Wednesday, March 11, 2009

You have 4 kids???

I realize now I should have just 'made time' for this blog. Now I have a moment; and I have a million things to write about. I'm trying to narrow it down to 'one'. Beware... loong post! :0

One blogger (you'll know who you are!) recently posted about people's comments/opinions on family size... She happens to have 4 children, so do I. Much of what she experiences, so do I and vice versa. I, along with my husband, happened to have 4 kids in a 'tad' under 4 years. Yes, you read that right! (Our oldest wasn't quite 4 years old when our youngest was born) Not only did we hear comments about having '4' kids, we also heard about them being SO close together. I'm not sure if people realize what exactly they are saying. Nor if they understand what it means to a Mom.

First of all, I realize just how BLESSED we are to have 4 healthy, normal, wonderful.... children. All our children were conceived and delivered naturally with no complications what so ever. My heart goes out to those who CAN NOT! I don't think she'll mind me mentioning her on here, so I'll go ahead with it. My SIL has battled infertility all her married life. They are blessed with 2 cutie pies; through adoption. I, never having faced that battle had no idea what she experienced those past years. To sit there while her brother's wife(s) got pregnant at just the 'mere' thought of it.... I can't imagine (actually I know what she thought, as she told me later) I believe emotional and mental pain may far exceed physical pain.

To be asked if we know what causes a pregnancy is humorous and irritating at the same time. Occasionally, I'd take the bait and play with it! "Just how exactly does one get pregnant?" OR maybe start with a more graphic, accurate description (that usually ends the conversation fast!) :0 With each pregnancy I became more 'used to' the remarks, yet with each pregnancy, it hurt a little more. These remarks come not from people we knew (which we heard plenty from) but STRANGERS we met on the town!

When I look around I realize not many people have 4 kids, whether by choice or not. Supposedly the 'normal' amount of kids is 2!?! My grandparents all come from a 'hefty' family of at least 5 or more. Maybe its just me and my phobia of people's opinions; but I feel that if we have a 'bad day' people look at me and think OR actually say, 'oohh, she has a hard time dealing with 4 kids...tsk, tsk' or whatever thought comes to their mind. Here's a news flash! Yes, we do have bad days! (so do people with only 1 kid) Yes, my day is usually busy/full. (show me a SAHM that isn't busy, even with 1 kid) I have 4 kids to tend to, meaning I have (on average) 2 more mouths to feed, 2 more sets of clothes to wash, 2 more bodies to keep an eye on. But I also have 2 more smiles to see, 2 more hearts to love, 2 more bodies to hug, 2 more blessings and so on! There's no denying it, 4 kids is not a piece of cake... but I've watched parents of 1 or 2 kids struggle just like me.. its a fact of life. Child(ren) + Parenting= A joyous struggle.

We are thrilled with our family of 4! As for having them close together: #1-was it planned that way? #2-ever heard of B/C? #3-don't you think you're short changing your children by having so many, so close? #4-wow, another baby, so soon after the last?... I could go on and on... My replies: #1 Yes, we wanted our children closer together (verses spread years apart) #2-Yes we heard of B/C (we never had use for it) #3- WHAT ARE YOU THINKING?! (this question gets to me the most! Beware) When we had another child we STILL kept the other ones; meaning they are still a part of our lives. Obviously we can't spend ALL day focused on just ONE child, yet we love each of them dearly (and equally). I've seen only children go to daycare ALL day, come home, eat supper and go to bed (where's the quality time there: the drive home from daycare?!) I better stop with this question :) #4- Yes! Another baby, are we so lucky!?

I realize some people prefer to have just 1 child, some prefer to wait 2+ year before having more, some prefer to NOT have kids, some prefer to adopt instead, some prefer to stay at home, some prefer to work (by choice) ... but just because people do things differently than you do, doesn't make them/you right or wrong! If people would only think before they speak.. can you imagine how nice it would be?!

I wouldn't trade my 4 kids for ANYTHING! Nor would I change the time frame in which they came into our lives. For me, having 4 kids close together has way more benefits than disadvantages! I know people will forever comment on things they don't agree with, and I need to learn to take them with a grain of salt.... I'm know how lucky I am to have our 4 kids, no matter how good/bad the day. I know I'm not a 'perfect' Mom, nor will my kids ever be 100% perfect.. Yet I know they've filled our hearts and lives with so much joy, happiness and love... and no remark from a rude stranger will change my love for them!


  1. Well said!

    You're a great mother Heather. To 1, to 4 to 10. You are a mom. I am lucky to have you as a friend. And your kids are lucky to have you for a mom. And Benjamin for a dad. :-)

  2. Thank You Lainers! You know what your friendship means to me!

  3. Ditto to Alaina's comment. You are so blessed (which you already know) I read Amber's post on this and didn't comment. It really amazes me that people feel that they have a right to offer their "advice" on a personal matter like this. I get a lot of very personal questions about why we don't have children yet and those hurt just as bad. Q:"How long have you been married?" Q:"What is taking you so long to have kids?....look at us or look at so and so they have a whole bunch already." Q:"Do you know what you need to do to have kids?...maybe you just aren't having enough s@*." Uummm. Yeah. That part of our relationship really isn't anyone's business. And please don't take this the wrong way but a couple's decision to the amount of children that they want really isn't even up to them. God is the one who has the only say in that. We would love to have a whole mittful of kids and wanted them as soon as we got married but with trying close to everything know to man and DR it hasn't worked out that way yet. The same thing could be with a couple that choses not to have children...ever hear of b/c failing and SURPRISE! they are a mommy and daddy w/o ever intending to be. There are also those who maybe only have 1 or 2 but because of something medical are unable to have more even though they desire to. Also the "older" ladies who think that their childbearing days are over and think that they are even going through m/p and they end up with children that grow up with their grandchildren. I don't pretend to even understand what God's whole plan is because it is so much greater than me but maybe someone close to us will pass away or will get pregnant way to young and we'll end up raising their family or maybe we'll have 1 naturally and s/he will have some rare disease that will use up all of our income and we won't be able to afford to take care of any other kids, or maybe we just are suppose to be "aunt" and "uncle" with no children of our own I don't know but I know that God knows what we can handle and what is best. He knew that you would be a wonderful mom to 4 little lives and blessed you with them. When others make insensitive comments remember that they don't see the whole picture or what God sees.

  4. Jodelle- thanks for your comment. I sent you an email.. I can't even pretend to understand your situation; yet we are thankful that God knows's not always easy to accept, but it is best for us! You are a sweetie.. is that because you're related to me, or because you spend so much time with my dear friend..your SIL ?! :)

    **Ben, Heather & Kids

  5. Ditto to Jodelle's comment.
    And you can see my comment on the "other blogger's" post!;0)

  6. You already know my thoughts:0) You probably said it more eloquently though...your kids are lucky to have you, and each other.

  7. To each their own I guess...
    I never thought I'd send my kid to day care. However, my husband is laid off and barely has a job. You do what you have to in your situation. No, she doesn't go all day every day. Even when we're both working our normal full-time hours she only goes 12 hours a week. Does it hurt to have to send her? Absolutely. Do I think about her all day at work? Absolutely. If it was possible for me to be a sahm again, would I? Absolutely. Life happens and you do what you have to. As for having our kids close -- you mentioned infertility. We didn't think our kids would be over 2.5 years apart. Unfortunately, life doesn't always give you a choice. I'd have a 2 month old right now if I were able to keep the baby I so badly wanted. People say stuff because they don't understand. Everyone has their own opinions and choices...sometimes you just simply take what you can get! I know people should just not comment and I know it's none of their business. My point to all of this is -- you had your kids close together and people make snide remarks. I will have 2 kids over 2.5 years apart, and we get remarks too. I hear it about sending her to day care, how spoiled she is because she has been an "only child" for so long and on and on. In fact, when (after 3 years of marriage) I got pregnant we heard "wow, didn't think you guys had it in you." and "we thought it would never happen" and on and on. Both sides of the story, people will comment. Because the choice you've made is slightly different from their own.
    Ok -- didn't mean to write a book here. Just my thoughts... :)