We are expecting a 4th little one to join our clan in January!
Ever since we found out that we were pregnant, we've been enduring comments from a loved one who seems to disapprove of this pregnancy. We've always been open to having a large family, but did not plan on even thinking about adding a fourth for another couple years. The fact is, we're poor. Like, really poor. Hubby has been unemployed for 3 years and is going to school. Not the most logical time to have another kid. But, Heavenly Father apparently has different plans for us!
So I understand where this loved one is coming from, but what does this person expect us to do about it? God decided to bless us with another child and He is obviously in control. He knows the end from the beginning.
The comments that hurt the most are the ones that question my ability as a mother to take care of 4 kids. Yes, having 3 age 6 and under is hard. Yes, having 4 will be harder. But women do it all the time! And their children not only survive, but thrive!
Especially considering that we do homeschool, this person has questioned how I will be able to teach the older two while meeting the needs of the younger two. So I've done a little thinking and come up with 10 reasons why things aren't going to be as hard as our loved one fears:
1) Even though we are enrolled with a charter school and have to stick to their schedule, I plan on taking advantage of the flexibility homeschoolers generally enjoy. I don't feel bad about working through Christmas break and then instead taking those vacation days after baby Quartus is born. I figure that our number of days worked is more important than actually sticking to the school's calendar. This way, we'll be able to take it easy and focus on the brand new baby for a couple weeks in January.
2) Primus is very bright, responsible, and independent. She doesn't need me sitting next to her every second in order to learn and do the things she needs to.
3) Secundus isn't in Kindergarten yet so if her schooling slides, then no sweat! At this age, she is learning a ton through free play and casually listening in to her sister's lessons.
4) Tertius doesn't require that much attention. I am very proud of the fact that all three of my children are very good at entertaining themselves. The school room is full of toys and books that he can play with if I want to keep him close. Or I can just open up the door to the backyard and set him loose in nature. I also don't worry about him too much if he is out of my sight playing in another part of the house. He's easy.
5) I breastfeed. That means that for the first 4-6 months, my amount of dirty dishes that must get done during the day will not be increased in the slightest. Plus, I don't have to spend anytime mixing and warming bottles. Also, I can feed one-handed...and standing if needed. So I am more than capable of nursing the baby while doing a million other things: reading a book to the kids, teaching a lesson, grabbing needed books or art supplies off the bookshelves, writing instructions on the whiteboard, even putting lunch on the table!
6) Babies sleep a lot during the day.
7) Babies are portable. If I need both arms free and baby isn't taking a nap, I may be able to keep him happy for long stretches in the bouncy seat or swing nearby.
8) Silver lining to unemployment: Daddy is around. True, he will have to go to class and take time for homework. But he will still have many free hours at home with us to help out with everything.
9) Right after moving in to the new house, I trained the kids to help start and switch the laundry. One less thing I have to do!
10) Heavenly Father is in charge. He wanted us to be blessed with these children. He also wanted me to homeschool. This fact has been confirmed to me several times as I've prayed and received Priesthood blessings. He will sustain us and help us through.