Question for Mother’s of Four (and anyone else who might have something to add)

I remember it well…

A month or so before my 3rd would arrive and the intense panic I was beginning to feel.

I felt so ‘in-over-my-head” as it was, I couldn’t imagine introducing another person, much less a newborn to the mix.

I was having dreams like: Opening the trunk of the car and finding him there, crying, wet and hungryย – I had forgotten he was in the basket of groceries and just stuck him in the trunk!

I sat down at the computer and sent out an S.O.S. to an older, wiser woman. It went something like this:

HELP!

Number 3 is on it’s way. STOP. How will I manage another? STOP. Will I be able to continue taking showers? STOP. How will I make dinner every night? STOP. Any advice to calm my panic would be much appreciated. STOP.

I remember the night we thought he was on his way. We were at a super bowl party. I looked at Dustin and calmly said, “It’s time”.

He gathered the kids and our stuff. We waved good-bye, they wished us luck. And then someone had the audacity to ask, “So, what’s the name going to be?”

The name? Yes, his name.

Had I really been in that much denial?? To not think of a name… and we were on our way to the hospital!!

Thankfully he decided to give us another week before he actually came (much to my embarrassment!).

God ended up naming him and everything turned out alright. I never did stick him in the trunk, thinking he was a sack of groceries. I was still able to shower and make dinner, clean house and even go do stuff. Yes, there were moments of getting to the end of my Wal-Mart trip and looking down at the front of my shirt to find a massive amount of snot and yogurt wiped across the front of it. But at least they were all accounted for.

Ok, so that was then. And this is now.

Number 4? Who cares! No big deal!! Can’t wait!!! Already thinking of Names!!!!

Where is he/she going to sleep? What does it matter? We have a closet, right?

You got rid of all of our baby stuff! So what!! It will all work out, not really worried about it!

You are 16 weeks and haven’t seen a doctor yet!! Well, I am taking vitamins…

What about school next year with a newborn??? School? Haven’t really thought about it!!

FOUR KIDS!!! What are you thinking!!! Well, apparently I’m not!

Ok, so you get the feel for where I am in life at the moment. One word – Clueless. Or am I?

This is where I need your help.

I came across this ‘funny’ in Reader’s Digest and I laughed out loud. Not really because it was so funny, but because it’s the perfect indication of where I am NOT!!

Ok, here it is:
“If you want to know what it’s like to have a fourth kid, just imagine you’re drowning and someone hands you a fourth kid.”

Should Iย be panicking? Or at least nervous? Is my oblivion going to leave me unprepared??

I don’tย know. What do you think??

12 thoughts on “Question for Mother’s of Four (and anyone else who might have something to add)

  1. So excited for you, Mika'l. You are a great mom, and another baby is not going to change that. I went from zero to seven kids in a day, so I don't know what it's like to have one, then two, then three, then four–I think it might be easier to jump in headfirst like I did. But this is my observation… we have the tendency to make parenting difficult, no matter how many kids we have. I know when I am focusing on maintaining “control” and obsessing over details and having things the way I want them… that's when I get overwhelmed. But you will make it work. The kids will help out and find new roles, maybe, and you will have to adjust things. But the new baby will be a blessing and in a few months, you wonder what you did *without* the baby.

    That's not really advice, since I am no expert, as I'm sure you know. But I know you will figure it out. Can't wait to meet the baby. ๐Ÿ™‚ XOXO

  2. I don't know, since I only have 3 – but I keep hearing that 3 is the tipping point… if you can manage mothering 3, any beyond that is no big deal. You are such a great Mama. I know you'll do fabulously! ๐Ÿ™‚
    ps. have you read the book Loving the Little Years, by Rachel Jankovic? I think you'd love it.

  3. Kelley- Well, I do consider you an expert in your own right. Not too many would take on the task you have. I can't imagine going from 0-7 in nothing flat. But the crazy thing was, I could totally see YOU doing it!! And you have. God equips the called. I would love to come sit and take notes… Miss you my friend, now in more ways than one! if you get my meaning. Love you

  4. Zoe – thanks for your encouraging words. I've heard that too – maybe that would explain the lack of concern I am having! I have read that book. And I did love it. There were so many little nuggets in there, I'd like to re-read it. So you've reached the tipping point – when you havin' #4?? haha

  5. As a fellow mother of four, you'll do fine! You sound like a wise mommy who doesn't sweat the small stuff. Why start now? You are a busy mommy of three little ones and very busily (and exhaustively I might add) growing a fourth. That's work! Who has time to search baby name books, keep up with your kids' doctor appointments let alone your own and keep up with the latest “this and that”? You will survive. God will let you know when it's time to concern yourself. Until then, keep running the race set before you. Hang in there! You will do great! Yes, you might find that you've loaded up the van and backed out of the driveway only to remember that the fourth is still in his/her carseat in the house (been there!) but you will get a chuckle, the kids will see that you are SO VERY human and all will have survived the tragedy like so many before! You can do it!

    Katie Ostrander's daughter in CO! ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Thanks Mika'l. I miss you too, miss a lot of things. You are welcome to come visit us and “take notes” any time you want to :). (Actually that idea kind of scares me.) I will come to your house to take notes one day when I have a newborn ;). But seriously… we even have a guest bedroom! So, speaking of places to sleep, if we can manage to have seven kids and still have a GUEST BEDROOM I am sure you can figure this thing out. Don't fret. Love you too… take care of yourself… and P.S. you are the cutest pregnant girl ever.

  7. Mika'l, If numbers of children are what qualify one to answer this, then I shouldn't answer. But what I do want to agree with is the respondent who said God equips the called. And from personal experience, I can tell you that no matter how many children we do have, there's not one of us who can do any of our days without Jesus. He will be with you, He will go before you and be your rear (and trunk) guard as He has all along. So if I can offer some reassurance, it is that God does not expect you to be able to manage things and handle it all. The great news is, He is there. He is. love you, :l

  8. Hey girl,
    Maybe not the best day for me to be answering since I just called someone asking them to talk me off the cliff. Kidding, of course. And not meaning to make light of the “hard” days, but i do think raising children is the most refining job we'll EVER have. He does use them to change us, and for the better. Yes, I have left a child in the car by accident- but only for 5 minutes. Well, maybe it was 10. Not my proudest moment, and yes, I did start having nightmares all dealing with my spiraling lack of control.

    In any event, having 4 in 5 years was definitely not a path I would recommend to anyone, but also one that I would walk down all over again if it meant experiencing the need for Christ in the way I have/am. Literally- I am OUT of control. Totally outnumbered. Yes, the tipping has occurred. But you have Olivia and Deacon and Levi who are already going to be your little helpers. They will rise to the occasion to help out and you will be grateful for their doting love over a newborn. This will produce added character in THEM and through prayer, they will shock you with how they care for the baby.

    Christ will meet you minute by minute as you “do ye the next thynge” (google it!) and as you cry out for wisdom daily.

    You will be fine and you are not abnormal! Yes, you will have “cliff days” but you would without this little one as well. You will have your “hands full” but your heart will be even fuller as well.

    Little bit of coffee, LOTS of prayer, my friend. They are not hear to make us “happy” but more holy.

    And…when you feel like crying, do. Your kids will gain compassion in watching you reach out for Christ and seeing you depend on Him minute by minute. And when you feel like screaming, just laugh. When our attitude can laugh, things go much, much better!!

    Lastly…. my new motto…
    “Keep Calm. Carry On.”

  9. Man! I love you guys! Thanks for all of your encouraging and practical advice. I will take each to heart. Very thankful for women in my life who I can be real and honest with and can get the same in return. It makes all the difference. Peace and grace to each of you as you tackle the challenges God gives you each day. Much love, Mika'l

  10. I can't resist one more, Mika'l, from my friend Lisa who has 5 and #6 on the way: she says by #4 you get to just enjoy. All the things you may have fretted over before will fall into place instead of you having to worry about them. So, just enjoy!
    xox:l

  11. Thank you Lara, I already feel that switch has been turned on in a way. There's just not much stress going on here! But I guess I just don't want to turn cocky, you know, think I've got it 'all together' and then have to be shocked back into reality. I'm sure I will have some moments like that… we all do at some time in our lives. You are a dear friend and I love you so much.

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