parent opinion

The 5 things people always say to mums of 4 kids, from 4 mums who have heard it all.

The moment I gave birth to my first son, I had an overwhelming desire to be a mum of four. 

Perhaps it was the rush of hormones, the intoxicating smell of a newborn, or a feeling that life was about to change forever. 

My husband took a more rational approach. He carefully evaluated the pros and cons of having four small people to keep alive (definitely more cons) before signing up to drive a people carrier for the next 20 years. 

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What I didn't expect when number four was born was the intrigue and curiosity that came with the territory.

Having three was perfectly normal, but the fourth tipped me into the stratosphere of 'crazy lady with four kids.'

 And it seems that I'm not alone. 

Talking with other mums of four, it's the five same questions that friends, family members, and strangers ask time and time again. So, if you've ever wondered and never asked, here are our answers... 

"You must be so busy?"

It's safe to say that a mum of four is busy. But have you ever met a parent who isn't busy, regardless of how many kids they have? 

Every mum carries the same #mentalload of that we do: kids, parents, friends, work, exercise. 

And like every mum we know, we do what we can and hope for the best.

Angela and her four kids. Image: Supplied.

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"How do you do it all?"

If only magical powers were bestowed upon us with the fourth child's arrival. But the truth is we don't do it alone. Thank goodness for friends, families, and the kids themselves helping out. 

Carpooling is a saviour for after-school activities, birthday parties and weekend sport. The kids have to pitch in too. 

Those old enough to drive help with school and sports drop-offs. 

The younger kids take responsibility for ironing their uniforms, packing their lunches, and walking the dogs. Sure, we worry we are asking a lot. But we also know we are teaching them to be capable, responsible, and kind humans. 

And while we hate to shatter the illusion of perfection, in the juggle that is parenting, we drop balls all the time. 

It's impossible to keep on top of the many emails, WhatsApp messages, texts, and Facebook messages. 

We know that the kids will tell us about activities and news important to them. And for everything else? Between husbands, friends, and a quick flick through emails at the school gate (and the occasional call from the school office!), we hope that we catch more balls than we drop.

Jules and her four kids. Image: Supplied. .

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"Why do you always look so calm?"

When you have four young kids at home, your priorities quickly shift to simply getting through the day and not losing anyone when you go out. 

To stay sane, you learn to go with the flow and not sweat the small stuff (it's a cliché because it's true). 

Schedules go out the window, daytime naps in a cot are a thing of the past, and you couldn't care less what they are wearing if they are dressed (yes, costumes and tutus count). 

Instead, you focus on 'do we have everyone' before leaving anywhere (and being anything but relaxed when you realise you don't!)

Suse and her four kids. Image: Supplied.

Don't sweat the small stuff becomes a mantra as the kids get older. 

You decide what matters most and let the other stuff slide. 

Want to wear shorts instead of trousers in the middle of winter? Insist on a lockdown mullet? If the school doesn't mind, neither do we. But making sure they get out of the house for fresh air and exercise every day, that's non-negotiable.

Edwina and her four kids. Image: Supplied.

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"Do you need so much food?"

Just buying a 'few things' at the supermarket for a family of six can rarely take place without strange stares from fellow customers at the overflowing trolley.

'That's a big shop' is the obligatory comment from the person behind you at the checkout. Little do they know that the trolley full of food is most likely the second shop for the week. 

"Is it always this noisy?"

Often asked with bewilderment as their ears adjust to the noise level of a busy family home. Because YES, a house with four kids is always gloriously loud. 

There are always kids laughing, talking excitedly (often simultaneously), yelling at each other across the backyard, and shrieking and screaming their way through a game. 

Rarely is it just your tribe making so much noise; once you have four, a few more makes no difference, so there are always friends dropping in to play and adding to the noise levels. 

So, is it brave or crazy to have four kids? If being brave means having the strength to embrace the adventure, then absolutely mums of four are #brave. But crazy? Not a chance. There is an indescribable joy that comes from the laughter, the love, and the affection of four kids. We think it's crazy not to!

Angela Eves is a mum to four crazy humans and two even crazier golden retrievers. Requires coffee to function. Believes everything is better when coloured, from hair to walls, and anything in between.

Feature Image: Supplied.

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