I have four kids

Laughing-Inside's picture

When I found out that I was pregnant with my forth child, I was not happy. It was not the end of the world kind of misery, where I was beside myself with grief or anything, but just a general sense of dislike that ruined the day. Compare this with maybe getting into a fender bender. I had taken the test in a public restroom with my three year old son. I look back at this moment as an almost out of body experience. I can see myself frantically trying to undress us from our winter coats, scarves and gloves, all the while trying to prevent my son from touching anything in a stall made for one person only. My son is asking questions that I can’t comprehend at the time, something probably having to do with why we were here, and what was in the box I was holding. If he was good could he get a treat? The directions said results were visible in one minute. Within seconds, there was a faint pink line that quickly darkened into a vulgar crimson. My son’s inquiry broke my stunned moment of silence. “Can I pee on that thing now, too?”
All I can think of on the way home is how different having three children sounds from four. To me, one child and two children-there is not that much difference. If I hear somebody has two children, I react the same way as if I hear a person has had three children. When I hear that somebody from my generation has had four children it sounds overwhelming. Four, is the beginning of a lifestyle that many people will never encounter because most do not wish to, and I can certainly see why. The same reasons that many would list as reasons to not have four or more children, are the reasons I am embracing it.
I already told an acquaintance I can’t go to her wedding. She won’t expect a gift. I can’t go out and be fair weathered if I wanted to, so all my relationships turn out to be pretty genuine. No one can stay at my house; I simply do not have the room. Even if it’s for a week or two, and you know what they say about fish and houseguests after two days! I’ll never have to worry about paying off credit cards for my décor, furniture or having a nice house full of expensive things. It’s silly to have anything nice in a house with four kids. I won’t be able to have nice clothes, or pay attention to trends in fashion, or have to argue with my teenage daughters why I won’t pay $120.00 for a pair of shorts, so the Cowan family will be forced to work on their personalities, creativeness and intelligence to stand out. I don’t have to worry about landscaping, or a nice yard. Yup, I know neighbors- I have four kids what do you expect? Can’t afford cruises, Disney Land or any other corporate vacation hell destinations, sorry kids! My husband will never be asked to help anyone move ever again, he has to leave work to help raise four kids! When a friend falls on tough times financially, I will never be asked again nor will I extend myself, I have four kids. Never will I feel bad about this lump, bump, this here sagging or dragging or not cooperating with my silhouette, I have had four kids. Saving for college? Not when you come from a family with four kids! No more lavish wasteful Christmases. No more clean house expectations.
My husband and I have no choice to work out our differences that come up, who else would be with either one of us after finding out we have four kids? Suddenly, everything in my life has gotten amazingly simpler from grocery shopping to disciplining the children. We have gone full blown collectivist mentality here. My more than excited children fully understand that they are only one in four, and that translates into this state of lowering your expectations, and contributing more. This ended up being the baby I am most excited about, and the support I receive from my family is something that is worth more than any diamond ring, remodeled kitchen or trip to the Bahamas could ever bring me. I am so happy to be pregnant again. That being said, I am getting my tubes tied after having this baby. Congratulations to me!


mermaid_radio's picture

Thank you for writing this. I am the oldest of five and you captured it exactly. Expecting less and pitching in more was true in our household too for sure!

Lapis's picture
Submitted by Lapis on

i also liked your essay.

i'm figuring out, firstly, how to make our first baby. but that has led me to think about how many we may want to have...or do we only want to have an only... so its nice to have some thoughts on both sides

anyhow, I really liked being reminded of what great things come with a big family. actually just reading about getting to say "no" we aren't going/doing/having "that" sounds so relieving and freeing... or "here we are together, lets make it fun/good/work things out"... enjoy your big family and this pregnancy : )

thanks for sharing
: )

mnemosyne's picture
Submitted by mnemosyne on

It is a different mentality, from preparing meals to planning weekends...but 3 of mine are teens now and you know it's not that big of a deal. We actually operate pretty well. Hell we just brought in 2 foreign exchange students, cause 8's as easy as 6.
There are benefits and you'll do this w great power, preserving yourself, and Becoming a matriarch of your family line. Congrats.

lapina's picture
Submitted by lapina on

You have captured some great ideas here. Love the movement from having a bad day to making it work FOR you.