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I’m not sure why people choose to put their two cents in when it comes to how many kids you push out your hoohaw, but they do. When you have one kid, everyone is so supportive and lovey-dovey, congratulating and so on. Two kids and they tell you how perfect it is and you should stop now…why have more? Three kids and you start getting asked if it was planned or not, and people start getting suspicious. Four or more kids and people just assume you’ve lost your damn mind, or you are auditioning for your own reality tv show. They will be quick to tell you that you have your hands full as you try to wrangle four kids into the grocery store. They won’t actually help, they just wanted to remind you in case you forgot. They start using the amount of kids you have as an excuse. Like–it’s ok, she has four kids, she can’t help it. It’s suddenly a handicap.
I always wanted to have a large family…that was when I didn’t have any, and my body wasn’t stretched out from having kids. When my husband and I were first dating, at the ripe ole age of 16/17, we were talking about kids. Why? I’m not sure. However, we did agree on four kids back then. When we had Ethan, we were so excited and so in love, things couldn’t get any better. Then we got pregnant with Pennelope; a boy and a girl, we would have the perfect family. Then we started turning into an infomercial, “But wait, there’s more!” By the time Piper came along, we now had a four year old, a two year old, and a baby. We were out numbered, sleep deprived, and done. We decided this was it, we had an amazing life with some amazing and beautiful kids.
But wait, there’s more!
I remember the day so clearly. I had been feeling just out of it for about a week. I wasn’t late for my period yet, but something didn’t feel right. So I drove myself to the dollar store and bought a test. That afternoon, I slipped away to the bathroom, locked the door, and waited 3 very long and stressful minutes. Sure enough, my intuitions were right, and inside me was our soon-to-be baby number four. Unlike the other pregnancies, this one was completely and truly a surprise. We just weren’t ready. We had agreed we were done. Our feelings over the next couple days were a mix of fear, excitement, anxiety, and love. Fast forward 11 months, and we now have a beautiful baby boy, Elliot. Our family is NOW complete, and I couldn’t be happier. That said, living a life with four kids is bound to have lots of surprises. Lots of love, laughs, tears, hugs, kisses, a few good f-bombs, and “what are you doing” mixed in. So if you are ready to take that next step and bump your family from a little crazy to a lot crazy, then here are some essential guidelines to living life with four kids.
Survival guide to life with four kids
- Life with four kids is pretty similar to life with four raptor. Remember Owen from Jurassic World, and how he would get the kids–I mean raptors–moving? Well that’s what it’s like leaving the house to go anywhere. The dialogue is pretty spot on. It’s a complete nightmare.
- Living in a house full of raptors. Remember this scene? Well this is all about finding a sitter.
- I say these about a half dozen times a day.
- You will need lots and lots and lots of snacks. I don’t even know where they put all the food they eat, because they should be like 500 pounds by now.
- You will NEED a baby carrier, because you are now completely overwhelmed by kids, and, well you have to at least make it look like you don’t sit around watching Netflix and drinking wine all day.
- Make sure you have a stock pile of coffee and wine. I don’t really care at what point in the day you drink them, but you will need them.
- Your house will NEVER be clean. The second you clean the living room, those little tornadoes will have ruined it.
- You will not have a limb to yourself. You will always have a child on your arms or legs; it just is what it is.
- Just figure that if anything can go wrong, it will.
- Get used to living off of 3 hours of sleep.
- Get used to sticky messes. Seriously, everything is going to be sticky.
- Buy yourself numerous laundry baskets, because they will fill up, quickly. You will also forget which ones are dirty and which are clean.
- Invest in a really good double stroller that will grow with you. Wrestling four young kids around with you is hard work, but it’s easier to control the older two when the younger two are strapped down on a wheeled apparatus. I absolutely love my double stroller.
- Learn to laugh. I find that laughing about the chaos, helps me get through everything.
- Schedules, planners, google/apple calendar…find some way to keep track of the endless appointments, games, recitals, and so on. You will need a system for your sanity.
- Learn to ignore the constant remarks made by bystanders, as they judge how much of a Hotmess you are.
- Get out!!! Do not just sit at home sipping iced coffee while the kids run amok. Make that coffee to go, hike up those yoga pants and face the big bad world. Take them to a park or someplace, trust me you will need it.
- Most of all EMBRACE your new Hotmess life and just go with the flow.
There are a lot of things that go into surviving life with four kids, but even moreso is the amount of love you will have. I didn’t think my heart could be so big, but it really is. These four messy and rambunctious kids are mine, and they are the best thing to happen to my husband and I. Not a day goes by that I’m not laughing. I get to grow old with the most amazing person, and watch these four little raptors turn into man-devouring dinosaurs….or turn into four successful adults, the jury is still out on that one. The point is, I can’t wait for all the memories we will be making. One day I know my house will be silent and clean, and those are the days that scare me.
Benefits to having four kids
- Constant laughter
- Additional helpers…the more you have the more help you have. I’ll let you know when mine actually start helping
- Lots and lots of love (This is by far the best benefit)
- Constant workouts (Who needs to go to the gym when you have four kids that your constantly chasing after?)
- More reason to buy wine
- More reason to buy coffee
- An excuse to look like a Hotmess
- Lots of memories to be made
- Your kids will always have someone to play with
- You are keeping teachers and doctors in business
- Extra kisses and hugs
Well that’s it, these are all my reasons why having four or more kids is chaotic, but full of love. I will take a crazy Hotmess life over a silent and dull one any day. Yes, I have four kids. Yes, I know it’s a lot, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.*Things you may or may not need to get by with four kids*