Looking back on the last decade, I can say with certainty that it was one of the hardest and most fulfilling parts of my life so far. Becoming a mom of four beautiful kids is the single biggest accomplishment of my life.
This journey has been an amazing rollercoaster of emotions, and I’ve learned so much along the way. With each progressive child, I thought I had learned everything I needed to know. But those kids continually teach me that there is always something to be taught, even after having four kids.
7 Things I Did Not Expect as a Parent with Four Children
1 - We could love the next child just as much as our first child
When my first daughter was born, I remembered having this huge, overwhelming flood of love for her. I didn’t think I could love another child as much as her. But with each child, I managed to have that same surge of love for each and every baby. It was almost feeling like when I thought that I had given all the love that I thought I had, there was another wave that tided in.
2 - It is harder adding the second and the fourth
I know every family is different, but for us, expanding to two and four were our hardest years. When you double the fun, you’re learning how to manage. Three was pretty easy since we got the hang of having multiples. When you hit four, that’s when it gets crazy.
3 - Time alone with my partner and friends is even more important
Being able to carve out time for my husband and my friends helped make me a better mom and a better person. Even when my heart was tugging at me to be home with the babies, I made myself go spend a date night with the husband and go hang out with my friends to see what they were up to. Kind of like working out, I never regretted taking the time to connect with these important people in my life.
4 - Everything is more magical with four
Birthdays, holidays, finding turtles and eating popsicle sticks - there is just so much magic when my four littles are celebrating and discovering things with each other. It’s almost like having an embedded party every single day. The wonderment of my littles anytime we explore on each of their tiny faces makes my heart soar.
5 - Being okay with delaying pretty much anything you wanted to get done
This past weekend we just finished doing our landscaping outside after moving in SEVEN YEARS ago. The baby of the babies is almost two, and she pretty much roamed around us while we were doing yard work.
My focus needed to be on the littles inside the home, not on increasing curb appeal. While we didn’t have to, we profusely apologized to our neighbors on why we were hermits and couldn’t deal with the thorny rose bushes that were way out of control on the side of our house.
6 - Even in my worst moments, I still love being a parent
From all the jokes that I tell about parenthood trials and tribulations of how being a mom, it may sound like my life right now is a comedic sitcom. There are days where they drive me absolutely bonkers, but when their little faces come to cheer me up with a Twin Pop, I can't help but melt.
7 - The kids inherently understand there is finite time when they have other siblings
One of my biggest fears with having four was not having enough time for each of them and feeling guilty. It's still hard for me, but they see that we try to have special times with each of them. There are times when I take a kid on their own on a fun day date while Dad stays home. I know we'll have more time like this as all the kids are older. I can sense on their faces when the days are long and there just isn't enough time to spend with each of them on their own activities.
Being a mom is hard. Sometimes, the things you least expect are the things that make you grow as a person. Even at three kids, I thought I knew it all. When my fourth was added, I couldn't believe how much more I added to my repertoire. (Note: Here's what we were thinking when we added a fourth child to the mix.)