Going Against the Norm

We are having another baby. Yes, another. That makes the fourth for our crew in six years. And luckily for all of us…this one will be making it’s arrival in September versus our other three that arrived in July in 2012, 2014 and 2016. Nope, that whole three July babies wasn’t planned either (but you better believe I get that question on the regular!). And it was also impossible to find a stick figure family of six, in case you were wondering!

While it may seem crazy in this day and age to have four kids, it has been the number that my husband and I had in mind when we started dating at the ripe old ages of 21 and 19. But we were somewhat realistic as kid-less teenagers hopelessly in love discussing our future and also said…we will take it one at a time. There are a lot of reasons that could come up along the journey to completing our family that could have made us change our minds and we were fully aware of that. From health issues to financial issues to just plain not wanting or feeling like four was our number. Surprisingly/luckily (however you look at it…), we have had healthy pregnancies and kids and feel like we are in a good place financially that we were ready to complete our family this year.

I realize from an outsiders point of view, we might look crazy. Our oldest will be starting kindergarten just a month before our youngest makes his debut into the world…which is #cuealltheemotions. Add on the fact we are just starting to embark on coordinating activity schedules for our older kids and on top of that, both have demanding full time jobs outside of the home. How in the world will we ever stay sane with four kids, six and under is the question that I’m sure most people that hear I’m pregnant again are thinking.

But here’s what you need to know. We are excited. Elated actually. I would argue that this pregnancy has been even more fun this time around because our older kids “get it.” Meaning they are SO excited about their little brother. They give him funny names regularly. Ask to listen to his heartbeat or “see” him. They talk about what they will do when he gets here and the “boys club” side of the house once he gets older and big sister gets a room with her own bathroom. That makes my heart burst.

My husband and I know the crazy of what our life might look like. But somehow, we have it somewhat figured out between the two of us how to get everyone out the door (fed and dressed), go to work, feed them dinner, hustle to a few activities a week and still find that QT to spend as a family. Are some days a complete disaster? YES. Absolutely. Are some days the best, and I couldn’t be happier of the family we have built? YES. Absolutely. I pray everyday that the love that fills our house will mold these little people into kids/teens/adults with a good heart and a passion for caring about themselves and others – but at the end of the day… it’s our crazy. Not yours.

Speaking of that, some of the best questions and comments that we have heard so far (they started in the OB office while getting my blood drawn…so no, there are no bounds to these questions!) —

  1. Was this all part of the plan? Yep, it’s crazy because we are aware of how babies are made. We have made three of them.
  2. Wait , do you actually want four kids? It’s crazy, right? Welcome to our crazy world – some days are awesome, others are insane – but it’s a world we love and cherish and are so thankful for. And I will say we make a pretty dang good team as parents.
  3. You’re going to quit your job, right (directed at me as the mom, of course)? Nope. So here’s the deal. Do I enjoy leaving my babies? No. But it works for us. We have amazing care for them during the day, my oldest is starting kindergarten, and I’m pretty sure if I was going to quit I would have done that a few kids ago. For our family, this working mom gig works for all of us.
  4. I could never afford four kids. Ever. Here’s the thing (and I work in finance…), you can. It’s all about choices. We are choosing to have four kids. We are aware that there are sacrifices and decisions to be had with that. Do we go on extravagant vacations? No. We don’t have the fanciest car or the newest house. Our kids don’t have the nicest clothes or toys, and we operate our house on a budget. They don’t get everything they want when they want and actually have to do chores to help out. Will our kids survive? Yes. I actually think they will thrive (but that’s just my opinion!).
  5. You’ll never be able to manage it with four kids and two working parents – too many activities… I get it. Seasoned parents…we are NOT there yet. We are on the cusp of all this with elementary school starting. But what comes with a big family are those hard decisions and sometimes sacrifices that we have to make. Everyone will not be able to do three activities at a time. But we are more the parenting style “run outside and play with your siblings.” While that won’t work forever, we are pretty creative and we will figure it out – I’m guessing with help from our tribe as well.
  6. Ahh, another boy!? Wouldn’t two boys and two girls have been perfect? If you’ve met our daughter, Maddie…all I can say is that I think she’s enough girl for our family. She is actually the most excited for another brother! Likely so she can boss him around like she does everyone else – ha!

Instead here’s what you can say to those crazy people adding another kid to their crew…

  1. Girl, you’re crazy but I’m SO excited for you!
  2. Sending you prayers for a healthy pregnancy and baby!
  3. You do you and if a family of six (or enter any number here) is what works for you – get it girl!!!

I will end with saying, what is the “norm” for you in anything in life is not always the “norm” for someone else. We all have that normal that we are comfortable with and have the capacity for. I think the most important thing is finding your own capacity and rocking it — no matter what others have to say. What I’ve learned in my almost six years as a mom is there is no one perfect mom or perfect family or perfect life. Everyone has their own version of crazy and this just happens to be ours — and we cannot wait!

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