Oh my goodness! Such a BIG day around here.
First of all, my inbox was flooded yesterday with pictures of families who have/are in the process of adopting and it MADE MY DAY! Every email I clicked on was another sweet family created through adoption. It was just a big blessing to me.
Second of all, today, sweet Ashby London is having procedure #8…so, we are most likely at the hospital as you read this and most definitely covet your prayers. Andrew returned home safely from South Africa yesterday afternoon, so we’re tag teaming kiddos and taking care of that sweet Ashby. I just know in my heart that God is using and will continue to use that mighty girl in BIG ways.
And third…today, I’m talking about life with four kids which is perfectly timed with my sweet friend Erika’s BIG announcement today on her blog. You MUST check it out!
Okay…hopefully, you’re back now after reading Erika’s post.
INSERT HAPPY DANCE HERE!!!!!
Last February, I did a post called WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER where everyone weighed in on what number of kiddo(s) was the hardest for you to adjust. Was it when you added that second child? The third? Maybe the fourth? Or if you were like Andrew and me, it was when we added…
Going from none to one about killed us. God bless Kensington, but she was not an easy baby (something I didn’t realize until after I had subsequent babies!). Our number was ONE…but then for a hot minute at the end of September last year, I thought it was going to be FOUR…but no, I still feel like it was one (seriously, she cried all the time, it was an adjustment! ). But, needless to say, I thought it was time to update my number post, let you weigh in again, and share my thoughts on the big FOUR.
That quote could not be funnier OR MORE TRUE!
September 11…my first pic with all four kiddos.
I love, love, LOVE having four, but I must admit…there was a learning involved!
Smith was easily added to our family and we didn’t miss a beat with the third, but four was just different. Four made me tired. You know that game “whack a mole”? Four felt like that for a while. I felt like I was constantly hitting a mole just as another popped up.
Some days, it’s like herding cats.
I know I blogged this last fall, but there was this moment one Tuesday afternoon when I was so hot and tired after lugging my kids from school to speech in a complete frenzy that I took off my shoes, socks and unzipped my pants in the hallway at speech just for air. I SERIOUSLY contemplated removing my pants altogether.
I would say that four was getting the best of me for about the first 8 weeks and then it kind of clicked and now, I would say that four is my jam.
First, I had to start giving myself an extra 10 minutes for EVERYTHING. I am always on time. My dad taught us that you weren’t late, you were three minutes early…so being late totally goes against my personality…but at first, four made me late everywhere I went. It just took longer to get four kids dressed, four kids breakfast, four kids in the car, four kids buckled, four kids to agree on a radio station…four, four, four was a workout! So, I know what you’re thinking…but it didn’t dawn on me until after about 8 weeks…
…first, I needed to just give myself more time and second, I NEEDED TO STOP DOING SO MUCH FOR THE OLDER ONES.
And all the mamas of older kids said amen.
I had a “come to Jesus” moment with my big two (and even Ashby), and we all realized that they needed to start doing some of this getting ready, getting something to eat, getting buckled, blah, blah, blah like big kids instead of mom doing it for them. Out of habit, I was still doing the same things for them that I had done since they were babies…but let’s face it…they were old enough to do a lot of it themselves!
I also had to change my perspective/expectations.
I grew up in a house with just two kids (one boy, one girl) and for a while there, I kept trying to function the same way that I was raised. Then it dawned on me one day…I can’t raise my kids the same way my parents did because I have TWICE as many kids as my parents. My house will never be as tidy as my mom’s, as quiet/calm/peaceful as my mom’s, I will always have more activities than my mom did (shuffling kids around with sports, speech, school, etc.), it will always be a bit more like a circus at my house than at my mom’s house…and that’s okay. Andrew and I are both from two kid households…but we’re not raising kids in a two kid household, so we have to figure out how to raise them in a four kid household, and it looks a little different…and that’s okay.
And that’s when things started to click and my “number” moved back from FOUR to ONE (sorry Kensington, you were still the hardest! 😉 ).
Wait for it…now, I kind of feel like four is easier than three.
It’s because now, everyone has a “friend” and rarely is someone left out. I didn’t realize at first, but back when there were only three, someone was often upset that they were left out, but honestly, now, I feel like everyone pairs off and there is way more peace around my house. They pair off differently depending on what they’re doing and such, but the other day, Smith wasn’t home and about an hour into it, I realized that I was hearing so much bickering because someone kept getting left out. The minute Smith got home, that kind of stopped. I’m in to this even number thing now 😉 .
Life with four has been crazy loud, silly, funny, exhausting, expensive, delightful, peaceful, chaotic, harmonious, disastrous at times and the BEST decision Andrew and I have ever made.
I can’t imagine not having four.
Four isn’t always easy…but four is my FAVORITE number!
Okay…what’s your number? I’m still a ONE! I know it’s awfully encouraging to read comments from other mamas who are having a hard time at their number. If you missed my original post, click HERE. If you have four and want to offer me any tips and/or advice, I covet them!
Four is a beautiful number in our house.