A funny thing happens when you have four kids in five years. People start assuming you are good at parenting or know what you're doing. I assure you, this could not be farther from the truth. There are no competency evaluations before each child. They just show up and you try and find your way, finding lower standards and more love than you ever thought possible.
One thing I hear a lot is, "You made it out the door with 4 kids? I only have two and I barely make it out. You must be SuperMom". My response is usually to whip out my cape and hand out beautiful-but-useful goody bags while offering words of wisdom that make them up feel uplifted without being condescending.
If you buy that, go ahead and preorder my new book, The One Method That Will Get Every Child To Sleep Through The Night in 6 Weeks, Guaranteed. What I really do is laugh out loud and then say, "Don't you ever say you "only" have 1 or 2 or 3 or whatever number of kids. This mom thing is hard. No matter what, all the time"
This is my soapbox issue. No matter how many kids I had - 1, 2, 3, 4 - I have never had enough strength to make it through the day on my own. However, with a lot of Jesus, and a generous sprinkling of Cherry Coke Zero, I’ve made it almost 6.5 years now. I’ve spent those years giving all that I have every day, just like I am now with my 4 and just like I will be if this tubal ligation fails me and I have a 5th (please, Jesus, no). Which is how I know that you are, too. We have different daily issues - it might be more work for me to get out the door in the morning but my children entertain themselves for several hours and rarely ask me to play with them in the afternoons. Either way, we are both pouring every bit of our love, energy, and patience into these children.
So let’s say out loud how hard this motherhood thing is. Let’s commiserate, support one another, and share our best potty training tips. We don’t have time or energy to spend comparing which life is harder. Each life is hard and wonderful and exhausting and amazing and overwhelming and beautiful - usually all at the same time :)
Sarah O’Dell spends her days taking care of her four small people (3 boys and 1 spoiled rotten baby girl) and trying to come up with creative responses to “You sure have your hands full!” As an extrovert who spends most of her time at home with little people, she is frequently found on Facebook sharing the details of her less-than-Pinterest-worthy days to make other moms feel a little more normal.