baby children family FOR THE KIDS momhood MOTHERHOOD newborn parenting postpartum pregnancy PREGNANCY & NEWBORN

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of UPPAbaby. All opinions are 100% mine.

What better time to discuss family planning then while we’re quarantined at home for an indefinite amount of time with all four children. God Bless.

I’m prepared to be brutally honest here and tell you that life with FOUR (under 6) is no joke. Let me just say that I was never naive enough to think that it would be! I knew my limit was 3, but my husband had always wanted 4, being from 4 himself. To give you all a little refresher, Aden and Hudson (our first two) are only 14 months apart. As a young first time mom in my twenties, that was tough. It literally was the rockiest start to parenthood I could have. That time not only made me brave, but it taught me that I can handle whatever life threw out at me.

My first set of Irish twins – Aden Rhys, 6.5 + Hudson Cole, 5

After we got through the tough early years together, my husband and I found ourselves wanting to complete our family with a third baby, right around when we started to feel our feet finally touching the ground. Smart, right?? HA. Aden was 4 and Hudson was just weeks shy of 3. Life was good, the boys were amazing, and we gained some confidence in this whole parenting thing to do it again with some new found certainty and looking forward to just one tiny baby instead of two.

It took a little over a year, after experiencing a few hard losses, when we conceived Cason. Going from 2 to 3 felt like a cake walk coming off of basically parenting twins. The boys were in school part-time and I was able to truly enjoy my time with only one baby. Cason’s entire first year was really such a joy. I loved spending time with him, giving him undivided attention during the day and truly soaking in every minute of our time together. I wasn’t juggling dual nap-times, I wasn’t having to find entertainment for a toddler while I nursed, and I was able to handle things with much more grace and experience.

Cason Hayes, 21 months

I knew three was our limit even though my husband always said four, but after delivering Cason my heart really didn’t feel complete. I truly believed that when you know you’re done, you’ll feel a peace within you. I didn’t feel that peace yet, but four seemed like A LOT. So, we didn’t put an action plan in to place to finalize anything and left it up in the air for a few more years, ya know, “just in case”. Being that Joanna Gaines is my spirit animal and all, I always had in the back of my head that I wanted to leave it open for maybe a mid-life crisis baby.

Well, when Cason was around 10 months old, I had a bad bout of déjè vu and found myself taking a pregnancy test one morning, praying that this wasn’t happening to me again. I couldn’t even recall on when it would have even taken place. I thought we were being careful, since ya know, I’ve lived through this and should know better. Before you know it, two pink lines and the sinking reality that four kids was in my not so distant future. I was thoroughly convinced that my lot in life was to be a 100% boy mom, so I’m sure you can imagine my shock when my husband opened our ultrasound envelope to read – GIRL. If you’re part of our IG family, you kind of know that the rest is history. We’re now the incredibly lucky parents to 3 little boys ages 6, 5 & 21 months and a fresh new baby girl, who is almost 4 months old. Kamryn truly completed our family and I wouldn’t change a thing, but let me give you a quick run down on our new life with FOUR.

My hands are as full as my heart. A little bit older, a little more wiser.

These babies are 17 months apart. If there’s one thing I learned early on is a good stroller is the second biggest thing you can have when juggling multiples. The first obviously being a second set of hands, but who always has those? I’ve been a big fan of the UPPAbaby VISTA since I had Aden. The entire system, from the bassinet in the early days to a double stroller with the added RumbleSeat later on, has been a seamless part of our daily life. It’s carried me through challenging Target trips to chaotic family vacations, even four kids later. It’s checked every box for me when it comes to what I NEED in a stroller. Things like seamless and smooth handling (anything you can push one handed is a necessity in my book!) and a quick & easy collapse, all the things you need when juggling two under two. The UPPAbaby VISTA is hands down the best stroller for multiples on the market and we’ve been fans for life.

There are literally SO many things that I love about the VISTA; it can be a single, double, or triple yielding stroller. with the RumbleSeat attachment and upper adapters, the single stroller turns into a double. You can even add the PiggyBack ride-along board which easily makes it functional for three. Also, great for toddlers that refuse to stay put in said seat.

The best part by far is that being that it’s an inline stroller (not side by side), walking around town or through aisles isn’t an issue. The fact that the seats sit above/below one another, make the stroller more compact and the weight tends to be evenly distributed so the handling is still pretty smooth and easy.

I happen to really appreciate the different seat options – the Toddler Seat can face both in and out, the Bassinet that comes with the stroller can be put into the main seat or below the Toddler Seat (adapters needed), and the RumbleSeat can be forward facing or opposite. With the car seat adapter, you can even attach your infant car seat, which I’ve used a lot in Kamryn’s early days. I loved the fact that I didn’t need to pull her out of it sound asleep just to go into a store. It really is incredibly functional for whatever your needs may be!

The UPPAbaby VISTA pretty much speaks for itself when it comes to aesthetics – its attractiveness is unmatched in the stroller world. The leather handle and safety bars make it feel really luxurious and the color options appeal to almost everyone. We’ve had the BRYCE (white) now for almost 6 months and it still looks brand new. The fabric is really easy to spot clean and stands up to Cason’s grimy little toddler hands. We literally always keep this stroller in our trunk, so it’s been a real lifesaver as our family grows. We’re no longer man-to-man defense around here, so having the VISTA has been our extra pair of hands on more than one occasion. Literally couldn’t do without it!

In all honesty life with four is quite an adventure. Here are some of our good, bad, and the beautiful little chaos somewhere in between:

the good

  • YAY for even numbers! A table of 6 is much easier to find than a table for 5 at restaurants.
  • A built in support system for your kids. It’s why we all have more than one in the first place, isn’t it? When we’re long and gone, I’m thankful my kids will always have each other to turn to.
  • You become prepared for almost anything, because yes, with four, there’s always something or someone in need.
  • You stop caring about what others think. I used to be so nervous to take my boys out in public for fear of how they would act. The more kids you have, the more you learn to relax and realize that kids will be kids, as they always have been. I let them know my expectations for their behavior and if needed, I’m already prepared to make a quick exit. Truth be told, I still walk really fast through the grocery store.
  • They’ll have a special bond that can’t be replicated in any other relationship in life – see also: there is never a valid excuse for boredom when you have 3 other people to hang out with. And as you watch the crazy escapades, it will make you remember why you wanted a large family in the first place.

I can honestly say that one of the best things for me about having four children is watching them love on each other, play together, and grow together. I thought my heart couldn’t handle watching Aden and Hudson through the first few years, but having these four just makes my heart swell. Yeah, they’re going to fight and destroy each other’s stuff. They’ll even act like they can’t stand each other at times, but when push comes to shove, they’ve got each other’s back forever and it’s really incredible to get to watch.

Our fresh new crew of six.

the bad

So, if you’ve made it this far, I’m pretty sure you’re probably seriously considering adding a fourth to your crew. While it’s easy to sugar coat the good stuff, the reality is, it’s simply not for the faint of heart.

  • Getting out of the house with four kids can be quite the challenge. You’ll find yourself thinking twice before loading the whole crew up to just run out and get milk. Getting them all in the car takes most of your day’s worth of energy and mark my words, the minute you finally pull out of your driveway, someone will tell you they have to pee and the whole process will just start all over again. No quick errands happening here!
  • There will always be someone looking for you. Babies are napping, so it’s ME time, right? Think again. The bigger kids will most definitely need something… and they will find you.
  • You’ll never sleep through the night again. Having four means the odds go WAY up on someone waking you up in the middle of the night, whether they’re scared, hungry, or peed the bed.
  • The noise is always at an intense level. In our home you can pretty much guarantee to find one kid yelling, one crying and one who thrives on the chaos and has to enter the room screaming animal noises in the middle of it all. You can also guarantee that any sense of normalcy no longer applies when Mommy’s on the phone and all of a sudden the urgent need to ask all the questions pertaining to life will take place as soon as she opens her mouth.
  • Never mind the fact that the odds are stacked against you during the sick season. Trying to tell four tiny humans not to touch their face or explain the importance of washing your hands will fall on at least one set of deaf ears. Those deaf ears will inevitably wake you up at 2am either throwing up or not being able to breathe.
  • You’ll always be a referee. Siblings argue and the occasional brawl will happen more often than not, it’s a fact. With four, you can bank on this happening at any point in time. More kids means more chances for disagreements.
  • You’ll probably never find a good babysitter that will voluntarily watch all of your kids together and when you do, they’ll cost a fortune. The days of cheap babysitters are long gone, sister. You’re looking at a $150 bill for a few hours for date night, so you’ll suddenly rely heavily on family and date nights in.

a day date where the grandparents took the older 2 boys, while we took along the babies.

the beautiful chaos in between

At the end of the day, a large family can be such a wonderful thing. Honestly, I even think it’s a little funny that having 4 kids is considered a “large” family in today’s standards. My parents are each one of 4 children in their families and their grandparents even had upwards of 9 siblings. It’s just what they did back then. Sure, I think society looks a bit different now a days, with both parents climbing the corporate ladder and the cost of living being so high. It leaves a lot of families with no other choice when it comes to time and money and that kind of makes me sad. So many kids is certainly not for everyone, not even me. I would have never thought in a million years that we’d end up here, but it’s a BEAUTIFUL thing. I love that our family feels whole to me and each one of my kids bring me so much joy that I could never find elsewhere.

The post LIFE WITH FOUR KIDS: THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND ALL THE CHAOS IN BETWEEN first appeared on Little Adi + co.

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