Friday, August 28, 2015

Guest Post for The Gender Experts Blog!

I know, I already published a post today, but I wanted to share this as well...

Recently I was contacted by The Gender Experts, asking if I might write a guest post for their blog. Although many of their blog posts deal with gender prediction and pregnancy, they graciously allowed me to write about motherhood in general... and specifically, how I feel like four kids has been easier for me than one was!

Yes, I've written about this before, but I chose this topic to revisit, because I love encouraging young moms! And though I'm still very new at mommy-ing myself, hopefully I can pass along what I've learned so far along the way. :)

Here's what I shared over at The Gender Experts Blog:



Looking back, I don't remember anything "easy" about being a first-time mom. Everything seemed to overwhelm me--the overfull diapers, the puddles of spit-up, and especially my daily chores, which never seemed to get done.

Then when Rachel was only 3.5 months old, I conceived our second daughter. Our son came fairly soon after that, followed by another daughter. And before we knew it, we had four kids, four and under.

The transitions between kids weren't easy at first. I'd guess my hardest adjustment was probably going from 1 to 2 kids (especially because they were so close together!), and I remember crying a lot the first month after Matthias (#3) was born.

So understandably, you can see why I was a little nervous about adding a fourth baby to our already busy family! My days as a stay-at-home mom were full, just caring with three small children. How could I add a fourth child, without surrendering our house to complete chaos?

But much to my surprise (and relief), we welcomed our fourth baby with [relative] peace and calm! The tears were few, and within the first couple months, I was feeling better and more on top of my "life" than I ever had before as a mom. I felt completely comfortable taking care of four children, and I even had the time to start "officially" homeschooling my two oldest.

Happy as I was, I was also a bit shocked to realize that four kids was somehow easier for me than one had been. This of course led me to wonder: why? Shouldn't I be four-times more stressed-out and overwhelmed?

Now Caroline (our youngest) is nearing a year old, and although we have plenty of bad days, and moments where I feel like I'm drowning, I'm still convinced that this time around, life has been easier for me than it ever was before.

I'm sure you're as curious to hear the why, as I was to try to figure it out for myself! We are still growing and learning (always the goal, right?), but here's what I've come up with so far...


1. I have five years of experience in the mommy-hood world now! I don't need to be nervous about changing diapers, considering how many hundreds (thousands?) I've changed. I've tried out many different ideas (I can't tell you how many laundry methods I've tried), and found which ones work best for our family. I've made many mistakes, and hopefully learned from them!

Also, the more I've learned, the more relaxed I am about certain areas of motherhood. Breaking up fights and nap-times and changing diapers and feeding multiple kids has become less of a "big deal" and more of a every-day-all-day-long occurrence.
2. We teach our kids obedience, and strive to be consistent with this. I just mentioned above about being "relaxed" when it comes to motherhood. Having the kids obey me, though, is something I've definitely become more insistent on. Whether the kids are standing in a parking lot, or riding their bikes in our driveway (which is next to the street), they know that they need to listen to my voice and obey the first time I ask them to do something. The best way I've taught them this is with an obedience "game" where the kids are in a different part of the house, I call their names, and they yell, "Yes, Mom!!" and come running to me. If your kids know that you expect them to listen and obey, it will make your life as a mom THAT much easier.

3. The older kids are learning to help around the house! They sort and put away their own laundry, make their bed, they can load and unload the dishwasher (we use plastic dishes!), and (possibly the kids' favorite) they can operate a hand vacuum! Obviously, the floor isn't going to look as crumb-free as if I had vacuumed, and their quilt is almost always crooked on their bed, but I'm still thrilled with their efforts! And it gives them a sense of accomplishment, too. "Look what I was able to do!"


4. I don't worry about the kids needing me to entertain them: they entertain each other. Almost everything my kids do, they do together. They build blanket tents, and block castles, and they chop papers to shreds. Now that Caroline can crawl and play, too, there will often be moments that all four of them are playing together, and I'm able to work on whatever's most pressing at the time.

5. Lastly, I think motherhood has gotten easier for me, the more I embrace that this is my life. I've gotten used to the idea that it's "normal" to type and hold a baby at the same time, or breast-feed while reading to the other kids piled around me. I think once a mother realizes that there's no other task more important in her life, or more worth her time, than investing in these little people... then I think motherhood somehow becomes easier.
Of course, not everything is easier with four than with one. Such as, grocery shopping--or buckling and unbuckling car seats! But while I feel like with multiple children, there is more noise, more crying, more arguments... there is also more laughter and snuggles and fun times.

I can say without a doubt that I enjoy being a mom more than I ever have before. But what would I say to the new mom, perhaps who is feeling the way I did when my first was a baby?

I wish I could give you a hug, and say that everything will be okay! Don't be afraid to make mistakes or to ask for help! If you feel like there's so much you need to learn, or you're feeling inadequate, just know... this is normal. I am sure every mom has gone through this. You have many wonderful years ahead of you as a mother! And I certainly hope for you, the same that has been true for me... that the road of motherhood will gradually get easier.


I hope you enjoyed this post! And while you're sitting at the computer (or reading on your phone :)), go check out The Gender Experts, especially if you're expecting a baby... and you're curious as to the gender! Using an ultrasound scan, they're able to predict your baby's gender as early as 6 weeks old!

Well, that's all from me for today. Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

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