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Number 4?

(21 Posts)
Pancake12345 Mon 16-Jan-17 21:43:56

Just want some information from people who have four children. I have 3 dds 5,3 and 6 weeks. I loved being pregnant and even giving birth! We are considering a fourth, hubby has pretty much left it down to me and is happy with whatever I decide. Just want to know how difficult it is going from 3 to 4? I am 37 so prob don't have long left to try so prob around a two year age gap if we do go for it.
My main concern is giving each child enough attention as my time will be divided between four. I don't want the others to feel neglected because we had another child! I also work 3 days a week and don't want to give up work. Also financially is it a massive jump??
Want to know from other people who have 'been there and done that'.
Many thanks

PenguinsAreAce Mon 16-Jan-17 21:50:16

It is 33% more of everything than what you have now.
The car size is a hasselation.
It gets very expensive -your eldest is barely old enough to have taken up hobbies etc, let alone teenaged interests in doing exciting things, clothes, gadgets and school trips. Let alone uni costs.
You are only 6 weeks into being outnumbered! Congrats, but it does get more challenging.
They eat more. A lot more. As they get bigger. It is like a military exercise in catering and laundry (swim kit, PE kit anyone?!).
Supervising/ helping with homework x4
After school childcare for days you work x4
Sickness bugs x4 (one after another anyone? Weeks of hassle with time off school/work etc)

I love my 4, but there is SO much I didn't consider when in your position grin

Pancake12345 Mon 16-Jan-17 22:04:26

Thank you great food for thought....less worried about me but more about the practicalities but I guess things will just work because they have to. I just don't want 4 kids feeling like their not getting enough attention...I would rather have 3 feeling that they do despite how much I might want to go through the whole pregnancy/ baby thing again. Also don't want 4 to make do when 3 could have more IFYSWIM. I could just keep on having babies until I can't but need to think with my head!

liger Mon 16-Jan-17 22:11:29

Remember though that they will get plenty of attention from their siblings even if you are busy. Three can be a tricky dynamic depending on the personalities. With four they always have someone to go to, even when two have paired off.

But yes it can be tough when all four have norovirus and then you get it too. And it needs sustained effort, knowing each of them, helping each of them learn about themselves. Let alone the practical stuff.

PenguinsAreAce Mon 16-Jan-17 22:14:29

If you have four everyone has to compromise all the time. No-one gets everything they want. In a way this is a good thing -they are certainly sociable, stuff washes over me and dh's heads and we cannot obsess about everything. They get more freedom and have to be more independent. They will make great negotiators as adults and seem to be able to make friends with anyone.

BUT I remember when number four was about 2yrs old thinking quite regularly can I ever say anything without making someone unhappy? (Think announcing what's for dinner, asking what they'd like to do during a day in the school hols -inevitably 2-3 want to go to the park and 1-2 absolutely do not). All the battles you have with 1-2 kids, you still have, but you have twice the number! It is draining. Just getting out the house for school some mornings with all the right shoes, coats, special items for that day, costumes... Attending 3x class assemblies and stay and play, and concerts etc etc. The countdown to Christmas and the last few weeks of the summer term I need a bloody admin assistant!

And yes, it is very hard carving out enough 1-2-1 with all of them, especially when they are close in age (ours are all 2-3yr gaps).

We could have gone on and on having babies. Thankfully we put sensible heads on (for our situation) and chose a vasectomy.

I honestly do love them all.. we just didn't opt for an easy life, and I totally thought like you at the time smile.

SprogletsMum Mon 16-Jan-17 22:15:29

I'm pregnant with my 4th now so obviously don't have any advice about having 4 children yet but being pregnant whilst having 3 children is HARD.
I'm absolutely exhausted all the time, I've got tonnes of housework etc to do and no energy to do it. I'm not having a difficult pregnancy, there's no issues I'm just so tired I could cry. Then I'll have a newborn + 3 and be even more tired sad

madwomanacrosstheroad Mon 16-Jan-17 22:30:03

Also remember you ll have 4 teenagers at the same time...... I have 5 DC, however stretched it out more so oldest child was nearly an adult by the time the youngest came along. That way I have usually had reasonably competent older children about so I was able to have a shower, nip to the shop quickly without having all the kids with me etc.
The big difference between 3 and 4 is that you will never again be able to fit into a normal car and you will not be able to use a family room in a hotel. Everything gets much more expensive because you are an xxl family.
Don't know if I would have done it having all the kids close together. In our case it has worked well and the older kids are very responsible and happy enough about it. The younger ones have an interesting range of knowledge - my nine year old likes Eminem and the sex pistols and has announced she wants to only wear black skinny ripped jeans which can be embarrassing.

SprogletsMum Tue 17-Jan-17 07:16:44

I'm keeping my ford focus when I have my 4th. Dp has a bike so can come with us by himself and I can get all the dc in.

Artandco Tue 17-Jan-17 07:20:50

Homework. Your eldest has barely started. The thought of 4 doing homework and schoolwork and test prep all at once would make me loopy. My two have enough work daily now and still primary age

BeauticianNotMagician81 Tue 17-Jan-17 08:28:13

I have four boys but a bit different to you in that mine are 12,10, 3 and 6 months. The pre teens are definitely harder work and like others have said I couldn't imagine four pre teens.

I have found 4 hard work so far. I'm just starting to find a balance now. I'm thinking about going back to work soon and I wonder how it's possible with four as the older ones have after school activities the toddler and baby go swimming. I just don't know how I will fit everything in. So much so that I'm thinking of just working a couple of days a week from home.

Don't get me wrong I love the four I have but wondering if they have enough attention is something I battle with daily. Like Penguin we could have gone on and on having babies but DH has had a vasectomy now. The sensible part of me knows that we are absolutely done now and that one more probably would have pushed me over the edge. My washing machine is never off, our food bill is astronomic and I rarely sit down.

Artandco Tue 17-Jan-17 10:08:44

Also food. A 5 year old, 3 year old and 6 week old don't eat much. That's currnetly only eldest eating full child size meals, 3 year old toddler size and nothing for baby. Four aged say 13,11,9 and 7 is literally about x10 more

Bundao Tue 17-Jan-17 10:31:05

Firstly I love my 4 children. I wouldn't change my family for the world but three is easier.
My DH has a bike too and I use the 5 seater pick up daily unless he needs to take it but we cannot go away together on that option, we needed a 7 seater car which we mainly use for longer journeys. We live in a very rural area and a lot of our holidays are road trips.
Mine are older and the thoughts about university fees are starting to hit home. We're not poor, we can afford to send all of them but we're looking at that becoming our reality for the next 10 years, one in one out confused
People consider three children to families to be normal, once you have 4 you join the ranks of terminally weird.
We're farmers so food is not a problem for us, we pretty much produce 90% of our own food and we're not big eaters but teens do eat A LOT. They require more equipment with clubs, hobbies and just generally uniforms/school equipment etc. They destroy shoes and clothes so hand me downs stop being so readily available.
On the plus side, we are a close family, number 3 has a buddy as 1 and 2 are at a different stage in life. I love having a big family.
But I'm just being honest!

Pancake12345 Tue 17-Jan-17 13:49:47

Thanks everyone for your honesty. The reality of having four is far more difficult than I first imagined! My husband and I already travel separately now as we have two small cars so we do half and half! The oldest has homework/ reading etc but it's nothing compared to what's to come. Financially we could just do it as mine go to state school and have already conceded to the fact that we will have to convert the loft at some point (or move). Holidays are going to be double so was thinking that we could go abroad every other year. I know one mum with four kids but she has two older ones and two yourger ones so I would be in a very different position. I'm probably still quite hormonal after having my baby I think maybe I should put the thought to the back of my head and concentrate on my little one, and revisit it later on. I would love to have one more but reading about other people's daily lives has scared me stiff!😱

Suzietwo Fri 10-Feb-17 06:39:37

I have 4 aged 7 months, 2, 5 and 7. My partner looks after them while I work.

What really changed between 3 and 4 was a sense that I can't do ANYTHING other than work and be with kids. No evenings out after work, late night marketing, seeing friends, going out alone. I'm sure that will change as they get older but spending so much time away from them working means I want all the rest of my time at home with them. I didn't feel like this when there were fewer of them and I find it mentally difficult.

cheminotte Fri 10-Feb-17 06:51:05

I don't have four kids, only two, but will say don't overestimate what they will be capable of doing at different ages. My 9 year old still needs a lot of keeping on task (he has Aspergers but I don't think its just that) so in the mornings it is still lots of 'have you got your pack lunch? Put your shoes on, put your coat on, your pack lunch is still in the kitchen, why are you wearing trainers on a school day?!' I really thought by now it would be 'get yourself ready we're leaving in 10 mins'.

LostInMess Fri 10-Feb-17 11:35:20

I'd agree with that, cheminotte. I do have 4, eldest is 9, youngest 16 months. My 9 year old is by far the hardest to get out of the house in the morning, non-stop dawdling!

Also totally relate to Suzietwo's comment. I work 20hrs per week and that is my free time. My social life, which was just restarting after DC3 when DC4 came along, is non-existent. And it's really hard to get people to understand that I genuinely can't
Come out, I need all the evenings to get the stuff done that I couldn't do in the day (school admin in particular). It can be quite isolating. I find I spend a lot of time feeling guilty - older 2 (9&7) want to do things their friends too but I currently can't take them
Swimming on their own (adult/under 8 ratio), or to the cinema and it can be tricky having friends over due to the change in dynamics. Also, trying to balance their wish to do after school clubs vs other DC not wanting to be lugged out is always hard - am paying someone a few hours a week at the
moment to try and get round that, but even that is hard as they all want me.

And everything is more expensive than you expect. One change of shoe size requires school shoes, other shoes, trainers, plimsolls, wellies...... times that by four (we' re currently only doing by 3...).

I wouldn't be without any of them but sometimes, when I have just 3 or 2, you do really feel the difference!

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Tue 14-Feb-17 05:33:58

I have 4 and DH and I always wanted 4. My youngest is now 7. One thing that is worth considering, which we didn't give any thought to is hobbies. If you are the type of parents who want to encourage your DCs to have hobbies, then you really can't underestimate how much time (not to mention cost) that you need to factor in.

Our eldest is now self sufficient with her own car, but our youngest 3 have some pretty time consuming & costly hobbies. Eg football 3 times a week (2 training sessions and 1 match). Even if we only had DS, his football alone means that every Saturday morning, one of us has to get him there & pick him up. Sunday afternoon - one if not both of us go and watch him.

One of ours is a very keen swimmer. We have to enlist the help of a grandparent in order to get her to her lessons.

Afreshstartplease Fri 17-Feb-17 06:53:18

I have four

Eldest is 9, youngest is 4 months

I'm still on maternity leave at the moment so can't really comment on working but I am planning on going back 3 days per week

I am also aware my DC haven't really reached the expensive phase yet! But my intention is if they want designer trainers etc then they can either save up pocket money, or ask for things for Christmas and birthdays

I haven't found the jump from 3-4 too bad TBH

My elder three are all capable and happy to entertain themselves and each other which enables me to spend time with them 1-1. Baby is a relatively easy baby so far, sleeps 8+ solid hours at night and naps well in the day

ArsenalsPlayingAtHome Sun 26-Feb-17 07:18:38

LostInMess Hope you don't mind me butting in, but I've just read your post & wanted to reassure you, that the feeling of isolation & having no social life will pass. flowers I remember that feeling. You took me right back!

LostInMess Thu 02-Mar-17 22:39:52

Arsenals, butt away! It has been a long and rather hard week and it is very encouraging to hear that! Thank you.

Tsotofamily Sat 04-Mar-17 09:24:23

I have 4 - 10, 8, 5 and 7 months. They are all good kids and dc4 is such a happy baby who adores her older siblings as they do her. I haven't really noticed a jump financially but then I have all the clothes and baby bits etc from before.
As for clubs I'm lucky things are local and parents lift share.
Every other month I take one dc out and spend one on one time and they seem content with this.
I've just returned back to work pt so I'm just in the mist of getting myself into a new routine, I would definitely say planning is the key

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