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How do you cope?
7 replies to this topic
Posted 09 November 2011 - 10:49 PM
I'm just thinking about TTC so I definitely don't belong in this forum. I did want to ask people that have experience though how you cope with 4 children? I know I am getting way ahead of myself as I don't even know if it is possible for me to TTC quickly but I have always wanted either 2 or 4 kids. The thing that worries me with 4 is having to have more rooms in the house, a bigger car and then the school runs, homework and activities for 4 kids just seems daunting. Bearing in mind my age (30) if I did have 4 they would be close together in age (maybe 2 years apart max or maybe a set of twins in there if we were lucky). So how do you do it?
Posted 10 November 2011 - 06:35 AM
It helps if you are a naturally organised person. My advice would be to take it one step at a time, see how you cope with one baby, and go from there.
Children bring a level of chaos and disorder to your life, so you will need to be able to see past the chaos and keep things ordered and organised. Each kid, at each age, will need to be in different places and have different needs.
I describe it to people as feeling like a bee hive with all the little bees buzzing around all the time.
Plus there is a financial side of things...
Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:32 PM
The thing that worries me with 4 is having to have more rooms in the house, a bigger car and then the school runs, homework and activities for 4 kids just seems daunting.
We have a 3br house and 4 kids and it works OK (while they are young they'd happily all sleep in one room). We are doing a renovation to get an extra bedroom though. We did have to get a bigger car but that's a relatively small thing to deal with. Our kids go to local schools so the school/daycare run takes 25 mins from leaving home to arriving at work. They'll all go to the same school for a couple of years then the high school is an easy walk from home.
Mine don't have a lot of homework (yet) so they usually do it at the kitchen table while I make dinner. I do limit after school activities, partly because I often have to take all of the other kids along, partly because I think that one or two activities is enough extra (the school provides a lot of optional activities directly after school as well as optional music lessons during school hours so that's a big bonus too and they can do as many of those as they want).
Bearing in mind my age (30) if I did have 4 they would be close together in age (maybe 2 years apart max or maybe a set of twins in there if we were lucky).
I was very lucky as my first was born just before I turned 35. Having them all close in age has a lot of positives, the biggest is that they are all interested in the same sorts of things so it's not hard to find activities and outings that they all enjoy. The downside is that four little kids can make a lot of work, especially when they are sick or cranky.
I am a lot more organised with day-to-day stuff than I was before kids. Cooking, basic cleaning and laundry fall into a daily routine that I have to stick to (once I get behind it's hard to catch up).
If I'd started my family younger I might now be thinking about another child or two as my littlies are 3.5 and getting more independent, I love having a full and busy house. I couldn't have managed any more little kids before now though I never imagined having four kids. After #1 I was adamant that I wasn't going to have more than 2. By the time #2 was 6 months old I was keen to have another one and lucky enough to eventually have twins.
Posted 10 November 2011 - 01:45 PM
Forget about focusing on what the kids will need - seriously consider what you will lose.
I love my four kids (6,4,3,3m) but I am really struggling at the moment with having NO time to myself or with DH. The kids go to bed and then I clean the kitchen, plan lunch box, get clothes sorted, think about dinner for following night, get aload of washing done. During the day I am trying to clean, feeding nb, feeding older ones, putting kids down for sleeps, keeping others quiet and occupied, doing the school run.
I steal moments on EB but am never left alone. I would love to have a day of solitude. The more kids you have, the longer it will be before you get closer to having a bit of genuine "me time".
Posted 10 November 2011 - 09:07 PM
If someone had told me I would eventually have four more kids right after my first child was born I would have laughed my head off. I remember being so exhausted, forever feeding a baby and unable to get anywhere on time, cook dinner or get a load of washing out. It was a steep learning curve but we had 5 kids in 7yrs. My youngest started school this year and I have returned to work almost fulltime (4.5 days per week... up from two days per week before the kids went to school).
We bought a bigger car, extended the house and sometimes it seems I am forever running around after them. Sometimes I do get fed-up and wonder what on earth I am doing. I get tired of having mountains of washing to put out/bring in/fold/packaway... The days are longer with getting up early for work/school and then coming home with all the cooking/homework/packing lunches and finally choofing all kids off to bed.
They are growing up so fast the wanting of 'me' time is not something I want these days. I seriously miss the pre-school days where time was all ours.
Posted 13 November 2011 - 03:27 PM
Thank you for your responses. I guess I will just wait till we have a first and second (if we are lucky enough) and then decide after the second. It is really great to hear from people who have been or are actually in the situation.
Posted 13 November 2011 - 03:33 PM
We are expecting #4. I can't imagine it's too much more hectic than what we're doing now.
My thoughts are.... if you're not sinking.... that must mean you're swimming! We have our days and moments. But I wouldn't have it any other way!
Posted 16 November 2011 - 07:05 AM
We started our family early.
My first I had when I was 19, then 21, then 24 and lastly 32. I'm not sure I would have had 4 if I had started alot later I'm not sure I would have had more than 2.
I've found the age gaps to be perfect for us and works well.
We had to buy a new car but that was all. We have a 3 bedroom house but we have a garage connected to the house that we put carpet down and used as a spare/storage/rumpus room. It was converted to a bedroom for my eldest and office for our computer eyc at the start of this year. The 2 youngest will eventually share when the baby is older.
When I fold the mountain of washing or clean up after everyone I get frustrated sometimes but I wouldn't change anything. I don't know how I will cope when I return to work next year but being at home I am enjoying all of it right now.
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