4 Surprising Things to Expect When You Have Multiple Children AND a New Baby

4 Surprising Things to Expect When You Have Multiple Children AND a New Baby February 17, 2015


Dave and I just welcomed another baby boy to the world, and we are thrilled!  Little Chatham is doing well, and we are thankful that he is healthy.  This whole transition from a family of 5 to a family of 6 has definitely been quite surprising, and we are only two weeks in!  In the process, I’ve learned a few surprising things to expect when you have multiple children AND a new baby.

Here they are, in no particular order:


1.  Expect to lose track of one or more of the little kiddos…or install complicated locks on all doors and windows, along with security cameras and alarms, to get ahead of the problem.

During this whole pregnancy, I kept telling Dave that I didn’t think the reality of having 4 KIDS had really hit me.  I expected it would dawn on me the moment I stared into Chatham’s precious eyes or heard his first cry, but honestly, it all seemed pretty surreal…that is until the day we brought him home from the hospital.

After a rather luxurious hospital stay…really, I didn’t want to leave because they take care of EVERYTHING…we were anxious to get home to our other three boys and settle in as a family.  So, we loaded up and headed home.  The minute we arrived, our three boys were welcoming Chatham with kisses and hugs.  It was a sweet moment that I will always cherish.  Dave went outside to play with the boys, and I sat down and chatted with our sitter before she headed home.  After talking for nearly twenty minutes or so, this fear came over me and I asked her if she saw Chandler, our three year-old escape artist, leave the house with Dave.  She said she wasn’t sure, so we quickly found Dave and asked if he had Chandler with him.  My fear tripled when Dave told me that he thought Chandler had been with ME the whole time.  That’s TWENTY minutes of Chandler being unaccounted for!  So, as you can imagine, I ran out the door, with three-day old Chatham in my arms, yelling his name as loud as I could.  After about five minutes, Dave spotted him on our neighbor’s deck.  Chandler was playing with his little friend, at their water table, without a care in the world.  Needless to say, we were so relieved to find him, but I wanted to make sure this didn’t happen again.  I thought to myself, “What kind of parents are we?  We lost our ‘number 3’ the first day we bring home ‘number 4’!”.  It was humbling and alarming to say the least.  I am seriously giving the complicated locks and alarms some consideration, and I am now in the habit of counting heads multiple times a day.


2.  Expect to get one or more of your kids’ names wrong on occasion…or, if I’m honest…DAILY.


When we had our first child, Dave and I decided to name him Cooper.  When we had our second child, we thought it would be cute to give him a “C” name as well.  So, when we had our third, we couldn’t leave him hanging without a “C” name.  Here we are, four boys later, and we have given all four of them “C” names: Cooper, Connor, Chandler, and Chatham.  We had a Facebook friend lovingly refer to our kiddos as the “Co-Co’s and Cha-Cha’s”.  Yes, we totally get tongue-twisted and confused with all of their names, but thankfully, they usually answer to any of them and lovingly correct us…at least for now.  I used to think it was just because we gave them all “C” names, but friends of ours with multiple kids say that they mix up their kids names as well.  I pray I get it right more than I get it wrong.  Some days are just crazy, and I am not beyond using name tags to get it right.


3.   Expect personal space to be nearly non-existent for awhile.


After bringing Chatham home, my three year-old has decided to sit on me, piggyback style, while I am nursing the baby.  It’s really quite a funny image, but it’s pretty painful and awkward to say the least.  I know he is trying to adjust to no longer being the baby, but I just wish he could give me a one-foot radius of personal space, especially when I am tending to Chatham.  Let’s face it, being pregnant for nine months, giving birth, and taking care of a newborn are all things  that invade a woman’s personal space in practically every way and for good reason.  However, it would be nice to just have a little space to ourselves every now and then…even on the toilet, or what we might as well refer to as the “porcelain peace chair” because it is more often than not the only place to catch some quite time.  TMI…I know.  Just keeping it real.


4.  Expect regular daily activities to take FOR-EV-ER, at least until you get used to the new normal.


One of my favorite childhood movies is “The Sandlot”, and my favorite scene from that movie includes the little boy with the glasses ending his spooky sleepover story by saying “FOR-EV-ER” over and over, in slow motion.  When you read number 4, imagine saying it that way, because honestly, that’s how long it feels like it takes me to complete my daily tasks these days.  It’s so easy to get to the end of a long day, feeling completely exhausted but having nothing tangible to show for it.  The best advice I have for any new mom, including myself, is to cut yourself some slack.  Embrace this sweet time of expanding your family.  Each day is a gift.  It passes so quickly, even though these days feel like FOR-EV-ER.


If you would like to know a dad’s hilarious take on this, please check out my husband’s blog “7 Realities About Life with a Newborn Baby”.











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