Is Having A Large Family Really So Hard?



When you tell people that you have four kids they look at you a little funny. They are usually waiting for you to tell them about the horrible event that accidentally led to you having so many. Some people actually choose to have four kids. Some people need that fourth baby to make their family feel complete.

Our number four was a complete accident but that is beside the point.

The comments that I hear most often are: Are all of those yours? Wow, you have your hands full! Have you figured out what causes kids yet?

Hahahahahahaha. That last one? Not funny. Every person who has ever said that to me.

Another thing people ask me is if it is hard to raise four kids. I will not lie to you like everyone lied to me. It is very hard. VERY.

Maybe it was so epic because when I brought Baby Four home, Baby One was still four years old. That was a lot. I was not sure I would survive those days. I held on to my sanity by a hair. Or at least I think I did. Maybe my sanity is actually so far gone that I just don’t miss it anymore.

I don’t know. Anyway.

Four is very different from three. The fourth child required us to purchase a larger car. A car that can haul around four little people and all of their little people stuff. When I turn around and face the back of my vehicle, I see nothing but wall to wall children. Grandma, you want to ride with us somewhere? Better put on your Spanx.

If you have four kids you will probably want to invest in a set of bunk beds. You cannot have their bedrooms completely full of beds. That leaves little room for all of their toys. And for them. In that case everything that they do is going to be right beside you. Legos. Barbies. Noisy electronic games. All by you. Let’s face it. Everyone needs their space.

Every Holiday is an ordeal. You may go on a whim and buy your kids Halloween costumes. I have to plan in advance. And construct a spreadsheet. It is hard to keep up with what everyone wants and even harder to actually find the costumes. Then you have to PAY for them. Ouch. We try to recycle costumes but they just don’t make them like they used to.

And Christmas? Forgetaboutit. You better bring your A game to pull that off. It takes planning preparation and organization.

My daughter reads this blog. Santa makes Christmas amazing for us all. Thank goodness for Santa!

Going on a vacation or a trip requires nothing short of a miracle. I am always the one stuck with packing. Having four kids has turned me into a very light packer. My motto is if we get there without it, there is always Walmart.

Traveling with four kids requires sainthood status. The noise. OHHH the noise. The bickering. The fighting. The crying. The complaining. The demanding. And that is just me.

Four kids in a car is like a pressure cooker waiting to blow. You have to get to where you are going as quickly as possible. Procrastination only cause the migraine to intensify. I have been known to threaten if my husband didn’t speed up I was going to leave him at the next gas station. Seriously. The speed limit is 70. Let’s go AT LEAST 70. Don’t make me turn off your sports radio.

Eating out at a restaurant with four kids? I cannot even go there. If you need to relive that nightmare read A Table For Six. That warranted a post all its own.

The bottom line is having four kids is an undertaking. It is a lot of work. It is a huge responsibility. It takes all of your money. When did kids get so expensive? The grocery store receipt alone makes me want to cry. Thankfully my hubby works hard and is able to support us. I know everyone is not as fortunate. I am grateful.

Four kids requires a lot of patience. A lot. And each child is so different. And they don’t come with manuals. Every day is a learning experience.

Do I ever get jealous when I see you out there with your two kids eating at a restaurant? When everyone is smiling, laughing and speaking with their inside voices? You had better believe it. I often think, what would THAT be like? They look so….normal.

But for those of us with larger families, we know the deal. We have learned how to make it work. Sure sometimes when you see me I may look like I am on the brink of a breakdown. My kid may be climbing a treacherous railing, as I act like I don’t see him. Hoping you won’t either.

We may not have the nicest car, the most stylish clothes or the latest gadgets. We have four kids. When it is bad it is very bad. Like running out of Costco, down the sidewalk and straight into the liquor store bad. As I stand in front of Costco with the cart. And the other three kids. (This may or may not have happened once. Okay twice.)

Everything families have to do is made harder by the larger number: Athletics, after school activities, homework. Oh how I hate homework. I spend a lot of time doing kid stuff.

So what makes it worth it all? Four kids. I get more hugs, more smiles, more giggles. A table full of children laughing is amazing. Christmas morning with four kids? Four times the magic. Four trick or treaters? That just means more candy. For me.

I get to watch FOUR kids grow into adults. I get to feel the pride that comes with each accomplishment. Every mile stone. I get the good with the bad.

And one day they will all be grown. The will give me grandbabies. Glorious grandbabies. Grandbabies and very expensive Christmas presents. Because I am not going to shut up about how the four of them almost killed me when they were small.

Thinking about four? Go for it ;)


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