s a lot of kids!” But for the most part, four kids seems normal to me, and maybe even “easy.” I grew up in a family with four kids, and I absolutely loved the dynamics of having several siblings in my family. Even as an adult, I love having four siblings because they truly are my best friends. Today I want to share with you my top four reasons why I love having four kids … and because it’s not all sunshine and rainbows, I am also sharing my top four reasons I find having four to be a struggle.
The Downside of Having Four Kids ::
- Feeling like a drill sergeant, instead of a mom. I am one adult and there are four of them, so I am always out-numbered. My hubby is great help, but he works a lot, so it is me and the four of them a good bit of the time. In order to just get simple tasks done I often have to be a drill sergeant, or at least I feel that way! There is not a lot of room to slack off on parenting. If you have one kid not listening, it’s a struggle; but if you have four not listening, it can be full-blown chaos.
- Having to “sub-out” the work load. I am a super hands-on mom. In fact, I actually chose to be a stay-at-home mom because I never wanted to miss out on anything involving my kiddos. When I had my first son, I was the only one who took him to doctor appointments or kissed his boo-boos. But with four kiddos … well, I simply can’t be everywhere at the same time. I sometimes have to say, “You take him to the dentist, and I will handle soccer practice with the other three.”
- Laundry. This sounds very simple, but with four kiddos it is a massive undertaking. When we built our home, the location and size of my laundry room was way more important to me than any other room in my house!
- Cost. I truly believe that children are as expensive as you make them, but having four requires that you stay on top of your budget at all times. I can remember my own mom joking (or maybe not!) that her whole paycheck went to groceries for our family of six!
The Upside to Having Four Kids ::
- Everyone has a buddy! With three kiddos I feel like you have an odd man out, and with two kiddos I feel like they are more likely to get on each other’s nerves and bicker more. My kiddos will pair up and play together often, but the pairings change as they tire of one brother’s company and venture off to play with a different brother.
- I do not have to be “on” all the time. When I just had my oldest son I was his only companion, his constant playmate. If he was scared, lonely, or just bored, he turned to me 24/7; and this can be very draining. With four kids, they fulfill each other’s needs more than I do. If the baby falls down, there are multiple brothers to help him up and comfort him. When my big boys get home from school, the younger two are eager to play with them outside and I get to happily chill out and read my book, while sipping coffee.
- The bonds among my boys. My four boys are best friends, and watching that bond grow is one of the greatest joys of my life. I quite often picture them all grown up, planning a guys’ camping trip together or standing by each other’s sides on their wedding days.
- Getting to do it all over again, and again. I remember being sad that one of my boys no longer played with his Thomas the Train set and had instead moved on to race cars. Then I looked around and realized I have two more little ones who will soon be in the “choo choo” phase. I love being able to mother another baby, toddler, and little boy multiple times over. I love how each experience is so similar, and yet completely different all at the same time. I love being a mom, and for me having that experience only once or twice would have made me so sad.
So, there ya go! Nothing in life is without its own set of challenges, and having four kids is no exception, but I absolutely find the rewards to far outweigh the hard stuff. And just like any “job”, you get better and better at it as the years go by and you gain experience. Let me know in the comments below what you think is the ideal number of kiddos to have. I would love to hear about your experience mothering 1 or 10!