Families come in all shapes and sizes. Some have two parents, one or two kids, a dog, a cat, and a minivan. Some have more kids, less parents, more animals, and will never own a minivan. Since hash tags have become popular I usually see a #Iluvmylittlefamily, or #momoftwo. Rarely, do I see #Iluvmygiantfamily, or #momoftoomanytocount.
The looks and the questions
Those of us with larger broods don’t get the credit we deserve. Raising kids is tough, arguably the hardest job on the planet. As a mom of four, I don’t hear what a blessing I have, or that they always wanted a big family. But there are common questions parents of multiples do get; are they all yours? You don’t look old enough to have kids. Are they twins? Are they all the same father? Did you mean to have so many?
It never fails. Any time I go to the store, the park , the post office, or around our neighborhood, I get asked these same questions and sometimes even better ones. I used to smile and answer quickly and hope that no follow-up would be necessary. After a decade of parenting and four children later, you are tired. Tired of hearing the same questions and tired of being polite all the time. I have absolutely considered wearing a t-shirt that says Yes, they are all mine (I may have it saved for later in my online shopping cart).
I was built for motherhood, I am not perfect. I have lost my patience with my kids, cried tears of joy and tears of heartache for them, and find it hard not to want to fix everything. For as far back as I can remember, I was determined to have four kids, two girls and two boys. I couldn’t see my life any other way. And that is exactly what I was blessed with. I did not think the road to these four kiddos was the one I saw for myself, but they were picked for me and I for them. My heart is fuller than my hands, mostly because my kids can walk on their own, much to my four year old’s dismay.
My children, when lined up in a row, look like cousins more than siblings, but if you listen to them you know they are all mine. For the most part the five of us go everywhere together. On occasion, I have time with just one or two of them and that is like a mini vacation (sans the white sandy beaches and tiny umbrellas in my drink of choice). No need to count heads or break up fights, zone man defense is not necessary. However peaceful it is, we always notice the missing pieces to our puzzle. My kids always have someone to play with, which means they also have someone to argue with. They learn from each other; the good, the bad, and the ugly.
The adventures with four kids
I can take four kids to a restaurant and I typically receive a look as to say, I really don’t want this kid table. (By the way, I tip really well and we are usually commented on their behavior when we leave). I can navigate those ridiculously large shopping carts with the two seats in the front like a boss. I have traveled across the country solo with my crew and we have not only survived, but made some memories that hopefully they will cherish because I know I do.
I love exploring our hometown as we are relatively new to the Charleston area. Charleston has amazing views, awesome food, and a whole lot of history. There are plantations, water taxis, and horse drawn carriage rides. We have explored countless county parks, some that are worth the drive and some are best left to the locals. We recently ventured to downtown Charleston and walked and walked for miles. This is partly because it was gorgeous out and partly because I got lost and didn’t tell them. We explored Battery Park and walked Rainbow Row, two places which we had never gone. My favorite part was when I was asked if this (pointing to my kids) was a field trip. I laughed and said no, but I have been considering getting my commercial drivers license. As for the hostess at a local restaurant who asked if I was babysitting, the registration person at the doctor’s office, the unsuspecting folks in the checkout who silently are mustering up the courage to ask the age old question. You all want to know if these four little humans belong to me? My answer has evolved over the years. but simply put, #momofmanyblessings.