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Multiple Children: “How Do You Cope?”

Multiple Children: “How Do You Cope?”

It’s interesting going places with four children- you do see people looking as you go round the shops, and you are guaranteed at least one comment, normally along the lines of “How do you cope?”, or “You must be brave!”

The funny thing is I don’t feel like I have a big family- I have friends with eight children! This is normal for us. But had you told me when I had one or two children that I’d be here now with four… well I may have had some sort of break down!

The truth is, mummies with one or two young children are probably at the hardest stage of all. For me having a baby and a two year old was without doubt much harder than the four of them just now- and that’s without homeschooling added in. There were evenings (Mr Man worked shifts) when I’d do the dinner- bedtime routine in tears. It felt brutal, relentless. When I found out I was pregnant again I was depressed. But it just started to come together.

Speaking to other mums in similar situations this seems to be a common trend. The first, then second child is totally brutal; then you don’t notice the jump so much. I think there are a couple of reasons for this: firstly, older children are natural entertainers for babies. Secondly you are calmer. You know the screaming infant will not cry forever, you know colic comes to an end, you know about the little secrets your individual children like, and what settles them- you can’t learn this from a book, but the first two have trained you well!

Something else I’ve found the more babies I have had the more I appreciate them as babies, and as toddlers. You appreciate the shortness of the time more than you did when it was the first. With your first it’s all about them reaching those milestones… with baby number four, it’s watching them feeding, listening to the baby noises they make in their sleep, enjoying their soft baby hair… because you know all too soon that time will pass.

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