Yup. I said it. While I love my kids, and I wouldn’t do anything to change this crazy chaos of having four kids 5 and under, sometimes I look at the mom with just one kid and wish it were me.
How amazing would it be to completely focus on one child for more than 10 minutes straight? Sometimes one of my older girls wants to tell me a story, or build a Lego castle, and after a few minutes her little brother has gotten into something or one of the other kids starts crying. Even though I tell her I’ll be back, I know I’ve lost the moment.
Swim lessons? It would be awesome to do mommy and me, but there’s only one me and always at least 2 of them. The library for circle time? Nope. The library is the worst. They all have to sit and be quiet while someone reads a book; I can do that at home and not stress about how much of a trainrweck we look like when it’s time to go. The park? We tried to go to the park once when there was a field trip happening. I turned right around and went home. There’s no way I can keep track of my four kids in a sea of 40 other kids.
I discovered I can fit three kids on my lap at once, but that means one is always left out. At every meal it’s a negotiation for which two kids get to sit next to me. I feel like every day is an intricate balancing act of everyones emotional, physical, and mental demands, and most days I’m failing.
I’ve started thinking about the financial aspect too. Not the bigger issues of putting four kids through college, but the smaller impact having four kids can put on my budget. Souvenirs when we’re on vacation, treats when we’re at the store, uniform and activity fees in sports, even taking four kids to a fair. With tickets, food, rides, games, etc it adds up. Our tooth fairy needs to get a side job because it’s going to get expensive paying for four kids teeth!
Even something as simple as running errands; if I’m at the house and I discover I don’t have an ingredient that I need for dinner, there’s no running to the store really quick if my husband isn’t home. I’m making a different dinner. It’s at least an hour ordeal to get everyone ready, shoes on, in the car, buckled, to the store, in the cart, items found and purchased, then back in the car, buckled, and unloaded at the house.
How much easier would it be if I could just focus on one kid? Getting their shoes on. Getting them buckled. Shopping with one kid in the cart. Buckling one back into the car. Back to the house.
And taking one kid to the fair; going on rides wouldn’t be a problem because no one would have to stay back with the kids that were too small. I could cuddle one kid in my lap and no one would feel left out. You want to go to the park today? Sure! I only have to keep track of one kid; perfect!
Realistically I know it’s not that simple. If I really only had one kid I wouldn’t feel this way, because I wouldn’t know how crazy it is to have four. And I would never wish any of my kids away; they’re all amazing little people who I couldn’t imagine living without. But sometimes, I look at the mom who says she’s tired from chasing her one kid around all day, or that it’s hard to go anywhere with a kid in tow, and I’m jealous.
Jennifer is a stay at home mom with two sets of twins. She copes with having four kids ages 5 and 3 with wine, desserts and cooking. But at the end of the day she wouldn’t trade her crazy life for anything. You can read more from Jennifer at Sweet Discord.
Its kind of a “grass is always greener” type of thing, huh? But – you totally bring up good points, but its hard to gauge it all. You’re just too cool and fun as a mom!
Your kids are so beautiful! I am in awe. I only have two and I am still jealous of moms with just one. Hang in there mama, you’re doing awesome.
I sometimes secretly think that too. I often struggle on the best way to give my 3 meaningful, one on one attention. I do love having all of the craziness and that they all have each other to play with. I am sure I will long for these crazy days when they are all grown and out of the house.
you know I have two and I came from a family of seven kids. If I was able, I would have liked two more, max. I don’t feel jealous of singletons because it’s up to the adult to entertain them. At least with siblings there’s someone else.
That’s a very good point about siblings playing with each other. Mine really do a great job together most days, and I’m really glad we have the four kids close together. It’s just some days are harder than others 🙂
Well, I guess I am one of those that you are jealous of. My daughter is now fully grown, though, and has moved out. I am an empty-nester now!
Hahaha I can definitely see how one kid would be easier but I’m sure you wouldn’t have it any other way. My best friend has 4 kids and I always say she had my share!
I have an only child and I always wanted three or four! It wasn’t meant to be, but I always thought it was better to have siblings.
It’s tough work for sure… but think about the amazing bonds your kids are going to have with their siblings for the rest of their lives. Totally worth it 🙂
I go back and forth on wanting more and being content with 2. I think it’s human nature to wonder if the grass is greener on the other side.
I only have two kids and I think that is the perfect amount. We considered only having one but, in retrospect, I think I would have regretted that decision.
I have one son and he’s one right now. We’re still contemplating on another though. I kinda want a little girl but I don’t know what I’ll do if we have another boy. Too much testosterone in the house! Haha
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I can admit that sometimes I am jealous of the mom with only one kid. I wouldn’t trade my two kiddos for the world though!
I can so relate. I felt that way at times when my boys were little. But it is so worth having them so close in age now that they are older.
I think it’s those early years that are the hardest. Two year old’s are crazy little people. You have two of them at once and your whole world goes haywire. But, then they get a little older and the chaos isn’t as bad.
I often think back to when I just had my oldest, and I think, wow, I had so much free time! Definitely not the same now with three little ones, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!
There doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day to satisfy the needs of so many!
I love your honesty. You are only saying what everyone else is thinking. When my second baby was born I didn’t understand why I had such a hard time adjusting- I already had one so I knew what I was doing, right? Wrong. My friend encouraged me by saying, “it doesn’t really count unless you have two or more kids. It’s a totally different ball game with more than one.” So true! I can’t even imagine 4 kids under the age of 5…but hang in there!!
It totally counts with one!! 🙂 I think being a mom and caretaker gets harder the more kids you have. You are one person taking care of the needs of many and it can get exhausting and even frustrating. I envy the moms who have several kids, a husband and pets and still have their patience!! 🙂
I totally get this. I think it can be so hard to split attention all the time. It would be easy to not have to split.
I agree. It’s hard when everyone wants mom for everything. The plus side is we are clearly very popular. 😉
Me too, but I wouldn’t trade the ones I have for anything. I’m so blessed to have two.
I agree. No one wants to trade it. But a little break now and then is appreciated. 🙂
I’m a mom of one and we are totally happy with having one kid. On the one hand there’s lots of one on one time and I love that. On the other hand, there’s not a sibling for him to play with and so sometimes, instead of him playing with his brother or sister while we do something else, we play with him (which can be draining after a long day, if I am being honest). It’s also very hard to be continually asked “when” we’re having another one … I’m 44 and have no interest in going through the infant stage at this point (even just almost 6 years later). I wouldn’t change what we have, but I also don’t find that having “just” one is as easy as some folks might think.
I think parenthood is certainly full of challenges no matter how many kids you have! I have twins and one on one time is rare for us. It’s all me all the time. I wish they’d prefer playing with each other some days, but they both want me most of the time. I agree, it’s draining entertaining kids! I can’t imagine having two sets of multiples at once. Potty training two at once was hard enough…I can’t imagine 4.
Oh no! I’m pregnant with baby #2 and I’m nervous about making the jump. I’ve settled into having just 1.
My aunt used to say to me, “the heart is like a rubber band, it stretches to make enough room for everyone.” I am a twin mom too, and for me the hard part is having two kids demanding the same kind of attention. A two year old’s needs are different than a newborn. That’s a whole different game to me! You will adjust quickly!
As a single parent with one child, I always felt that it was hard, never felt adequate or able to do everything that I needed to do… Intellectually I realize that it would have been harder with more children but it never felt easy or something that I was able to do a great job at…
Every parent has their challenges, whether it is one or ten our job is never easy. I think single moms have it rough because you are everything to your child- mom, dad, disciplinarian, fun maker, bread winner, caretaker. My mom was a single mom to 4 of us and I remember it was never easy. I think for me as a twin mom I wish I had the time to enjoy each individual child. There is just one me and two of them and there is always conflict over my attention. That’s the hardest part for me.
You have valid points but as a mom of 1, I have felt jealous of moms with 3 or more kids. The grass is always greener right? lol
I’m also a twin mom and I think the jealousy part for me is having the time to bond one on one. Two kids the same age demanding the same kind of attention gets hard. You feel like you have to divide yourself. I see moms with just one kid and they get to give them all their attention and really focus in on their needs. With my two … it’s just chaos.
No way! 🙂 It seems hectic and crazy now but it’s a lifetime of rewards! I’m all for multiples! 🙂 To each their own I guess right 🙂
It is a life time of rewards…but, when you are in the thick of doing all the work the days feel long! True what they say, “the days are long but the years are short.”