I’ve got 5 kids. I had them in 5.5 years. If you’re interested in the pros and cons of having kids close together then look no further…
My little 3-year-old came running to me with the Mommy’s Gonna Be Mad look on his face and said… “Daddy’s yaptop is bwoken...”
The first thought that went through my head was “better his laptop than mine.”
Well, turns out, it was mine. My 4-year-old (who knows he shouldn’t play with my computer) was doing something crazy to it and now the top screen flips all the way back. Somehow it still works, miraculously, if I prop it up. But let’s just say that I got angry.
I yelled. I had an eye and nose flare that’d scare a charging bull.
Then I put my son in his room a few minutes early for a nap, and calmed down. Fast forward 24 hours and my 3-year-old nearly broke the Brand New Laminator I’d just unboxed and… well… I had to have a sit down with myself and come to terms with my expectations.
No, I can’t baby or childproof a whole entire house just because I had kids. No, I can’t expect things to run as smoothly as they did when I only had 1, 2, or even 3 kids. The fact is… having more kids means more.
A lot of more. More this and more that and more of the other and certainly more $. Here’s where I’m at these days with my 5 kids aged 5, 4, 3, 19 months, and 6 weeks.
The More Kids You Have The More That Things Break
Like daddy’s iPod, my laptop, my laminator, unbreakable water bottles, toy cars, plates, calculator cases, books, car keys, sippy cups, your sandals, and anything else that can possibly break. One child you can watch like a hawk. Two you can sort of watch closely and monitor fairly well. Three, meh… things are getting dicey. Four and five, well… start buying plastic.
The More Kids You Have The More Noise
It is just So So Loud over here. Even when everyone is happy. Even when no one is screaming. I mean it makes sense. But even if all the kids are whispering (which would never happen) their voices would still combine to sound like a swarm of locusts coming to devour your sanity.
The More Kids You Have The More Hugs and Cuddles You Get
Sometimes I just want to grab all the kids and lock them in a room and hope they all feed themselves (without eating each other) and just fall asleep. Sometimes I need to be left alone for Pete’s Sake. When this happens, the best remedy for me to get happy hormones flowing again is a cuddle fest.
I grab whoever is in reach and hug, hug, hug and cuddle away. I tickle and squeeze and tell them disgustingly sweet sappy things that I feel from the bottom of my heart (thank you hormones) and I feel better. There are just so many to choose from, you’re never without a hug.
The More Kids You Have The More You’re Awake
Even if you have great bedtime routines and your babies and toddlers mostly sleep through the night, there are still the Outlying Incidents that wake you. Accident in the bed. Sore throat. Bad dream. Night terror. Need water. Saw a monster. Well, the more kids you have the higher the chance you’ll be woken up because there’s a wolf under the bed.
The More Kids You Have The More Independent They Will Become
When people come over and my children seem needy I often hear, “Do you want me to [do x] for [so and so]?” My answer is usually, “No, they’ll figure it out.” Why? Because they do. They figure it out. I wouldn’t suggest this method with morals and values, but with life tasks… it works. It is also necessary because I only have two hands and – while I’m efficient – I can’t feed a baby, change a toddler, direct a preschooler, and pour a drink at the same time.
They can get their own water, put on their own clothes, carry bags of groceries, fold and then put away towels or clothes, wash their own hair, and feed themselves. They’ll probably make a mess, get frustrated (which we know is okay), and go through a period of trial and error. But they figure it out and, you know what? They are quite proud of themselves.
The More Kids You Have The More Whining, Fussing, and Crying
One kid, well, you can sort of avoid whining fairly easily by giving them what they want and it isn’t even that inconvenient. Two, same story. At least it was for me. Third, fourth, and on and on… well… you simply can’t find enough empty rooms to walk away from the whining. Tantrums, whining and “he took my car!!!!!”
You are nursing a baby and then putting a toddler down to nap then a preschooler has stolen another’s bike and someone bit the other and before you know it there is whining, fussing, crying, and you are thinking… why can’t we all just act like adults here? Oh, that’s right. Because we’re not.
The More Kids You Have The More You Major on the Majors
I mean the fact is… not everything is important that sort of seems important at the time. Things feel “urgent” and we obsess over what looks cool, or current, or I don’t know. And then we have a lot of kids and we realize the things that are important. Safety, food, their hearts, love, and the $ to be able to continue with those things.
If they don’t want to wear pants at home? That’s cool. If they pee in the yard instead of coming inside, yes, that’s just fine. Oh, except maybe not since neighbors have reported seeing “one of the blonde boys” (all of them) peeing. Oh well. This is not something I care about.
I was probably stripping a pee and poop stained bed while making sure the 18 month old didn’t go outside and dive into the pool and putting a paci in the baby’s mouth since I can’t feed him since obviously someone is peeing by a public road and another is covered in poop and trying to join the peer. When these shenanigans are going on… I must let the minor things be minor.
The More Kids You Have The More Laundry
I don’t have anything else to say about that. Oh wait, yes I do. One nighttime accident (depending on if it’s winter or summer) can be an entire load of laundry. Give 4 kids a tub bath and sop up the insanity that ensues… well that’s another 2,456 towels which is probably 3 loads of laundry and never mind all the daily clothes and changes. Plus, clearly, I’ve got to separate whites, colors, and delicates and there we have it. People say kids can take over their own laundry at 8. I think that is two years too late for us.
The More Kids You Have The More You’ll Worry
When my kids are in separate places, my heart feels outside of my body. One at school, two with a family friend, two with me, and husband somewhere else… there are simply too many things that can go wrong here. I don’t even want to think about the teenage years when they’re all out on their own doing Who Knows What and I’m at home waiting. There’s normal worry for a mom, and the more kids you have the more individuals you’re worried about.
The More Kids You Have The More Blessed You Are
But all in all, the more kids you have the more blessed you are. I’m blessed to lay with my 19 month old and snuggle while he drinks his milk from a bottle (which I don’t care about, see point above). I’m blessed to hear my son talk about dinosaurs with their proper names and blessed to hear my littler one pronounce all his S’s as F’s and I want to record every one.
I’m blessed that these little kids love me and call me mom and I’m blessed I was even able to have kids and nurture a family. The more kids you have the more of everything you have.
More squealing means more excitement.
More diapers means more baby bottoms.
More mouths to feed means more mouths to kiss.
Some people say less is more, but really… more is more.
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