I know it’s been a while. And I know you’ve been wondering what life is really like with 4 kids.
I had 4 kids and all of a sudden no blog posts from me. How’ve I been? Well, the silence should tell you everything you need to know. I’ve been busy.
Last year brought a few new things all at once. For those of you who don’t know, I am an elementary school counselor.
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In true educator fashion, our district decided to remove our principal and assistant principal right after covid and the loss of a coworker.
They brought in a brand new admin team and that alone takes some time to adjust to. New bosses tend to come in and change everything, so you have to adjust to your new normal. I also found out I was pregnant shortly after the changes at work.
So let me bring you up to speed:
The day I had Penelope the doctors told me I had preeclampsia. My blood pressure was 170/110. No bueno. I spent a few weeks on bed rest with my feet elevated.
I’m still on two different kinds of blood pressure medicine. The doctor’s visits aren’t as frequent because the medicines are doing their job. I’ve lost most of my pregnancy weight, but the doctor said that sometimes pregnancy brings out health conditions that were dormant. Or, hopefully, in a year’s time, my blood pressure issues will be nonexistent. Only time will tell.
The kids love Penelope. Correction, they adore her. When she first came home from the hospital, she was only 5 lbs, 2 oz. The kids all loved holding her, snuggling with her, and kissing her.
My son has enjoyed having a baby sister. He talks to her and makes me use a baby voice to talk back. It’s the cutest thing. Several years ago, a coworker and friend told me not to have an odd number of children because someone will be left out. I never intended on having 4 kids, but Penelope has definitely evened things out around here.
Julian enjoys talking and playing with her. Now that she’s mobile, he doesn’t mind sharing (most) of his toys with her. One day he even cried because he didn’t want her to take a nap because he wanted her to play with him. I haven’t noticed any jealousy with the kids at all.
Daphne, my middle girl has really stepped up as a big sister. She watches the baby sometimes while I cook dinner or hop in the shower. It’s really been a joy to see how she’s evolved from baby girl to big girl.
My oldest Melody is in a world of her own. This year she started middle school and we’ve been adjusting to having multiple tests on the same day, being organized, and trying out for school plays and band.
I have 3 school-aged children and 1 baby. Want to know what life is really like with 4 kids? Busy is an understatement. Check out my Instagram for more day-to-day updates.
Bringing Penelope home was NOT a smooth transition.
I was dealing with the disappointment of not getting a VBAC, being annoyed about bed rest, recovering from a 4th c-section, and just the normal postpartum stuff.
My mom stayed with us for a little over a week and she was amazing. Around that time, my husband started getting more intense migraines and started to feel like something was off. In between checking my blood pressure, he started checking his too.
I was annoyed that it seemed like all he wanted to talk about was his. I was still trying to process all of my feelings surrounding Penelope’s birth and I had zero empathy.
Honestly, my capacity for much of anything was pretty much nonexistent.
Postpartum with 4 kids is no easy feat. Justin took the kids to and from school. Since I was on bed rest, all I really did was pick out the kids’ clothes for the week so mornings could go a little smoother. My mother-in-law helped with lunches and groceries.
We felt like two ships passing in the night, so we finally sat down and talked. I started to have more compassion and I was really impressed by the way he stepped up. I was really worried about whether or not he’d be able to handle the day-to-day operations of getting everyone to school—mornings can be pretty stressful.
Date nights these days are pretty non-existent. We had a really great date for our anniversary last New Year’s Eve. We tell ourselves that this is just a temporary phase and we even daydream together about what we’ll do and where we’ll go when the kids grow up.
For now, we just carve out time to talk at night and to do little special things for each other.
I honestly don’t have time to hang out with friends much anymore. When I get free time, I want to do something quiet and alone, like getting my nails done. On my birthday I took the day off from work to get a facial, massage, and manicure.
When I’m home with the kids, I like to have movie nights with them, talk to them or sneak off and take a nap with the baby.
I’m really lucky to have some amazing friends that are content texting me or sending me funny videos or memes.
On occasion, I get to hang out with a friend, but usually with the baby or a few kids in tow.
The busiest time of day
Getting out of the house to go anywhere tends to be the most stressful. Most days that’s work/school. Believe it or not, my son is the easiest to get out the door, but sometimes he has a meltdown about one thing or another.
My girls tend to distract each other by talking, playing, or playing with the cats (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I let my kids adopt 2 kittens. What was I thinking?!)
Usually, the baby is sleeping still in the morning so I only have to worry about 3 kids–sometimes she wakes up and I nurse her before I leave, which leaves me with only minutes to get ready.
If we’re all getting ready to go somewhere, my stress level is usually pretty high. My husband and oldest daughter compete for who can be the slowest. Everyone has curly hair, so even a simple style like a ponytail still takes some effort.
One of the ways I take care of myself is getting my nails done. Visiting the salon is my quiet time.
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Overall, having 4 kids has been a joy.
My husband I enjoy watching them play together, and love on each other. Some days are more challenging than others, but we are all adjusting to our new normal. Our home is rarely quiet, but it is full of love. We wouldn’t have it any other way.