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Tell me about having 4 DC's

(44 Posts)
SausageSmuggler Sat 22-Sep-12 09:41:24

DH and I have decided that ultimately we would like 4 DC's, at the mom

SausageSmuggler Sat 22-Sep-12 09:45:40

Grr DS decided to attack me and my phone! the moment we have DS (2) and DD (6m). I've said that I want to wait until DD is at least 2 before TTC again but just wondering what peoples experiences are with 4 DC's? How do you spread yourself around them all? How do you manage practically etc?

susiedaisy Sat 22-Sep-12 09:47:52

My brother has four children and its hard work they struggle to find time to given each child individual attention (although they do their best) it's very expensive they have had to change their car and build an extension on their house which my brother affords by doing every bit of overtime there is which means he's often out of the house for 14 hours a day 6 days a week, they also get little time together just as a couple, having said all that they adore their kids and are very family orientated, number four came along unexpectely!smile sorry I know I've painted a bit of a negative picture there I'm sure someone will be along with a lot of positive stories!!

susiedaisy Sat 22-Sep-12 14:40:52

Bump for you smile

SausageSmuggler Sat 22-Sep-12 17:42:13

Thank you susie smile. We realise certain practicalities (getting a loft conversion, bigger car) but these were things we plan to do anyway. Those, admittedly major points aren't really what I'm worried about. Thanks for your reply though susie - I am anticipating a lot of hard work!

StellaAndFries Sat 22-Sep-12 17:51:17

We have 4 girls, 10,7,5 &3. DD4 was a surprise baby as there is only a 13month gap between dd3 and dd4.
When I fell pg with dd4 dp had an ok job and we were ok money wise but unfortunately due to his worsening health issues leading to us being on benefits we now find it a struggle at times.
Having to buy 3 x school uniforms and shoes is getting more and more expensive. Needing a 6 seater car narrows down the secondhand market. Our girls have £75 a term on guiding activities ie rainbows, brownies and guides.
But having four is lovely, and I wouldn't turn back the clock.

orangeberries Sat 22-Sep-12 19:38:58

Money is something to consider, apart from the bigger car and house everything is more expensive. I have four children, youngest 3 and eldest 7. Even at this young age we find things like holidays very expensive and also day to day things like food shopping, I spend hundreds of pounds in school dinners and uniforms and extracurricular activities are also a fortune.

People don't appreciate how expensive it is, but then again we could cut out holidays, cut out extracurricular activities and live in a smaller house, it depends what sacrifices you are prepared to make!!

Personally I think having 4 children is fantastic and I would have had more had I had more energy, been younger, had more support around me and more money!!

SausageSmuggler Sat 22-Sep-12 19:55:34

4 between 3 and 7!! Wow. I thought the 17 month gap between my two was hard enough <slightly in awe>. If you don't mind me asking do your DC's share rooms? My concern in that respect is the teenage years.

sweetkitty Sat 22-Sep-12 22:52:11

We had four in under 6 years, they are now 8, 6, 4 and 2 and it is bloody hard work. Bigger car, bigger house (we are extending), big shopping bill, bill shoes and clothes bill. Plus you get a bit envy when you see your friends with 2 DC off out for a meal or off abroad on holiday. I feel I never have any time to myself, my relationship with DH has suffered greatly but we have zero in the way of family support which doesn't help.

In saying that I utterly adore all of them and wouldn't have it any other war grin

orangeberries Mon 24-Sep-12 13:45:58

Hi Sausagesmuggler,

my eldest daughter has her own room, the boys share a large room but they each have their own bed/desk/wardrobe area so it could be separated at some point and my youngest DD has also her own bedroom albeit a little bit small. We also have a huge loft which could be converted and an additional room above the garage which we currently use as a guest room but could be used for teenagers. All of this would obviously cost money!

It is something I worry/think about too, but it's still I guess a long way off as my eldest is still only 7....maybe we will move although the thought of it makes me shudder!!

Sokmonsta Mon 24-Sep-12 15:57:22

We have 4 (no 3 turned out to be 3&4). They're 4, 2 and just about to turn 6 months. Flipping mental I can tell you. We are far from in an ideal house (2 bed starter home type). Luckily before we found out bump was twins we'd chosen a 7 seater and picked it up just days before my scan. Anyway. The 2 year gap between them has been challenging as Ds is a typical 2yo. Now dd has started school, I'm having to put a new routine in place as that is most Definately the key for us. We're managing financially at the moment as I'm on maternity leave and being paid smp at the. I'm grateful that I handed in the elder two's clothes as now some of that and more is coming back from friends who've ha children since our first two arrived. Things I miss at the moment are a holiday (we're saving for Florida in 4 years time) and being able to find a babysitter. We tend to rely on both sets of grandparents having two children each so it takes the pressure off them a little. If its for an hour or two then my mum ones to ours. We are lucky to have good family and friends to ask. But the flip side is we don't want them to feel we're taking the mick so don't ask too much. Or ask waaaaay in advance. My mum has dates for 2013 on her calendar already!

But the positives far outweigh the negatives. The elder two can play nicely together when they want to. And nothing beats us all snuggling up together and talking about our day.

Mosman Sat 29-Sep-12 14:59:38

It's full on to say the least, mine have to have their own bedrooms to stop the bickering otherwise I'd throttle them but that means we rent instead of buying because we couldn't afford to buy a five bed house. I will be getting a live in nanny when I go back to work as that's the only affordable option. DH and I will loose our bedroom then.

hollyw Mon 01-Oct-12 14:17:55

It's great having 4 smile I always wanted 4 and don't regret it. I do feel that I don't get enough time with them individually but I think/hope the sibling relationships make up for this. The older ones love feeding the baby, reading to the younger ones etc (although not all the time!)

The biggest negative for me is the washing! I can't believe people don't moan more about the washing. It is constant. I rarely iron things but the house is constantly full of piles of washing.

Other things to consider are holidays - it gets pricey with 4. Especially hotel rooms, although some let you have a second room for half price.

We also have little family support as we live away from them and have found that our relationship has suffered too. I can cope as I know that once the youngest is past 2 that we'll start being able to get more time together again but DH struggles.

As someone else said activities and shoes add up too.

Definitely worth it though

HereLittleKitty Mon 01-Oct-12 14:19:34

Its wondeful smile

I have 1yr old, 3 yr old, 6 yr old and 7 year old.

I love it, I'd have more if I could sad

HereLittleKitty Mon 01-Oct-12 14:21:07

We just do cheap haven holidays (kids love them) we don't have a car, 3 of them are boys so theres clothes to pass down, we will have 3 boys in 1 rom (but I shared a room with 2 sisters and I lived through it wink )

Haribojoe Mon 01-Oct-12 14:30:01

I love having 4 grin

Mine are 7, 4, 2 and 6 months. I have found the 19 month gap between DS3 and DD slightly harder work but I wouldn't change it for the world.

It's not as expensive as I thought, it's the after school activities that start to add up so I think once they're all at school that might change.

We don't really have much support, handful of family members who will sometimes help but it's rare and 1 Godparent who helps out.

Whilst sometimes I long for an evening out with DH or a lie in at the same time I get a huge buzz to know that we manage pretty well all by ourselves.

Sometimes I still can't believe how lucky I am to have the family I always dreamed of smile

Makingmama Mon 01-Oct-12 20:12:16

Oh I want no 4 now sad Dh had a vasectomy a few months ago and I think it was definitely rushed! Must stop reading these threads grin

Sokmonsta Tue 02-Oct-12 08:22:58

I have an ironing fairy hence don't stress about the washing :-D

FateLovesTheFearless Tue 02-Oct-12 08:33:03

I am a lone parent to 4dc aged 7,6,3,2. Eldest has ASD. Split with stbxh 15 months ago and manage fine. I don't find them particularly hard work and it's lovely having a houseful of laughing kids, but I also have routine and am pretty firm discipline wise. I hand on heart found just having one child the hardest, because I was too pfb with dd1 and worried all the time.

I started college in August fulltime and if I pass my courses, will have a degree in four years time. So having four dc isn't holding me back either. Just my experience though smile

LimeLeafLizard Tue 02-Oct-12 11:15:40

Some great points on this thread! I am pg with No 4 and looking forward to it.

I'm a SAHM and we're lucky that DH has a fairly good income so can manage - but yes money is definitely a consideration. We have a 7 seater already but holidays are very expensive and we can't go away every year like we used to pre-kids. We have 3 bedrooms so our children will have to share until we can afford our planned extension!

I agree with Fate that having a routine and discipline helps a great deal... I am starting to prepare the DC now ready for the new baby - e.g. potting training DS3, making DS2 dress himself / put own shoes on, etc, giving DS1 jobs like opening the curtains, clearing the table. Everyone has to help out.

I think having bigger gaps is easier if you have 4 - my gaps will be 3.9 between the first two, then 2.1 and 2.7 years.
I have a friend whose gaps were 15 mths, 18mths and 15 mths again - so for a few weeks she had 4 under 4. That was tough... she hardly surfaced for about 3 years!

MrsBranestawm Tue 02-Oct-12 18:19:03

It's exhausting at the beginning (when they are tiny) and expensive later on (when they are full-sized, but financially dependant, students). I'm at the latter stage now.

It is fantastic for them, the DCs I mean, because they grow up with such a team of siblings to hang out with, and to lean on (and to fight with occasionally). They learn about teamwork and sharing.

Great for the DCs, bit exhausting and expensive for the parents.

Would I have done it differently? Course not!! I am so proud of my four.

3monkeys3 Thu 04-Oct-12 16:32:06

I really want another one! Have 3dc at the moment, all of them under 5, and I just love it even though it is quite hard work. I feel like one more would complete our gang, but I am also terrified of the prospect! This thread has made interesting reading!

TheCatInTheHairnet Thu 04-Oct-12 16:46:39

It's great. Expensive, but great. You need to remember that it isn't just the cost of the bigger house and car, but the constant cost, which gets bigger the older they get. Mine are 8-15 and some days I feel I am hemorrhaging money!

If you stay in a hotel, most hotels require you to take 2 rooms. If they're going to go to Uni, that's 4 sets of University educations you've got to be ready to stump up for (and in our case, there will be a year or two, when 3 of them will be there at the same time). Etc etc.

I don't have much time for the whole "they don't get all your attention" gumph. I was one of 4 and that never bothered me. It doesn't take much for a parent to show their child how much they care on a daily basis. And, when you can't do it, they have each other. As long as they're getting on that day, at least. wink

It's not for everybody, I am happy to admit, but I don't regret it for a moment.

Thinkingof4 Thu 04-Oct-12 17:24:21

This is a really interesting thread! Having been thinking about TTC no4 for months we are finally going for it. This will definitely be the last though, and our wee gang will be complete (fx that it does happen, if not I'll just be grateful for the 3 I have ds's age 5,3 and 1.

LimeLeafLizard Thu 04-Oct-12 18:33:05

<takes deep breath after panic at thought of paying 4 lots of uni fees>

Hello Thinkingof4, I think we've been on the same threads before - glad you've decided to TTC! Good luck.

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