More Opportunities to Learn
We have been blessed with four kids. Having more kids is more challenging as I find myself dealing with sibling disagreements A LOT. Every day. But it’s okay with me (although sometimes I do hide in the bathroom) because a huge part of life is learning how to disagree with people in appropriate ways. I’m helping my kids work through how to compromise, how to share, and how to get along with different personalities — instead of them learning these challenging lessons when they are older and likely not with me around to make sure they learn how to handle these things.
My kids usually love to play together, and it’s great for them because they have playmates at home and when we go out, to make memories and explore with. It’s also a great relief for me because that means I’m not responsible for being my kids’ only playmate when friends aren’t around.
It’s really beautiful to see the older siblings start to help out more and more as they get older. If you have a fourth child, odds are pretty good your oldest child is probably at least six and has the potential to step up to the plate and help in many ways. Of course, a lot of kids aren’t naturally helpful, so this takes a lot of training on your part, but the hard work really pays off!
Harder to Spoil
It’s not anyone’s fault, but it’s just a bigger challenge not to spoil your kids when you don’t have many children. When we had one or two kids, it was often easy to buy them a little something they wanted. Yeah, we can buy our daughter one special toy for $30. But when we multiply that by four kids, we often do not feel we can spend $120 for the same toy.
Besides the money aspect, I find having more kids means they have to also be less selfish with my time and assistance. When I had one baby, of course, she got everything she needed immediately. Not because I wanted to spoil her, but because I’m not a jerk and there was no reason for me to make her wait because she was my only priority. But with our fourth baby, he often has to wait for my attention and help because I have to often help his sisters (especially our precious three year old whom we call “the boss” or “sheriff”) first.
This may sound terrible, but I think, in the long run, it is probably much better for us not to grow up believing we are the center of the universe and to learn early that our needs aren’t the only ones that matter.
Potential to Make You a Better Person
Having a larger family is sanctifying, as I have to say “no” to my wants even more. However, it’s also helping me to have better priorities. With our first and often our second child, we were strict about things we realize no longer matter. We spent time and energy on things we now know aren’t important enough for us to worry ourselves about.
I also found having more kids has helped me generally be less judgmental and more understanding. First of all, I have less time to think about what other parents are doing. Also, the more kids we have, the more we see how unique each parent/child relationship is. We may raise multiple kids the same way but somehow have completely different results. I am no longer so sure I could do better than anyone else because I understand your kid is totally different than other kids.
Bigger Support System
There’s something really special about growing up with other people who experience the same family as you. Having multiple siblings means multiple people will walk through life with you and understand who you are and what you’ve been through.
I also imagine my kids growing up and having three siblings to support them in the hard times and to celebrate with them in the happy times. They will always have a built-in connection with these people. And later in life when your kids want to remember things from their past, it’s special to have a number of people who were there and who tell you you’re not just imaging things and can remember with you.
More Great Stuff
Yes, having more kids means more work, more stress, more expenses, more sacrifices, and less sleep — but the trade-off is worth it. More kids mean more strengths to go around, more joy, more laughter, and more love.