I have just had my fourth baby. A baby who wasn’t expected but very much wanted and very much loved from the moment we found out. When we told people we were expecting, the response was underwhelming. The stream of intrusive questions would then ensue: You already have your hands full, how will you cope with four? You’ll need a bigger car! Where will they all sleep? Don’t you own a TV? You know how babies are made right?
People seemed to have such a strong opinion about me having a fourth child.
So in case anyone is wondering, our hearts are full, no we don’t need a bigger car, and yes, we own a TV. My husband and I are adults, and we are fully aware of how babies are made. We made the choice to be parents when we got married, and we made the choice to be parents of our four beautiful children.
We were blessed with this chaos and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
If I thought life was exhausting before, three kids under the age of seven and a newborn is at another level. Eating breakfast is a thing of the past, coffee is my sustenance now. I am always running on empty, and my patience wears thin 95% of the time. The older ones bicker all day long. Telling tales on each other and fighting over who gets to hold my hand on the school run is a daily occurrence.
Four kids really is no joke.
But in between the arguments, they have an immense amount of love for each other. They love on our newborn so much. I worried my youngest would find becoming a big brother the hardest. Being raised during a pandemic made him attached to me more than the others ever were at that age. But, oh how he has surprised us with his love for the new baby. Eager to help at every diaper change, showering him with endless kisses.
Some days I struggle, which is when the cloud of mom guilt takes over.
Are they each getting enough of my time? How can I make sure they are all getting enough attention while simultaneously feeding the baby, making snacks, and trying not to stand on LEGO that has been strewn all over the floor?
Worrying I’m not enough for them—not giving them enough of myself is the hardest—because how can I give them everything when I’m outnumbered? But even during those moments when my head feels like it might explode, when their little voices are all talking over each other trying to tell me something, even when I feel like I can’t get up and parent and I just want to take to my bed and hide away from the intensity that is four children, I still wouldn’t change it for the world.
There are rare occasions when it’s just me and the baby at home. When this happens the house is so quiet. I’m not used to this kind of peace, and honestly, I find the quiet so strange now. When they are all in school, I am torn between sitting down to cuddle my newborn baby or tidying up the hurricane of toys that was left behind. At the moment, the baby cuddles win.
The mess can wait, the cuddles can’t.
I love seeing these little humans grow into bigger humans. I am in awe at their energy and ability to be fighting over toys one minute and writing love letters to each other the next. My oldest is the only girl, and boy, does she rule the roost. The way her brothers look up to her and copy everything she does makes my heart burst. I could watch them play with each other for hours.
They will always have a best friend even when they don’t get along. Everyone has a buddy and a hand to hold. I wish I could bottle the feeling that comes with seeing them love on the baby.