One. Two. Three. Four. Five.
FIVE children. No responsible parents have 5 children, right?!?! Whoops. I’m soon to have FIVE CHILDREN. It’s ok, though. I have strategies.
- After school and during school holidays when I have all of them with me in public, I have three children, and two of them have friends over.
- The older three childrens’ Dad is in jail/deceased/in Afghanistan and I met a new husband and he desperately wanted two bio children of his own (I apologise to anyone who this is real for, for making light of the situation).
- My husband longed for a massive family as he was brought up as an only child and is totally hands on and involved and takes complete charge when it comes to raising the huge number of children we produced – baths, bedtime, stories, etc.
Hahahahahahahaha*snort* Hahahahahaha! Ok. Scrap number three – that won’t fool ANYONE!
At this stage, baby number 5 is in utero. And so I’m still hanging onto my sanity by my teeth. Also, I’ll take this opportunity to point out that I AM extremely grateful for my little tribe. And I have absolutely nothing against families with lots of children. However, my patience, tolerance level, and sleep bank, just don’t seem to be cut out for it. To begin with, I had three babies 19months and then 21months apart. It was busy, I imagine. Because I deliberately planned my 4th with a nice (school distanced) gap. I don’t really remember the details, though. I can only assume that’s a result of PTSD.
Baby number 4 arrived when my daughter was 5 years old. She has 2 older brothers and was hoping for a sister. We found out during the pregnancy he was a boy and she was heartbroken. At 16 weeks gestation, she was begging us to try again for a sister. By the time he made his grand entrance, she was smitten with him. Only occasionally lovingly snuggling into him and announcing “Gosh I love you even though you’re not a girl”.
We weren’t planning for 5, but I wasn’t ready for the finality of permanent contraception. We found out we’re pretty terrible at the whole non/m-permanent contraception thing. Obviously. We’ve slowly gotten our heads wrapped around the news and we are looking forward to meeting or new addition who will complete our family. I’ve told my daughter it’s a boy. She’s still telling people it might be a girl (face palm).
When I was about 6 or so weeks in, I joined a Facebook group for large families. I sat back for a couple of weeks, scrolled and read, before finally introducing myself. It was amazing! There are women (and men) with plenty of children who are still normal, can operate a keyboard, make jokes, still cook a meal. It gave me so much hope. This Facebook group will be a lifeline for me, I imagine. Because from what I’ve taken in so far, five children just isn’t an “accepted” number. I imagine some people are like me, and just can’t wrap their heads around it. Some people likely have population growth issues with it. Environmental concerns about it. Maybe economic worries. I remember walking through town heavily pregnant with my fourth. At one point, 2 children were with my Mum in one store, and I had the other one child and my pretty belly. I clearly noticed people glancing lovingly at my bulging mid section. However, 20minutes later, when I had all three children with me (and still sporting my at capacity uterus), I noticed that if people happened to spot my clan, they recoiled in horror at my hefty frame. And I’m not being over sensitive or dramatic, either. Nor am I exaggerating. Much. People’s responses were significantly different.
I can do 5. We can do 5. And I know everything will be absolutely fine. Maybe even perfect. I just feel like I’ve been a stay-at-home-Mummy for a lot of years. 10, so far. I know this will only put me back a couple of years from where I want to be. And I know that this baby will give my tiniest boy a close sibling to grow with so that he can experience the closeness (and un-closeness, fighting, arguing, copying, “touching my faaaaace”) that my older three were lucky enough to experience. I’m also aware that this baby will make our family whole (whole-er), will be loved like crazy, and I won’t have to live the rest of my life wondering whether I should have had just one more so that my littlest had someone to climb trees with and argue with in the backseat.
I could go back to work. I’d struggle a little bit (a lot). I’d never be able to give my job my all. I’d always have my children running through my mind. I’m an anxious and attachment type parent when they’re babies. My friends have gradually learned that if we can’t hang out WITH my babies, then we should probably put our friendship on hold until they’re much older.
I can handle a couple of extra years of what can sometimes be an isolating, lonely time. With monotonous days that often leave me feeling unaccomplished. Don’t get me wrong, I KNOW that that is not the case. I understand the role of parenting and I will jump to anyone’s defence, mother or father, who feel being a parent isn’t a good enough job. It’s got plenty of rewarding and satisfying moments, and OH MY GOODNESS, it’s the most important job in the world. But everyone knows it comes with a truck load of crapola as well. Also, I’m grateful I get the choice to be a stay at home Mum. Howevvvvver, after yet another school-day function watching someone else’s kid perform while mine stands up the back hidden, I have a sliver of jealousy at the parents who have to say “Sorry Arnie, Mummy can’t come as I have to work today”. Once, my little girl told her teacher I couldn’t be at an event because I was “having coffee with her friends”…
This was fun! It’s nice to have a platform to put all the words in my brain out into the world! I’ve had people suggest I write a blog. However, I’m concerned that if I was honest, I’d be investigated by Family Services more often than I’d like. Hahahaha! Joking. Or am I??? Yeah, I’m joking. I think. Is it normal for your 3 year old to yell at you to stop breastfeeding your baby and start looking after your other children?
I feel grateful, I feel lucky, I feel in love with my beautiful family. I feel a bit sleepy, too.
I’ll wind my novel up here, as I need to get myself, and my two youngest children out of our magnesium bath before we shrivel up anymore. Also, I have to remove the screen on my phone and get the splashed water out from underneath it (lucky I haven’t had to use the “z” too often – it’s fully submerged in a drop of bath water probably mixed with some wee from a 17month old).
Peace out to the Mummas of 1 and the Mummas of 10 (But whyyyyyyy, though?!?!?).