People are constantly amazed that I purposely have four kids. It’s like telling someone you have a pet unicorn. Their eyes widen and shock spreads across their face. That shock is usually followed by, “You know how babies are made?” or “Were you trying for four?” or “I don’t know how you do it.” I generally don’t take offense to it – ten years ago I probably would have been equally as shocked.
I’m going to be brutally honest here. It’s HARD to have a big family. It’s hard to be a mother to four small children. I had all four of my kids in just over five years and it’s been difficult. I don’t sleep much, I nap a lot and on most days I yell at my kids at least once, minimum. Most of my husband and I’s conversations revolve around those four little people and we almost never get a date night. I make home cooked meals (on occasion) and for the most part I spend the majority of the meal telling my kids exactly how many more bites they have to eat. I have contemplated setting our laundry room on fire more times than I can count. I break up wrestling matches every single day and the ones I don’t break up typically end in someone getting hurt. Most days I get zero work done during the day which results in me staying up until 2 am every single night just to keep my business thriving.
You see, when you have four small humans with their own personalities and their own interests and their own activities, your wants, needs and desires are put to the backburner. Is it like that for everyone, absolutely not. Do other people do a better job of balancing self-care, parenting and work? Abso-freaking-lutely! But, you know what, I’m okay with that. And you wanna know why? Because I freaking love my kids and I love my job and at this time in my life, although it’s exhausting and overwhelming and most days I just try to keep my head above water – I know it won’t last forever and I wouldn’t change having four kids for anything.
All those troubles and difficulties listed above, they’re far outweighed by the pros of having a large family. I have four small souls I get to nurture and help grow. I get the PRIVILEGE of watching these four children become amazing, productive, successful adults. I get to see these amazing kids accomplish new things daily. I get to celebrate their victories with them. I get to be the person they run home from the school bus to sharing their exciting news. Those wrestling matches that I have to eventually break up or that end in injury and that leave me fuming, the beginning of those matches typically begin with giggles and laughter and its music to a mama’s soul at least for a little while. I get to watch them play together and develop these incredible friendships. I will get to see these four special people get married (God willing) and have kids. We will have large family Christmases some day and it will be the one thing I look forward to most all year long. I will (again, God willing) have four kids who will love me into old age. My hope is, that on the day when their father and I are gone, they will lean on one another and continue being best friends.
So I guess what I’m saying it, yes, life with four kids is a total sh$# show most days. You need only look at me in my ball cap and sunglasses to see it. But my goodness do I feel lucky to have four healthy, happy children whom I get to do this life with. If I didn’t have these four kids, I wouldn’t have Charlie’s compassion, Louie’s thoughtfulness, Jack’s humor or Annie’s sweetness. My life would be so incomplete without each one of them.
In answer to the common questions I get, yes, I know how babies are made, yes, we did try for all four children and I do it because I have to, my life wouldn’t be the same without them and because they make me a better person.
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