Mom column: The good and the bad of having four children under age four

Imagine having four children under the age of four. That’s three kids likely still in diapers. Four car seats and boosters. Years of near-constant nursing if you’re breastfeeding. And — assuming you’re in a partnership — being not just outnumbered by your children, but doubled by them.

“When it’s getting out of hand,” says my friend, Becky Bergeron, who lives in my hometown of Deep River, Ont., “I say to my kids: ‘OK, how many mommies are there and how many kids?’”

In my last column, I talked about my own reluctance to have children close together in age — the joys of watching my older stepsons, ages nine and seven, care for and dote on their one-year-old baby brother; and I talked to my husband’s aunt, Michelle, who had three kids, one in the 1970s, one in the 80s and one in the 90s.

The spacing between children seemed luxurious to me. I love the idea of having time to get back to yourself between pregnancies.

This week, though, I was curious to hear about the other side.

Becky and her husband, Andrew, had their fast family sort of by accident. Their daughter, Miriam, was a surprise. The twin boys, Asher and Elliot, were planned — and conceived a year after their daughter was born. And their son, Ira, was another pleasant surprise, coming along when the twins were two.

Now, the kids are ages five, three and one, and Becky can see the light at the end of the baby-stage tunnel. Ira will be two in March. She’s looking forward to being done with “the terrible twos.” She’s been changing diapers for almost six years.

So, first, the downside.

“The hardest part about having four under four is that Andrew and I are both really social people, and our life really got put on hold for …read more

Source:: Edmonton Journal

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