Embracing the Chaos: Four under Five
It feels so strange to say that I am a mother of four. FOUR. Less than five years ago I wasn’t officially anyone’s mother yet. Now, I have four. When I was pregnant with the last one, Noelle, so many people asked me or just assumed that she was an accident. I guess that happens more than I think. But, I’ve been successfully preventing myself from getting pregnant since I was fifteen. Why now would I would have an “accident” when I already have three young children and know all-too-well how demanding the job of motherhood is? I get it, to a lot of people, an accident is more logical than being that crazy person who actually wants four kids. Especially four so close in age.
Fair enough, it’s a lot of work. A LOT. Our third child, Eve, who we call “the bulldozer” has made us babyproof our house in ways our previous two energetic and precocious children never did. Including, eliminating all chairs from the premises so that everyone must stand while eating. Unless, of course, the bulldozer’s seatbelt is securely fastened and her tray table is in place. When they want to eat in peace, my older two children beg me to put the bulldozer in her high chair. Before she comes out I have to issue a warning that all food must be crammed into mouths because I am unleashing the beast.
So there’s stuff like that, and that’s only accounting for three. But you’ve heard it before, if you can have three, you can have ten. Or something like that. And I think there is some truth to that. The first rocks your world because it changes your entire lifestyle. Two drastically changes the ratio of adults to children. Three and you are outnumbered. But four is, in some ways, just more of the same. It’s still more diapers, more baths, more crying, more everything, But in terms of the transition, it’s not such a big change.
I’m alone with all four of them for at least a few hours each day, usually during breakfast and dinner. So, I’m also cooking, possibly trying to get them ready for school and out the door, and a million other things. Still, I’m begining to embrace the chaos. It’s actually pretty fun if you can get in the right headspace. Some days it’s downright insanity. Everyone poops at the same time. Or, the bulldozer is attacking her big sister while the baby is having a meltdown and dinner is burning. Other days, I throw dinner in the oven and the five of us just snuggle up on the couch. We talk about our days and get hygge with it until Paul gets home.
I never know what kind of a morning or evening it’s going to be and I’m so outnumbered I’ve started to just embrace the uncertainty. If it’s a crazy mess, I try to laugh and just enjoy it. I remind myself that just when I start to reach my breaking point something will change. The baby will fall asleep, my oldest will do something that reminds me he’s getting older and more capable every day. Someone will kiss me, tell me they love me and make me forget how much work it all is. I think this is true whether you have one child or ten. For me me, it’s four, and it feels fine.