The biggest misconception people have about me is that I am overworked and over stressed just because I am the mother of four children. Honestly, I feel no more frazzled now than I did with only one child! Yes, there's more laundry now, but back then, I had to go to the laundry mat (ugh!). Now, I have a laundry room directly beside my kitchen, so it's easy to pop in, rotate laundry, fold clothes and keep an eye on kids & dinner at the same time! Speaking of folding laundry, as my kids have aged, this has become immensely easier - instead of washing, drying, folding and putting away by myself, I now have a small laundry basket for each of the 3 oldest boys. As I fold, I plop their items into their baskets and *they* get to put their clothes away! I simply never, ever look in their dressers because when I've accidentally done so, I could cry at what happens to all of my hard work. Oh, and I also stopped folding their socks. I bought socks with colored bottoms and now toss all blue to one boy, black to another and white to the third - easy peasy!
In addition, when I had my first son, my husband was a total slacker - much like having a second child in terms of creating messes but never cleaning up after himself. I left him and life was so much easier! Then I had my second son (his sperm donor was in and out of our lives just long enough to leave me my second blessing), so I was again a single mom. That was glorious! I was the end-all, be-all in my own home. If it was a wreck, that was on me. If it was sparkling from top to bottom, that was also on me. And if I said, "No, you may not have candy," there was no higher court of appeal (aka, dad). My favorite expression from those days was that I never had to pretend to care what the other parent thought - I could simply raise my children my way and not have to appease anyone else. Then I remarried. Co-parenting is extremely challenging. Lucky me, I married a man who cooks, cleans, helps with laundry, PLUS maintains the vehicles, takes out the trash, etc. We really run the household together. It's not easy to co-parent, but it sure is nice having a second pair of hands that actually help!
Anyway, when people hear I have 4 kids, they often don't realize that my oldest is almost 14, so I no longer have to wipe his butt. My second two boys are 8 - old enough to water the dog, clean the litter box, take out the trash and, when in trouble, scrub the floors on their hands & knees. The hardest part of having 4 kids is that the youngest is only 23 months old. But he's a baby, so every mess is easy to excuse, every mini-tantrum expected and normal. In a sense, it's more like having one child and three mother's helpers. So, honestly, I think being the mother of 4 is easier than it was with one. Or even two.