Please note I am sleep deprived so probably unreasonable.
For the last 24hrs I have been looking after my good friends 6 DC ages 12/8/5/3/ 15mths and 6weeks old.
The older ones have been brilliant but after looking after the two little ones I am exhausted and wondering how the hell I can go through these age ranges again.
The 6week old doesn't do much in the day just eatand sleep...great until last night and he was awake all night, I think I have previously blocked out how bad babies can sleep and I am dreading having to go through night wakings all over again, nenever had I had a happy time than when my 3DC started sleeping through and I have no idea how I'll cope with DC4 at night, DC2 was awful never slept and screamed all night for 2yrs.
The 15mth old is gorgeous but is into everything and doesn't understand anything she is told, obviously I'm going to have to do this all over again too and that means baby proofing and having eyes in the back of your head.
This whole experience has left me feeling really down about my whole pregnancy and am now dreading having a newborn/young toddler again.
Disclaimer this pregnancy is also a surprise and not planned although until now I was ecstatic as I was due to have a hysterectomy for health reasons.
I think you have just scared yourself by having so many kids to look after. I know you said the older ones were fine, but IME shere numbers do make a difference. My DS1(10) is currently staying with my parents and having 'only' 3 is so much easier tbh...
You will be fine. Yes, it will be hard work. Yes, at times you will be frazzled. You will just have to keep going, one day at a time, until you come out the other side.
FWIW, I think 4 is a brilliant number of kids to have (obviously) and my youngest is now 3 so there are times I feel quite chilled now . 'Twas not always like that...
Wishing you a chilled-out baby when the time comes x.
I agree-looking after someone else's kids is always different. You're very aware that they are someone else's and out of their usual Routine. I've no doubt 4 young children will be tough, and that combination of having a newborn baby who may wake frequently and a toddler who needs watching every second is exhausting. But tbh I think it would be worse to have bigger age gaps and be returning to Babydom after experiencing freedom! At least with 4 under 5yrs, yours will all be similar stages which I think longer term is far preferable. Good luck anyway
Do you have support? It is hard with 4, especially when the age range is small. But you do find a groove that works for you. The key is putting as little pressure as possible on yourself. Accept that things will be hectic, the house may be untidy for a while and you may be late constantly sometimes.
Don't expect too much of yourself, I prioritised tasks. DC needs come first, fed, clothed, clean and safe. Then sleep! Then housework/other tasks. My first mistake was thinking I shouldn't rest until housework was done. Rest is secondary only to DC, as long as the house isn't unsafe or a health hazard then it can wait. You can cope with anything as long as you have sleep.
You will be fine, hard does not equal impossible. Your own beautiful baby will make it easier to bear until things settle. They will settle!