Having four or more kids isn’t for everyone, and I totally understand why. It’s expensive, messy and incredibly noisy, although everyone I speak to who comes from a big family talks about what a great time they had growing up with lots of kids in the house. And in truth, there are many good things about having four or more kids, despite the obvious challenges.
As mine grow older, I find that we’re slowly making our way out of the trenches and I’m starting to see the real perks of having a big family – the ones that will last a lifetime. Realising this definitely helps me keep my head above water on the tough days, but it also makes me super glad that we went for number three and got surprise twins.
If you’re dreaming about having a big family, I say go for it, you’ll have a ball. Sure it’s hard work but the rewards totally outweigh the cons, so don’t let anyone put you off.
In fact, here are 7 perks of having four or more kids. Write them down and stick them on the fridge if you need to:
1. The Supermum accolades
When people find out I have four kids, they tend to widen their eyes and say things like ‘I don’t know how you do it’ and ‘You must be a Supermum.’ I’m not. Usually I laugh and tell them I’m a ‘barely-hanging-in-there-mum’, and some days this is the god’s honest truth. But it’s those days that I really need to hear the accolades, even if they’re not quite on the money.
2. It can be hilarious
You have to have a sense of humour if you’ve got a big family. Luckily kids are pretty funny creatures and there are plenty of opportunities for a giggle if you can get past the chaos and mess around the place. Quite often it’s a case of ‘If you don’t laugh, you’ll cry,’ and believe me, I have fended off a lot of frustrated tears by choosing to burst into laughter instead.
3. Watching the relationships form
One reason I wanted a big family was to have all the dynamics that come with siblings growing up close together. I love watching them play their crazy games that have them falling about laughing together, forming in-jokes and important memories that will last a lifetime. Hearing them chatting away to each other as they lie in bed at night, unable to settle down and sleep, is the best feeling ever. These relationships will be forever, and long after I’m gone.
4. Life is never dull
There’s rarely a dull moment in our house, and there’s Buckley’s chance of sitting down to read a book without pictures. Or having an adult conversation without seventy billion interruptions for that matter. I rarely get to shower on my own and putting on makeup is usually punctuated by different children wanting me to solve their problems immediately. We’re always late and someone’s shoe is always lost. We’re a noisy, emotional bunch and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
5. Someone is always up for a cuddle
For me, the best thing about having kids is all the delicious cuddles you get, and when you have a big family, there’s always a kid floating around who’s up for a snuggle on the couch. This suits me down to the ground because I am often lurking around near said couch hoping for a lie down and a bit of kids’ TV. If I hover long enough, one of them always wonders over to indulge me.
6. Surprise qualities
When my kids were all under five, I remember one morning being faced with four poop-covered bottoms, all before sunrise. It was the moment I realised that raising a big family was going to need a lot of hard work and stamina, not to mention baby wipes. Since then, I like to think that as well as massive resilience, I’ve also surprised myself with how much patience I can muster, as well as the ability to spread my love and attention between four children. I’m not always great at it, but I’m on the right track. I like how this parenting lark is shaping me.
7. Watching them sleep
Once or twice a week I have days with my kids that I love and other days I count down the hours until bedtime, desperate for a break from the monotony and noise. But the sight of them all tucked up and asleep makes me forget all the day’s stress, and my heart nearly explodes with pride. It’s always enough to give me the kick I need to wake up and do it all over again the next day.