4 in 5

Posted by  | Wednesday, August 19, 2009  at 9:10 AM  
Kate 4, Owen 2 1/2, Zane 8 mo, Liam 5 1/2

Hi, my name is Jen and I had my 4 kids within 5 years. My first, Liam, was 16 months old when my second, Kate, was born. Liam was almost 3 and Kate was 19 months old when Owen was born. (We had 3 under three for about a month.) We waited for a while to add a forth little joy to our family because Owen had many medical problems that consumed a lot of his first year and a half of his life. When my forth, Zane, was born Liam was almost 5, Kate 3 1/2 and Owen was 22 months old.

I have to say there are definite moments of craziness, but mostly it has worked out well for us. We did hope to have our children all close together in age, despite what all the "You do know what causes that?" comments we've received imply. There were several families we knew and really admired who had done it that way. Their kids were great friends, going through all the stages of life together—toddlerhood, elementary, high school, etc. While you're doing diapers you might as well "really do diapers" right? My siblings were more spaced out and I feel like my brother and I had a completely different growing-up experience than my younger two sisters who were 6 and 9 years younger than me. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but my husband and I desired the closeness of being close in age for our kids.

And of course all of the above sounds well and good if it were really our choice. Our lives and our family are in God's hands. His plan may not be our plan. His ways are higher than our ways. Whether you struggle with infertility, have an "unplanned" pregnancy, lose a child, or just don't agree on spacing, in the end your family will be exactly as God intended.

Are we done? That waits to be seen. But right now this stage in life is keeping us busy. I wouldn't trade it for the world. Like the other ladies have said, the kids play great together (most of the time) and they really are each other's best friends. I don't know if it will always be that way, but all through life they will always have each other.

Right now I have 2 in diapers, buckle 3 carseats, carry one (or two) into the library, have a line of small children holding hands across the parking lot, cut up food for 2, have 3 sleeping in the same bedroom with the same bedtime, often have 3 napping simultaneously and bathe my children every night. Okay that last one isn't true. They're lucky if they get a bath once a week.

I think the trick to having many small children is realizing you have many small children. That means tempering your expectations. You aren't going to get anywhere fast. You are going to be knee deep in diapers and laundry. You are going to have times they are all crying at once. You aren't going to be able to do everything, and that's okay, because there will be other times you feel like the luckiest woman in the world.

Is 4 kids 5 and under doable? Definitely.

Like they always say, "They grow up way too fast." I'm just one mom trying to cherish the moments.


Terra Jones said...

Beautiful children! How fun does that picture look :)

...baths once a week - we're all about it, lol

Meg said...

You are my new hero :) I love how you said not to expect to get anywhere fast -- I struggle with that having only 2 little ones! But I'd love to have all our children close together as well, if the Lord sees fit :) And baths, yeah, only if you can see the dirt :) Its better for their skin, anyways, if you don't dry them out with baths every day :) Thank you for your encouragement!

Courtney said...

UGH I completely agree with the "you know what causes that" comment. I felt like looking at my inlaws and just saying "yes, I do know and I actually enjoy it enough to not just do it to procreate!" I didn't do that, but it's always in the back of my mind ;-)

Krista said...

Thanks for your post. I love how you said it all. We have "3 under 3" - well, for another 2 weeks :) - and I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. However, there are days when I mourn not being able to be involved in every little thing with each of them. Lydia was 2 1/2 when the twins were born and I got to experience all of life with her - each meal, each new discovery, play, etc., etc. It was wonderful. Now, I'm just busy - totally enjoying every moment and realizing I have small children - but I can't be a part of everything for each of them. I say this for encouragement for those who do not have children really close together - you have more time to invest in each one individually.

noahandlylasmommi said...

Thanks for sharing. My kids are 6 and almost 3 and after a miscarriage last year we tried for a year to get pregnant and I am now 12 weeks along. Anyhow I have had times where I am really disappointed that it took so long because I really didnt want my kids to have a 6 1/2 yr age difference but you are so right, it is all in God's timing and plans. Great post!

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