With my first kid I was a wreck. I freaked out. I got up to watch her breathing at night, I constantly worried about how cold she might be, I cried when I left her with my husband the first seven (hundred) times so that I could run to the store because I was sure she thought I was abandoning her.
I calmed down a tiny bit the older she got, but life was still really hard. There was still this human I had to take care of All The Time. And then I got pregnant again. And things were harder because now I had to take care of a human and spend most of my life throwing up.
With two of them, life was incredibly difficult! I worried constantly about who was getting more attention, and if I was loving them the same amount. I had double the kids to feed and bathe and care for but not double the me.
And then I got pregnant again and found out it was twins. I pretty much started googling ways I could commit myself to anywhere. A looney bin. A psych ward. Even prison would be a welcome relief. Food cooked for me, a comfy uniform, and a bedtime – yes please!
It turns out though, having four kids is way easier than having one. Or even two. Because by the time three and four come around, there is no more time. There’s no time for freaking out, or having a hard day, or brushing your hair. Yes, I still have all those days, but I don’t have time to remember them, so that’s nice.
If you were considering having more than one, I’d say go for it, and here’s why:
1. Less Worry About Everything
I used to be so worried my second daughter wasn’t eating enough that I literally hand fed her every bite of her food while I distracted her with TV shows. Now with three other mouths to feed three times a day, about 15 loads of laundry to do a week, and four hundred and twenty-five diapers to change a month, I typically just throw some food in her general direction and hope she finds it. Also, things like crying, falling down, bumps on heads, fevers – they don’t faze me for a second. Unless it’s gushing blood or above 104.5 they’re fine with a Band-Aid and some Tylenol. Call me when you need stitches, I have laundry to fold.
2. Complete and Total Vaginal Destruction
This may seem like an argument against having four kids, but it’s not. After one birth your vagina gets just the slightest bit messed up. A stranger might not be able to tell, but you know and still have Nam-like flashbacks of that head lodged in there for thirty freaking minutes, and it messes with your vaginal-psyche a bit. But you have four kids, and it’s done. Game over. There’s no pretending anymore, and no one will blame you for one single second because that V created a whole bunch of life.
3. People Are Legally Not Allowed to Get Mad at You
There’s this universal shift in the world where suddenly everyone is under the impression you “have your hands full.” I hear this phrase at least five times a day, usually by complete strangers. Maybe in the prairie days could they imagine such a huge clan, but in this day and age, four kids? That’s mayhem! That’s anarchy! That’s a whole lot of freakin’ kids! So they start off everything they think about you with, “Isn’t she amazing! She has four kids and she was only fifteen minutes late!” Forget to return your library books? “Oh don’t worry about it! You have four kids!” I can literally do everything people are forgiving me for, and am always taken aback that I am not being treated like a normal person just because I have a gaggle of kids, but if it means not being in trouble for eating my co-worker’s last Girl Scout cookie, I’ll take it.
4. People Allow That Yoga Pants Are Acceptable Attire Everywhere And At Any Time
Because, four kids. See above.
5. Great for Increasing Rote Memory Skills
You know how surgeons have to practice their stitches and incisions repetitively on cadavers and whatnot, blindfolded* so that surgery eventually becomes second nature to them? That’s what being a mom of a boatload of kids is like. I don’t even have to think about diapering a baby anymore, I could pretty much do that in my sleep. In fact, I often do do that in my sleep. Which is a great skill to have, because I don’t like to wake up at 3am.
(*I don’t know if this is actually true, I get all my medical information from Grey’s Anatomy.)
6. Saves Marriages
I’m not one for the “we stayed together for the kids” thing. I believe you should live the happiest life you can and from that your kids will be happier. Unless you have four kids. If you have four kids trying to do it alone is like trying to empty out the Titanic with a soda can. You’ll never bail it out fast enough! And that’s why my husband and I will be together forever, Amen.
7. Four Times the Love
This one is obvious, but so incredibly true. If one kid can bring so much heart-bursting, mind-melting love, imagine how full you would be with four. It truly is almost unbearable how much love there is. Anyway you strike it, being a parent is great. But being a parent of four is great, great, great, great.
Until they all hit puberty at the same time. Then I’m in trouble.