Having 4 kids is no joke! People often ask me what it is like and how I manage. My retort is quite often that it is like a circus. Our house is noisy and quite often chaotic, but it is also fun and never dull so what are the pros and cons of having 4 kids and how do us parents of 4 children manage? Find out in this post.
You might also want to read A day in the life of being mummy to 4 kids
Is having 4 kids too many?
Well there is a question... It is a question that I am often asked by those with 3 kids who are wondering whether to expand their family any further. It is a tricky one to answer as someone who has 4 kids as of course this is my reality and I would never think that my kids were too many...
However, what I will tell you is that it can be very difficult having 4 kids; not least because the amount of times I hear the call of mama everyday is sometimes very overwhelming. It makes sense that having more children leads to more demands on the parents. When you have 4 children their needs and wants don't decrease, but the number of parents also doesn't increase so you do need to be prepared for that...
Having 4 kids can also be extremely rewarding and with the increase in demand and stress does also come an increase in cuddles and smiles.
As with anything there are pros and cons to having 4 kids and below I will run through them all.
Pros and Cons of having a 4th child
Pros of having 4 kids
Cons of having 4 kids
The kids have ready made play mates and there is always someone around to play with
Laundry - there is a lot of laundry to be done. I am talking two loads per day
A family with 4 children is always lively and so the house is full of life and fun
Balancing the needs of all the children and giving everyone the attention and 1:1 time they need is difficult and that does create mum guilt
The kids develop a level of patience that you don't always see in young children as they simply have to get used to waiting and not always having all of the attention
Life is very busy; even if each child only has one piece of homework they need help with and one afternoon activity I am always running!
More kids = more cuddles, more smiles and more fun.
The noise is crazy! When there are 4 kids in the family the house is loud. Having 4 kids playing together is a noisy business and it can be very overwhelming as a parent especially if you are not used to large family life
The children learn early on how to share and take turns with others and can learn lots of skills from their older siblings
Financially having 4 kids can be very tough. Even just school uniforms can be a huge expense and it can be harder to do some activities such as going to theme parks as family deal tickets don't cover families of 6.
This is perhaps the thing I find hardest about having four kids. I feel guilty that I can't always give every one of them what they need. I don't mean materially as we are fortunate and honestly that isn't want they will remember or what will make them decent, well rounded people. No I worry that they don't get enough emotionally from me as I am spread very thin.
Recently one of our little girls has been identified as having some developmental difficulties. We always knew that she had special needs, but they have become more apparent recently and it is causing her issues at school etc... This means I need to devote more time to supporting her and this has sparked that mum guilt again. Am I doing enough for all of the children? Do they all get enough of me?
This, for me, is the biggest challenge of having four kids. Overcoming the doubt that I am doing well enough and just being the best mummy that I can be. I write this part not to put you off having four children, but to be honest and to not pretend that it is all fun and games.
Ultimately each family can only decide what is right for them and although I do find it hard having four kids I of course wouldn't change any one of them for the world and on balance the craziness is worth it just to see them all together and watch them grow.