Showing posts with label four children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label four children. Show all posts

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Does it get easier? Four aged four and under, an update

When Cora was born, Dylan was still four and I had six weeks of four children aged four and under.  I had two babies as Finn at 16 months old was still two months away from his first steps and it was logistically tricky as well as completely exhausting having two children up in the night. As the children have got a bit bigger I have had lots of comments about 'having my hands full' as well as questions about whether it is getting easier.

And the truth is that it is, and it isn't.  The baby stage will always be my favourite, I love having a newborn and I find there is something so comforting about knowing that they stay exactly where you put them.  When Cora was little she would nap most of the day and Finn was still having an afternoon sleep too.  They both sat happily in a pushchair or a sling when we were out and I had my hands free for the bigger boys.  

Of course it was tricky as newborns want to feed a lot and I was often pinned to the sofa whilst a baby, a toddler and a 4 year old wanted my attention and help.  I was juggling twice as many children as I had arms on very minimal sleep and I couldn't leave the house without taking a giant bag and a pushchair and a sling.  

Now the children are 6,5, 3 and 20 months and things have changed a lot.  There is only one that still wakes up in the night and I am trying to convince myself that we are on the verge of sleeping through.  They can all walk, they can all run and they can all play without needing me.  I spend more time sat on the sofa with a hot cup of tea than ever as they are old enough to entertain each other, to play independently and having four means there is always a playmate.  Even if they start to squabble, they can switch up and things remain calm.  

On the flip side, they can all walk and run, which means they often do so, in the opposite direction from one another.  They are not so content to stay in a pushchair, but the little two are not always very compliant when we are out and I am often seen herding them in the right direction.  Finn doesn't nap very often and Cora's are sporadic and unpredictable and instead of napping the pair of them can often be found causing mischief and plotting to take over the world.  

These four are noisier and messier than they were but we have settled in and adjusted to the new dynamics and worked out how to be a six.  It is easier, with the big two at school and the little two able to occupy themselves but it is definitely trickier at times too! 

Ask me again when I have four teenagers and I am sure I will long for the days of four little ones!

















Read more ⇨

Monday, 20 November 2017

I Think We Are Done

It felt like this day would never come, and in some ways I think I will always be broody.  As I see women walk past me, their prominent bumps ahead of them I feel excited for them, a little envious that they are at the beginning of this journey, they still have all the best bits to come.  I cuddle a newborn, and sniff that beautifully milky scent on the top of their head, hold them with their head resting in the palm of my hand, feel the weight of them curled up on my chest, and I feel desperate to hold my own baby in that way again.

But it isn't a new baby I want anymore.  It is the babies I already have.  I would love to go back in time just for a little bit, to savour those final moments of pregnancy, knowing how everything is about to change.  I would love to hold my newborn sons and daughter again, to take in all the small details that I may have missed the first time.  To feel the warmth of them, to watch their tiny fingers curl around mine.

I would love to be back in that new baby bubble, where nothing else matters, where you lose hours a day just watching them sleep. 

But I don't want to give up what we have now.  As Cora started taking steps, using her voice and becoming more independent, we are moving on to a new stage.  The end of nappies and buggies, slings and cribs is in sight, even if still a long way off, and new adventures will soon be possible. I want to visit new countries, watch our children enjoy and explore them without the limits of a baby.  I want to go on days out, visit theme parks without a pushchair in tow and I want to watch my children develop their sibling relationships just as they are.


Four is busy and loud but it isn't too busy or too loud.  We fit in our car and in our house, we can remember each child's name (although we may have to say the other three first). They always have a playmate or a partner in crime and it feels just right for us.  As much as I would love to do it all again in some ways, I don't want any more children, I think four is our number.

I am going to try and enjoy these final months of having toddlers in the house, celebrate those lasts because I have so many memories of the firsts, and the seconds and the middle ones too.  I know we have new adventures ahead of us and I can't wait to see what they are.


Read more ⇨

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Holidaying with Four Children

We have recently returned from our first holiday with four children and we had a wonderful time.  I never expected to write this post feeling rested and refreshed but actually our short break was exactly what we all needed and I have come home with happy memories and significantly less stressed!  

We decided for our first trip with four aged five and under that we would stay in the UK and we picked a caravan park down in Sussex for a Monday to Friday break.  Being a family of six, caravans become one of the easiest places to stay as we can all fit in one unit, we have the space to eat our own meals and spend some down time and we can put the children to bed and still stay up together as a couple.

I chose Combe Haven site for many reasons, the location, the facilities and the fact it had a couple of clubs that worked for both the big boys ages.  I will be writing more about that soon though.  The boys love caravans and so they were really excited when we revealed where we were off to and they loved the lifestyle of a caravan park - having the doors open so they could come in and out, scooting around with new friends, eating bbq's outside and having all the ammenities within walking distance.


One of the best ways we found to enjoy holidaying with four small children was just to relax.  Usually I like to plan all sorts into our days so that we make the most of our time away, but we took it slower this time and followed their lead more and it made everyone a bit more relaxed.  We made the most of everything we had paid for already - the holiday clubs, the swimming pools and parks and the big open spaces that come with being on  a caravan site.

It was Cora's first holiday and being only 2 months old it is rather hard to say whether she enjoyed it or not.  Her brothers loved having her around though and asked for cuddles even more than usual.  In the absense of play mats and toys we put her down on a duvet on the floor or in her carrycot and they enjoyed having her as part of their play.  She had her first experience swimming and she was relaxed and content in the water and she slept really well in the caravan so we are considering it a good holiday for her too!



So after 5 days experience, I thought I would share my top tips for travelling with lots of little people.

1) Don't plan too much into your days.  Some days the boys just wanted to explore where we were, or they needed a lie in, or they just wanted to spend some time together without really doing much.  We went out and did something every day, but keeping it simple kept everyone happier.



2) Choose your accommodation wisely.  We went for the three bedroom above the two even though both would fit us all in and we upgraded to the prestige caravan too as I wanted us to be comfortable and to have space to spread out.  Obviously if you are planning to be out all day every day then it isn't so important but if you are just after a change of scenery and are planning on making the most of where you are then it is worth going for the best you can stretch to.

3)You don't have to go far to get away.  We ended up chosing somewhere that was less than a two hour drive from our home.  It meant that we didn't have to worry about a long car journey with a newborn but it felt far enough from home to be novel and we enjoyed exploring somewhere none of us had been before.  The boys would have happily had a holiday in the same town we live in, as they were just excited to have our undivided attention and a new home for the week.


4) Let the children pack their own bag.  Ours took a trunki and although I found the contents rather random (apparently they needed one pretend egg with them), they loved the build up excitement of packing and the toys all got played with (even the egg).  I added in some extra Lego Duplo which was a great idea as all three boys could play with it when they wanted some time inside.

5) Matching clothes are actually really useful for keeping an eye on them all and to help locate any children that have a tendency to wander off (Archie).  I can't resist a bit of matching anyway but I feel like I have a real excuse when we are on holiday! I pack one outfit for each of them into a fabric bag before we go so that each morning I just grab a different bag and know that I have everything I need to get all four ready for the day.



6) Whilst you have come away to enjoy family time, divide and conquer is still a great motto.  With four it isn't easy to give any of them one on one time, but there were evenings when one of us would stay at home with the babies whilst the other took the bigger boys to the arcade so that they could have different experiences. 

7) Staggered bedtimes can work really well.  Ours normally go to bed at the same time at home, but the small caravan bedrooms meant it was easier to put them to bed one at a time as they were not going to go to bed nicely if they went together.  It worked out quite well as they all had a little one on one time whilst one of us read them a story and tucked them in.  Each night the order changed depending on who seemed the most tired.


8) Try and pick one thing each to fit into your holiday.  You can't please everyone all the time, but everyone getting an input makes it a holiday for all.  Dylan was desperate to go to the arcades, Finn wanted  to swim and Archie loved the park.  Ed wanted to have a bbq together outside and I wanted to have a little time to sit outside and just read my book (Cora was too young to express her wishes but she loved having her naps in the pram outside during the day)

9) Time things right and make use of nap times to do things with the older children.   We went swimming a couple of times and never had to take all four in the water as there was always one asleep.  We were allowed to take the buggy on the side of the pool which made it so much easier and meant that the child to adult ratio was more favourable!

10) Relax and enjoy it.  It will never be as easy or relaxing as holidaying with one or two, but watching them explore and bond and enjoy themselves is amazing and having four children is no reason not to go away.  







Read more ⇨

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

A Vegan Kid's Christmas Party

 This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Christmasparty #CollectiveBias



Every Monday since the beginning of May, I have had two extra boys for the day.  It has been exciting and exhausting in equal measures, there are days I think four is easier than two as they tend to pair up, and days I need a megaphone and a whistle.  Hitting the third trimester in this pregnancy means things are coming to an end though, and yesterday was my last Monday with the four boys.

To celebrate, I decided we would have a little Christmas party in the afternoon, but with two being vegan, I had to be a bit more creative in what I bought, so I went to the big Tesco nearby as they have quite an extensive free from section.  The boys (as of this weekend) are 1,2,3 and 4 so I thought a little indoor picnic would be perfect, sat on a blanket by the Christmas tree, with a festive film and some stickers for after.
Read more ⇨
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...