For anyone whose thinking about adding to their brood, there is always so much to consider. The rational head of baby making has a great deal to say – albeit my rational head didn’t get much say – I wanted four and that was all there was to it! But if you are more considered than I, here’s some things you might what to know when considering the jump to four.
Number 1. It’s noisy. I mean really, really noisy! I would not describe myself as a quiet, reserved wall flower type of character, and noise is not something I would have ever thought would be a concern, but wow, my house can get really, really loud. Even when we are having ‘quiet time’ it’s noisy. Between the laughs, screams, devices, noisy toys, musical instruments and general chat, I often pity my neighbours. So be prepared for the volume.
2. There is always someone to hang out with. And in the same vein, there is always someone to fall out with. My lot drive me bonkers in that they are always one extreme or the other. They are either playing beautifully, sharing, looking out for each other…or…well, or the opposite! And the flip from friends to enemies can happen in a matter of seconds.
3. There is competition. Every morning, I adjudicate the ‘who gets to sit next to Chess game’ (our youngest) reasoning that it was Belle’s turn yesterday so should be Griffin’s today and Dalton’s for tea. They don’t get to feed Chess, or even particularly interact with her…it’s just a competition that seems to have become embedded for no apparent reason, and whilst on one hand it’s lovely they all want to sit next to their baby sister, on the other it’s a source of huge discourse and one which tests my patience even before I’ve had a cup of tea in the mornings! Seating arrangements are just an example. Whatever it might be, there is always competition between one child and another, and it can send a mummy slightly potty!
4. There is enough love to go round. I worried so much with baby number four that my third child would feel left out or jealous of her. With the journey we had, Griffin (who is affectionately known as LBB – our Little Bonus Ball) was, I thought, my last child, And so I definitely babied him more than the others. When I was pregnant with Chess, his relationship with her was the only one which I was really worried about. But I needn’t have stressed. If anything, he is more loving and giving to her than the older two. The love from me to him (& of course the others) has not depreciated – if anything it has grown, so please don’t think you’ll run out! It’s busy and it’s hard to find 1:1 time for them all every day, but we manage it and we encourage their relationships too by setting them joint tasks or games. As many challenges as I know lie ahead for me, my children feeling that here isn’t enough love to go round will never be one of them.
5. Your tolerance to crumbs increases. It has too.
6. There is an ginormous amount of washing. If I don’t do at least one wash a day, every day, the wheels will come off and someone will not have what they need. Even on holiday, I wash!
7. It’s expensive! I know that sounds obvious but it’s worth mention. We had anticipated the cost of a bigger car, feeding four hungry mouths, holidays etc, but those are not the things you really notice. It’s the little things. An ice cream may only be £2 but when you times it by four it quickly adds up. A bottle of water, go on a bouncy castle, pocket money, four lots of money for school/ nursery events, etc etc. It’s is pretty much a tenner minimum a hit. And it adds up fast.
8. It’s wonderful. If you are considering more children, my advice is to ignore points 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 & 7 above and just do it!