Limits of a 4 Child Lifestyle

This summer has been testing my limits as a mother of 4 small kids.

It’s much better than last summer, where I couldn’t be by myself with all four of them for longer than an hour. But it’s still very limiting. And I’m not sure if I was just more scared back then to be by myself and less willing to let kids cry. Perhaps I’m just getting used to the absolute chaos. Or maybe it is actually easier.

Still, I can not go to most parks by myself. That rules out a lot.

I can run errands.

Target

Target

My method is to put the twins in the stroller and push them while dragging the shopping cart behind me. Sometimes Jack and Ben are sitting in the back cart. On the way in and out I am very strict. Both older boys must hold onto the stroller the entire walk from the car to the store. I still find it extremely stressful, though. I had Jack and Ben run away from me in the supermarket the other day, they were inthralled in their ongoing drama, the one where Jack antagonized Ben and Ben tries to attack him in anger. ┬áSometimes Ben randomly attacks Jack and then Jack antagonizes Ben because of it. It’s a ‘which came first the chicken or the egg’ type scenario.

They ran away from me and after calling them to come back repeatedly, I finally got them back by yelling across the entire store that they just lost their dessert that evening. The check out woman looked at me with sympathy and said, “Rough day?”

I answered, “No, it’s always like this.”

The sympathy drained from her eyes and she hardened, looking at me with new eyes. They were the eyes of someone who might call child services regarding this incident.

It’s moments like this when I realize how out of control everything is, and how my life is totally unlike most people’s lives that I come in contact with.

Yesterday I was pleasantly surprised to find a new thing I could do with all four kids. Something all parties found enjoyable.

Play dates at my own house!

IMG_4818I had a few of Ben’s school friends over for a play date. I enjoyed adult conversation while my kids occupied themselves with friends instead of the chicken/egg drama that seems to play out when we are stuck in the house by ourselves.

Undoubtedly this summer I will find more ways to manage these four kids alone, without everyone driving each other nuts. I hope. Wish me luck.

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