Top 10 Things That Happen When You Have 4 Kids

By today’s standards, we have a big family.

We have 4 kids–not very many when you consider the broad scope of human history.  But today, it’s kind of a big deal.


When people find out I’m a mom of 4 (beauties), first they look at me like I have a horn protruding from my forehead, which is  followed by a slightly muffled gasp, which I suppose means: You’re crazy. (Well, we are a little.)

The most common response that people say out loud is: Gosh, I have 2 kids and I can barely handle them!

Yes, parenting is hard. Parenting 2 is hard. Parenting 4 is hard. And, I’m pretty sure parenting 1 is hard, since I was an only child–my mom is raising her arms right now and belting out an AMEN.

But there’s just something different once you get beyond 3 kids. Things get a little tricky.

Here are the Top 10 things that change when you have 4 kids:

10. You cannot fit your whole family into any car that’s remotely cool. It’s minivans all the way–for years. The first time I was ever called Ma’am was in a drive-thru window at Starbucks, a few days after I started driving the MomMobile. Mind you, I was 28 at the time. Sheesh.

9You can no longer fit your family into 1 hotel room. Two double beds and a sleeper sofa just aren’t going to cut it. So go ahead and add that extra room to the budget when you’re making your vacation plans–or not, because…

8. You can no longer fly on airplanes. Well, I guess  some of you could, but for most, 6 plane tickets is equivalent to feeding your 13-year-old son for a month. Dinner wins.

7. Four bedrooms or bust. A 3-bedroom house just won’t work anymore, unless your kids are the same gender and can share bedrooms.

6. You always double a recipe. Always.

5.  If you remember to do something for some of your kids, you’re inevitably forgetting to do something for your other kid(s). 

4.  Your kids will never have matching socks. Ever.

3. Your kids will never, ever agree on what movie to watch. Ok, this probably happens in every family, BUT the more people there are, the more opinionated the room becomes. Just saying.

2. You’ll have a greater chance for heartbreak. The more kids you have, the greater the chance that someone (or two…or three) will break your heart along the way, but…

1. You’ll have a greater chance for JOY.

A wise friend once told me #2 and #1.  I didn’t understand it at the time, because I was just starting to have kids, but now it resonates. There are things my kids do or say sometimes that make me feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. There are things I say to them that I later regret.  That’s heartbreaking. And I’m sure there’s only more of that to come as they get older.

BUT, the JOY multiples with each one. The way they look when they’re sleeping, the times they cheer for one another, the times they win poetry contests and geography bees, the times they laugh, the inside jokes, the times they still say: I Love You.

I get those times x 4.





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