"So how's it going with four?"
It's a question I get a lot these days, especially from people I know. (Strangers just stop and stare when I'm out with the whole family.) The question can be tinged with curiosity or fear or even incredulity that I survive daily life with four little people.
The answer, I'm happy to report, is that life is good. Four doesn't seem to be much different than three. The biggest adjustment has been introducing an infant into the mix again. Figuring out how to nurse a newborn while getting two children ready for school and keeping a toddler out of trouble – it's like Iron Chef: Mommy Edition. ("Today, the special ingredient is toddler drool! Go!")
My Mom, herself a mother of four, used to tell people that the biggest adjustment is going from two kids to three. "Once you are outnumbered, it doesn't matter anymore," I would hear her say. “After three, you could have ten without batting an eye.”
I have to say: I agree.
I'm sure you've seen the bumper stickers about going from man-to-man to zone defense when you have baby #3. And it's true. Two kids with two parents means most issues can be dealt with in a timely manner. Once the kids outnumber the parents, it's a whole new ballgame. (What do you call four on two? Or even four on one, for those times my husband is traveling? I think that's called a coup.)
That doesn't make it bad. It just means expectations might have to change. Chaos is now a reality. Order and definite naptimes are not.
But love and joy and the wonder of childhood will overflow like the Diaper Genie.
Life is a series of trade-offs.
So for me, four is good. Four is so very good.
How about you? When did you feel the biggest transition in your family – when you added that first baby, when you went from one to two, or when you shifted to zone defense?
Kelly writes about her life as a Mom of four at her personal blog Love Well.