4 Months With 4 Kiddos!

posted by Andrea | 01/26/2018

Miss Clara celebrated 4 months yesterday!

She smiles almost instantly when she makes eye contact with someone she recognizes, she giggles if you tickle her in just the right spot, she loves making noise, she is starting to grab toys, she’s my very first thumb sucker, and she just rolled over for the first time last week.

She still catnaps all day long, but she also still sleeps well at night — so I’ll let her catnap all she wants during the day!

Clara is such a sweet baby and dearly loved by everyone in our family! 

 

Clara’s 4 month ‘birthday’ also means Dave and I have officially survived 4 months with 4 kids!

And honestly, sometimes it really does feel like we’re just “surviving”!

As a whole, these past 4 months have gone much better than I ever anticipated — for that, I am so grateful! However, there are definitely a few areas of my life that feel like they are in survival mode!

.

On one hand, I feel like I have found my groove and am easily keeping up with house work, laundry, mini organizing projects, meal planning, baking, cooking, Nora and Dave’s school schedules, church commitments, running errands, our finances, getting together with friends and neighbors, doing fun things together as a family, and getting the kids to bed on time.

I have successfully squeezed these to-dos into little pockets of time within our normal daily routine, and even with 3 or 4 kids home, it all seems doable for me.

I’ve also had loads of time to plow through my Netflix list, read a bunch of books I downloaded before Clara was born, and catch a few catnaps myself while I hold, feed, bounce, feed, rock, and feed Clara every evening until she falls asleep!

Obviously, those are all really important things (at least for me) — so I’m thrilled with how well I’ve been able to stay on top of everything I listed above!

.

On the other hand, I’m still struggling to find/make large chunks of time to devote to my virtual assistant work and to my own blog.

Clara’s catnaps aren’t long enough for me to have any amount of focused work time — plus, the other kids are usually here with me while she’s napping, so I use those times to bake or prepare dinner with the kids, work on mini cleaning/organizing projects while they help me or play next to me, and cross off several smaller to-do’s (like make a quick phone call, send an email, etc.)

Once Dave get’s home, we eat dinner, clean up, pack lunches, pick out clothes for the next day, take baths/showers, and get the kids to bed.

Then, I rock, hold, and feed Clara all night long until she finally falls asleep around 10:00 – 11:00pm… at which point, I’m more than ready to hit the sack myself!

I usually try to stay up late 1 or 2 nights a week and wake up early 1 day a week — but other than those few hours during the week and when Dave can entertain the kids on the weekends, I don’t have much time to myself these days!

Oh, and in case you’re wondering why Dave doesn’t take Clara in the evenings — it’s mainly because she just wants me! And also because Dave has an insane amount of school work every night (don’t become a math teacher if you want to have a night life!)

He’s almost always grading and planning until Clara is finally sleeping and he wakes up super early every single morning to get more work done before school — all so he has a little extra time to play with the kids when he gets home during the week and on weekends. He’s a saint! 

.

Another thing I’m struggling with is the fact that I basically spend zero one-on-one time with any of my children (besides Clara of course!)

Sometimes I feel like one-on-one time is over-rated (especially in a family with multiple very young children) but it is something I’d like to do more of if possible.

I usually have a little time with Nora when she’s getting ready for school before the other kids wake up, but that’s about it for now. I do feel like we do lots of fun things with our kids, just nothing individualized right now.

Add it to my list for a couple years down the road, I suppose!

I know this is just a short stage and Clara will eventually need me less, but finding larger chunks of time to focus on anything (work responsibilities or one-on-one time with the other kids) are two of the biggest challenges for me right now.

In the meantime, I’ll just keep plugging away at my to-do list in between changing diapers, feeding hungry mouths, washing tiny clothes, reading their favorite books over and over and over again, and smooching lots of chubby-cheeks.

Happy 4 months to this sweet chubby-cheek babe!

0Shares

Filed under: FamilyParenting

Leave a comment

39 comments

  1. Lori

    01/28/2018

    What a cutie Clara is! I’m enjoying your blog! I just found you after hearing the podcast on Organize 365.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh yay! Glad to have another one of Lisa’s readers 🙂

    [Reply]

  2. Leanne

    01/28/2018

    I always love reading your blog…. especially updates on your family… one on one time is great when they are young… but for little kids, I think just being “present” is what they remember and what they need…by staying home with them, you have such a window into their personalities– weaknesses, strengths, and quirks!! We have found that the upper elementary grades and middle school is where that “one on one” becomes more vital. If you get to know your kids when they are young…. it helps them when all the changes start happening in middle school/ high school… I just gained my first TEENAGER…and I can say he is a joy 🙂 and I think a lot of it comes from just investing my time and presence into him early on… and building trust that when he shares his heart, he knows that I’ve always made his heart a priority… you are doing such a great job! and a big shout out to your husband! I hated teaching math when we homeschooled…and I love that my kids all have very skilled teachers who have taken that over!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Leanne!
    and yes, I’m very glad we have skilled teachers to teach our children!!

    [Reply]

  3. Michaela Lindner

    01/27/2018

    Dear Andrea, I’m one of you readers from Germany (near Munich) and I just wanted to tell you how much I really do enjoy reading your blog and watching all of your sweet family photos. Thank you very much for sharing them!
    I send you my love (right across the Atlantic Ocean)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hello across the ocean (isn’t the internet great!)
    Thanks so much for your kind words and loyal readership!

    [Reply]

  4. Kristen @ Joyfully Thriving

    01/27/2018

    Oh, Andrea, look at you go! I think you are right. The newborn stage is about doing what you can do in the little pockets of time that you find. We have 7 weeks until baby number 3 joins our family, so this was a valid reminder to me. It’s time to do what I can know because I know baby will need me lots in those initial weeks and months! Good luck as you continue adjusting to and settling into your new routines…which continually change, I know! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I’m excited to hear about your #3 arrival! So exciting!
    And yes, that newborn stage is so hard for us mammas who thrive on productivity!

    [Reply]

  5. Jenny C.

    01/27/2018

    Andrea, you never cease to amaze me! You are such a great mom, and your precious children are so blessed to live in such a loving, caring home with 2 parents so devoted to them and to one another : )

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Jenny —

    [Reply]

  6. JoDi

    01/26/2018

    Oh my, what a doll baby! That coy smile in that one photo – so cute!

    [Reply]

  7. Kellie

    01/26/2018

    Andrea, I just had my second baby 4 months ago too! Boy what a transition going to multiples! I’ve struggled with some feelings of guilt for not having as much time for my toddler! It’s encouraging to see you being real but not despairing in this season of motherhood. I so enjoy seeing how you practically live the day-to-day – its a huge help to me as there’s still many days I’m in pure survival mode! 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kellie — and congrats to you too! So many people say the transition from 1 to 2 was the hardest for them… so know that things will get better (especially once the baby starts to sleep more!)

    [Reply]

  8. Lynda

    01/26/2018

    Happy 4 months, Clara! Your kids are all SO cute! I am in awe of all you accomplish with 4 young kids. I love reading your blog for this reason…. you have helped me manage my time better and get more organized. Thank you! Blessings to you and your lovely family!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks so much Lynda!

    [Reply]

  9. Jamie

    01/26/2018

    I have 4 kids too ranging in age from 2 to 12. We haven’t had much individualized time with the kids since we moved away from my parents. If you have family close by maybe you can plan a “date night” with one child once a month. My husband and I would go out every Friday. 3 Fridays/month it would be just the 2 of us and once a month we would take one of the children with us. They LOVED when it was their night. They got to choose what we did. Our date nights were usually not exciting- we might (or might not) pick up something quick for dinner and then “window shop” or sit by a lake nearby. My kids usually ended up picking Game night. We would have a quick bite to eat (like frozen pizza) and then they would choose a couple board games to play with mom and dad. The other kids either watched TV in the other room or went to bed. It has gotten easier to have more individualized time with them as they have gotten older. My 3 oldest go to a homeschool PE class on Thursdays so my 2 yr old and I have 3 hours together. I also try to take just one child when I run to the store or run errands when my husband is home.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    that’s a great idea! Dave and I aren’t really into “date nights” but one night a month for each child sounds totally doable!

    [Reply]

  10. Kelly S

    01/26/2018

    Thanks for the cute update!!

    I struggled with the whole one-on-one time thing once I had 4 kids, too. I know you know this, but it really does get better with time. She will eventually shift to a longer nap and you will find more pockets of time for individual time. Maybe choosing one afternoon or weekend chunk of time (Saturday morning? Sunday naptime?) to do something with one child while Dave watches the others? Even if it was just once a month (Nora gets one weekend, Simon gets the next weekend) it would probably help get started in that direction!

    One other idea as far as blogging work goes… have you considered reposting an old blog post once a week? I know you did something similar this summer with the week in review posts, but they were still photo heavy… maybe sharing a post from the archives, no changes or anything, would give you a bit of spare time (or perhaps there is another tattle of post that isn’t much work on your effort). Or just take one day a week off from posting? You are so consistent in posting but maybe there would be something to provide a short break?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kelly,
    I actually do (sometimes) recycle old posts but simply updating some of the content and a few pictures. (Yesterday’s post was from 3 years ago!)
    It is a good way to save a bunch of time and recycle old content that new readers might like. I won’t do more than one recycled post per week though!

    [Reply]

  11. Michelle

    01/26/2018

    What a beautiful baby and family! That is great that you are able to get so much done but also that you are prioritizing life the way that you are, family first. It’s also true that Clara will ease up on her evening demands soon enough. You’re doing all you can.

    [Reply]

    Michelle Reply:

    Also about the one on one time… at preschool they do a line leader/show and tell rotation and the kids always feel so special when it’s their turn. Perhaps something similar could be helpful until life changes to make time for one on one activities. Maybe there is a specific activity or privilege at home that can be rotated among the kids.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! Nora was just the “star of the week” this week and I couldn’t believe all the little things she thought were SO special. Maybe we could have one person get to choose everything for the day (what to eat, what shows to watch, what books to read, what toys to play with, etc.)

    [Reply]

  12. Michelle

    01/26/2018

    She is precious! They are all so precious!

    Thank goodness this is a temporary phase. At least your payoff is that you are still able to grab them up and squeeze them and kiss their adorable cheeks. In a few years they’ll be kicking and wrangling to get out of your embrace.

    Sounds like you’re rocking this mom of 4 thing. I can’t believe you do everything you do and you’re not an exhausted heap on the floor halfway through the day!

    Good job! Thank you for sharing your success with us.

    [Reply]

  13. Lee Winemiller Cockrum

    01/26/2018

    The photos are fabulous!

    I am so impressed with what you actually accomplish each day! Makes me tired just thinking about it! If I lived close by I’d love to come play with your kids to give you more free time…. Just for fun…. And also hoping that maybe just a tad of your amazing organization and energy might rub off onto me.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    haha –well then I really do wish you lived closer. My kids would love another adult to give them loads of undivided attention 🙂

    [Reply]

  14. Paulette

    01/26/2018

    Andrea, you amaze me! You accomplish more than I ever did. Thank you for sharing your darling children with us…they are ALL beautiful!

    [Reply]

  15. Shelley

    01/26/2018

    We have 5 kids 7 and under. Even though I homeschool, I still struggle with feeling I give individual time. We started doing a Buddy Night, letting one of the kids stay up later to play a game with just mom and dad. We end it by talking with them and praying with them. We rotate from youngest to oldest (starting at age 3). As they get older, we will give them more options in what we can do. It makes them feel special and we are hoping it’s starting to build bridges for those teenage years.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We actually JUST started doing this with Nora on Tuesday and Friday nights. She doesn’t have school on Wednesday (or Saturday) So we figured she can stay up a little later those nights. We got a bunch of new games for Christmas, so we pick a couple games to play those nights and then I read her a few books. So far, it’s working well!

    [Reply]

  16. Lesa Humphreys

    01/26/2018

    Beautiful children!!!

    [Reply]

  17. Roxanne

    01/26/2018

    Your comment about not becoming a math teacher if you want a night life made me laugh- you just described my husband’s evenings spot-on! I always tell him it’s a good thing he likes math (and even better, that he likes/puts up with teenagers!) sounds like Dave does too 🙂

    Keep up the good work doing what you can, whether you’re fully thriving or merely surviving. As long as everyone is loved, fed, clothed and happy at the end of the day, you’re winning!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes! He has SOOOOOO much school work! But, he gets 10 weeks off in the summer, so all is good 🙂

    [Reply]

  18. Michelle Bonk

    01/26/2018

    Adorable!
    And I completely understand your struggle! When my youngest (of 4 over 7.5 years) was an infant she would want to nurse/cuddle All Night Long! It was difficult but I figured it was her way of adapting to getting her needed time with me while allowing me to deal with her older sisters/brothers during the day.
    I can happily say that at almost 9, things have changed SO much and there’s so much more flexibility in all of our kids … although one-on-one time for all four every day is still a struggle!
    Good work mama!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    that’s what I tell Dave — i say “Clara just likes to have me all to herself in the evenings!”

    [Reply]

  19. JJ

    01/26/2018

    Love the pics!!! Especially Clara sticking out her tongue!!! I have 3 little kids, and it is hard to spend one on one. So one day after many tears from one child who felt left out(middle kids have it rough sometimes!), I started Mommy and Me time. We don’t do it every day, but I try to do it 3-4 days a week. It’s not a schedule, just when we have pockets of time. I set my timer(normally 10-15 min. each kid) and do whatever they want. My sons normally want me to read books, play games, trucks, or action figures. My daughter wants anything from books, games, tea party with her dolls, or playing Peppa Pig(bring on the English accent!). Sometimes I only let one kid in the kitchen and dub it Mommy and Me time. They love it. The timer gives me security, and the time together has given them security. And I have really enjoyed having them by myself! My youngest is 2, so that makes a huge difference! You are aMaZinG me with how you keep on top of things! I teach with VIPKID, so I am up early and late some days. It is hard to get everything in!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    good idea — maybe I could start using each of Clara’s nap times to do a little one-on-one time with each child. She usually take 4 30-minute naps, so I could use one nap for each child and one nap for myself!

    [Reply]

    JJ Reply:

    That is GREAT that she sleeps so well!!! Great plan!!!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    sleeping babies make for happy mamas!!

    [Reply]

  20. Kimberley

    01/26/2018

    Clara is adorable, all the kiddos are adorable! I totally understand where you are coming from on not much time for yourself. I only have two at home (7 and 3) and I still feel like I don’t get much time at all to myself. So, I don’t know how you do it with four! I work out of the home and luckily my commute is insanely short (15 mins tops, door to door). My husband definitely has a lot more individual time with the kids then I get (he works from home) but I do try to make it a point to play a board game with our 7 year old son at least once or twice a week while the 3 year old hangs out with dad! It’s hard at times but I think we make it work over here and it looks like you are doing a fantastic job too!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Kimberley! Nora is JUST starting to get more into games so Dave and I have let her stay up a few nights and play games with us after the boys are sleeping. She’s VERY competitive, and a very sore loser, but it’s still fun!

    [Reply]