Parents of 3+ kids within 4 years - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 24 Old 07-16-2010, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi! I have 3 kids ages 4, 2.5, and 5 months. I'm looking for other parents with 3 or more closely spaced kids. I'm a SAHM, homeschooling. Most of the people in my area and in my homeschool group have only 1 or 2 children. I love each of my unique children but I am going CRAZY with them. The baby rarely coordinates his sleep times with the girls so that I can get enough rest. He no longer drifts off to sleep just anywhere and will often refuse to nurse until I lay down with him so he can nurse and fall asleep. I've recently started going to bed with him in the evening, leaving my husband to put our 4 year old to bed and finish cleaning up from dinner. Both girls have tantrums, often when the baby is strapped on my back fussing to go to sleep and I'm trying to get us out the door to walk somewhere. I'm ECing (with moderate success) and using cloth diapers. I'm trying to do just the minimum - simple meals, little house cleaning. My husband just started a new job so I'm reluctant to ask him to do more. He generally does a lot with the kids, around the house, and all our bills and paper work anyway. If I go out with the kids (playground, etc.), it's a push to get us out of the house and nothing gets done. If we stay home, the kids go stir crazy, I end up playing referee all day, and nothing gets done. When I have more energy (physically and emotionally), the kids help with the house work and we do fun activities. But lately I'm so drained I'm quick to cry or scream, which just makes everything worse. Any suggestions? Thanks
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#2 of 24 Old 07-16-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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We're joining you soon! I have a 2yo, and my DP is pregnant with twins. We'll both be home for her maternity leave, then she's going back to work and leaving me home with two newborns and a 2.5yo. I wiill have 3 under 4 for at least 1.5 years. I'm scared! Not much for suggestions though - other than I wouldn't worry about any 'schooling' at that age. We're debating homeschooling here, and if I do it, I think it will be very relaxed and "unschoolingish" until my oldest is around 7yo - when the twins will be 4.5 and more managable!

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#3 of 24 Old 07-16-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I'll join too!
I have 3 kids that are 4 and under. DD is 4.5yr and I have twin DS's that are 3.5yrs. It was quite crazy for a while( it still is at times too). I find it funny when people ask if they are all mine.LOL! Or if they are triplets cause they are all about the same size.

Rebecca, Veggie mama of 3 little maniacs Hannah~22/12/2005 Callum~28/12/2006 Benjamin~28/12/2006 ~~~Our newest addition will be joining us mid-late April 2011!!!!
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#4 of 24 Old 07-18-2010, 08:59 PM
 
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I will have 8 within 12 years.
My closest 3 are my 3rd,4th and 5th. The 5th was born when the 3rd was 32 months and the 4th was 15 months.
This time I will have 3 in just over 4 years, #6 turns 4 in Sep, #7 turns 2 in Oct and baby is due in Feb,
My first 3 were in 4 years and 1 months. Even 5,6 and 7 were in just under 4 years.

My biggest gap between any of my 2 is 27 months so it has always been crazy although the 3 in 3 years was the craziest and they were all in diapers together.

I do homeschool them all too.

Michele, wife to my soul mate, hero and solider, momma to
K-03/98, B-01/00, D-03/02, M-09/03, TL-12/04, TM-09/06, I-10/08 edd 02/02/11
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#5 of 24 Old 07-18-2010, 09:23 PM
 
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Mine are much older but they werem4, 2 and new. They are now 11, 14 and 16 (because of when their birthdays fall it looks weird this time of year). My greatest advice would be to relax. Your little one will only be little once. Lay down and nurse while reading the older a story, I know it's a hassle to get out the door but do it. I have so many regrets about not truly enjoying my kiddos babyhood. It all goes so fast......
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#6 of 24 Old 07-20-2010, 05:03 AM
 
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I have one on the way and mine are 3 and 16 months. They'll be almost 4 and 2 when #3 gets here.

Bri helpmeet to Chaise mama to K(2/07)  M(3/09) & A(2/11)

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#7 of 24 Old 07-22-2010, 12:11 PM
 
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this is a great tribe. I am moving it to parenting where it will get more people I am sure.

earth.gif trottin', pole dancing, Norway and Sweden lovin' , hippie.gif,WOHM Kiddos born waterbirth.jpg 12/11/06 and 08/09/08 
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#8 of 24 Old 07-22-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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I feel you. My first three were born in 23 months, with #4 joining when the rest were 4,3,and2. I spent a couple years sleeping in a giant bed(two twin beds pushed together)...me nursing the baby, with the others curled around. After everyone fell asleep(including me many times) I would get up, take baby and join dh in my bed.
We are homeschoolers also. Just the other day one of the other moms in our group said something to the effect of how reasonable 15 dollars per child was for an activity...not to me it isn't, nor any other family with more than 2!
There are a ton of upsides though... I love how close my kids are, and being able to buy matching clothes is alot easier when they are the same size, or close to it lol. It used to be that my older 3 boys were all in the same size shirts!
I wish we could all post pics, I love seeing other closespread groups.

Wendy,loving wife to Brian, happy mama of Trinity(15), Christian(15), Gavin(13), Logan(11), Griffon(9),Jubilee(7), Epiphany (4), and Lucian Danger( born 18 April 12) <3
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#9 of 24 Old 07-22-2010, 06:35 PM
 
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I have 4 kids in 5 years (twins in the middle). They are now 12, 9, 9 and 7.

I LOVE the spacing and how we can travel as a pod.

From a parenting perspective, I had to switch from reactive to proactive when the twins were born. I think that helped a lot.

I will say that the adrenal support program my naturopath has me on has been fantastic and has helped with hitting that wall.

hth
Karen

Blessed partner to a great guy, and mama to 4 amazing kids. Unfortunate target of an irrationally angry IRL stalker.

Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned. ~ Buddha

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#10 of 24 Old 07-22-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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Having closely spaced kids is completely exhuasting - especially when one (or more) of them is a baby. My kids are now 4, 3 & 2. The older two are 15months apart and 12months later came my little guy. So the oldest was only 27 months old when the third was born. I was also a single mom. My ex and I divorced right after my son was born. The first year when the two little ones were still babies was SOOO tough. All I can suggest for that is to take ANY help you can get.

Now that my kids are a little older, they play better together but I still feel run down all the time. My oldest is only just starting Kindergarten this fall so we haven't done the schooling thing yet and I bet that would be really challenging. I chose NOT to homeschool because of the closeness in age of the children combined with their individual needs I thought was just too much.

I don't know if I can give much help unless it was a little more specific, but it DOES get easier. It's still hard for me, but comparable to last year, if it gets this much easier next year I'll be laughing

I also got remarried and DH has 2 kids that are here 50% of the time. They are 3 & 5 so combined we have a 2, 3, 3, 4, & 5 year old and I'm pregnant and due in November

I love having them closely spaced. There are so many benefits. But it is hard to meet all their individual needs when they are not quite independant yet. They are really needy kids...constantly at my ankles. But I love them!

Married Busy Mom to DSS 01/05, DD 11/05, DSD 11/06, DD 02/07, DS 03/08 and baby on the way 11/10
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#11 of 24 Old 07-22-2010, 09:54 PM
 
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I have three boys ages 4.5, 2.75, and 7 months. I love, love, love having them close together! My oldest is old enough now that he can really help me with the younger ones and some basic household stuff, which makes a big difference. I get overwhelmed when they're all climbing all over me loudly demanding all of my attention at once, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm even itching to have a fourth already. I love having my heart and arms so full!
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A, wife to R and mom to 3 boys: D~ 10/05, J~ 8/07, and B~ 12/09 jumpers.gif

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#12 of 24 Old 07-22-2010, 10:03 PM
 
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I have 3 boys in 4 years

It IS crazy sometimes, but during the crazy times, I often don't have an extra moment to think about how crazy it is, I just go with the flow as best I can to survive the day! (or moment, sometimes!)

Mommy to BigBoy Ian (3-17-05) ; LittleBoy Connor (3-3-07) (DiGeorge/VCFS):; BabyBoy Gavin (10-3-09) x3 AngelBaby (1-7-06)
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#13 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 02:21 AM
 
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4 in less than 4 years. 7 year old twins, 5.5 years and 3 years. Crazy, crazy, crazy is all I am going to say. Now that they are older, though, it is so nice that they can all play the same stuff pretty much together. They are all so close.
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#14 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 02:47 AM
 
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Hi! Mine are 5.5, 3.5 (this month) and 20 months with another due late Nov/early Dec.

5.5 boy, 3 girl, 20 mo. boy and gestating a boy.

I feel the same as you most days. Especially now when I have 20 mo. wanting to "Go outside!" all the time!! And of course he can't go alone!

I feel a little bad about it, but I put a TV (no cable movies only) in the kids' room. The little one still goes to sleep with me at night.
So far, this allows me to put the older two for quiet time either close to bedtime, when the baby needs to sleep, or when I just plain DESPERATELY need to get something done, and they are more than happy to watch one of the Toy Story DVD's for awhile. Sometimes 3/yo will fall asleep in the evening with it.

I think it works because I limit it some.

I also let the 5.5 use the computer--VERY RESTRICTED USE--and have since he was 4.
This is excellent to get him away from his sister for awhile when they are really not getting along. Again, it works because it's a special privilige.

I am fortunate to have my mom living here and DH working odd hours that sometimes allow me to grab a much-needed nap when I've been up awhile but before he leaves.

Sophia (3) loves to do stuff like help me clean the bathroom/tub, wash windows, cook. (they all sometimes like to help but Sophie especially enjoys it. ) Again, if she is helping ME, she is not ANNOYING HER BROTHERS.

I find too that we go stir crazy inside. It is one of the reasons I don't take away outdoor priviliges and outings unless that's my ONLY option. I NEED those fun times with them!

lovin DH since 1/04, SAHM to 3 boys 10/04, 11/08, 11/10 one girlie (1/07), and one 13 wk (10/13) just your average :ha ng multigenerational living family!!
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#15 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 09:43 AM
 
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[QUOTE=wendybird;15653485] My first three were born in 23 months, with #4 joining when the rest were 4,3,and2.


O.M.G. Hats off to you. And the rest of you mammas and papas in this tribe!!! =)

I only have two (so far) who are 2.5 years apart so I have nothing to add here. Just wanted to express my admiration!

Mamma to dd1 3/8/07, one 9.5.08, and dd2 9/9/09
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#16 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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My children are 10, almost 8, 5.5 and almost 1. I had the first three in 4.5 yrs. I Still do not get as much done in a day as I would like and I have accepted that it is ok. I keep lists of what needs to be done and if I get it all done, good and if not, there is always tomorrow.

I think that we have to lower our expectations of what we can accomplish daily with small children. I know that my oldest son has always wanted to "help" mama, so I would give him small tasks to do even at 4 or so. I know that helped calm some of the tantrums at times.

My Dh works very long hours so I have always put all of my children to bed. I think having a bedtime ritual or routine is good. We have always done bath, books, bed (and prayer) and now that the boys are older, the bigger guys can read to themselves or read out loud to us and our younger son.

Lots of hugs to you, I remember those days not too long ago, but it is nice to have kids close in age and that they have one another. My older two sons are very close and like to do a lot together now.

Take care,

Jen, mama to  (M-13, N- 10, C- 8 rainbow1284.gif J- 3.5, and rainbow1284.gifJ -2, angel3.gifA (10/4/07) and 3 early losses)
We are expecting baby #7 in November 2013

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#17 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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Can I join, three boys in 5 years. One is 5 in the fall, one is 2.5 and my youngest is due next month, though we'll all be surprised if he stays in that long.

My oldest two are in Montessori so I currently have the days to myself, it's been very helpful. It was tough putting my youngest in pre-casa because he's my baby, but he also had a mild speech delay which is improving greatly because of school.

After school it's complete chaos. I think for me, my biggest lifesaver is trying to be as organized as possible. DH is an amazing dad so when he gets home, he'll take the kids while I prepare snacks, dinner, breakfast for the next day. I delegate a lot too! My kids know tidy up time and do their share. They also love helping with various tasks and I just discovered how much of an asset older son is with putting away kids laundry so that is a bonus!

I'm mainly worried about having 3 is my current youngest and making sure his needs are still met. He loves being the little guy and is a little clown, so I really want him to not feel displaced. On the other hand, I look at friends of ours and their middle child (same age as mine) just turned into more of a monkey when her little brother arrived.

Don't trust anyone under 5! Mom to 3 boys under 5. Blogging to save my sanity.
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#18 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 10:31 AM
 
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My oldest was 4 when my third was born. The third child definitely threw me for a loop and it was about a year before I felt like I was a human being again.

One thing that made a world of difference for all of us was having an established rest time for the older two. I didn't make them nap, but put them in their beds with a fun story on CD. Then I would go lie down and nurse the baby. With my third, he was so huge the only way I could nurse him comfortably anyway was to lie down. If your older ones won't stay in their room, maybe set up a rest mat for them wherever you nurse the baby, and all have a quiet lie down together, even if nobody sleeps.



I know it's rough. Even if you can't change anything right now, don't let the craziness of the moment put you in despair. My youngest is 3 now, and they have all grown to be wonderful little guys who are increasingly independent and sometimes I feel downright lazy because of how little they need from me.
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#19 of 24 Old 07-23-2010, 10:46 PM
 
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Yeah! A home for me! I have a two boys 4 and 2 and baby girl just 2 months old. I'm so tired right now I can't even read all these posts! LOL! But I'm here too! We're homeschooling.

Generally I can't complain! We do very well. My husband takes on a tremendous amount of the load and when he isn't here... I feel like I've lost my right arm.

Someone suggested the rest time even for the non-nappers... that is a rule in our house. It helps!
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#20 of 24 Old 07-25-2010, 01:03 AM
 
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Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
My oldest was 4 when my third was born. The third child definitely threw me for a loop and it was about a year before I felt like I was a human being again.
Oh don't say that!

Bri helpmeet to Chaise mama to K(2/07)  M(3/09) & A(2/11)

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#21 of 24 Old 07-26-2010, 11:26 AM
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Hang in there ladies! It does get better!

My kids are 13, 15 and 16. Sometimes I would give my right arm to go back to the days when we stayed in bed watching Sesame Street and then playing with sidewalk chalk.

Trying to do the right thing with three kids and a hubby. 
ds20, dd18, ds16

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#22 of 24 Old 07-26-2010, 12:41 PM
 
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It certainly does get better. My first had just turned 4 when #3 arrived (and 6 with #4, but a ripe old 9 when # 5 arrived). My Dh was away often and for long stretches. I just kept in mind mine was a volunteer position,and that it was up to me to take the days as the gifts they are and enjoy them. Not always easy (especially when someone is sick or really out of sorts) but it is fun. Very fun.

I don't try to be a mothering.com perfect mom ( if such a creature exists). I focus on the things that matter most to me (gentle discipline, learning, healthy eating, outdoor time) We are tv free, but not organic eaters, co-sleepers, tri-lingual yoga afficionados. We use disposable diapers (a leftover from the days when we had no washing machine).

When I am feeling overwhelmed like OP sounds now I try to look at what I am doing to see if there are a few things I might let slide. It is more important to enjoy our days than it is to make our own yogurt (not that they are mutually exclusive but they certainly would be for me)!

Happy to have a new tribe to check in with!

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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#23 of 24 Old 07-26-2010, 05:15 PM
 
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I'm a new member of this tribe. My oldest will be 4 in September, I have a new 2 year old (sat), and a 5 week old. We're in the throes of "keep everyone alive, and it's a great day!" LOL
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#24 of 24 Old 07-27-2010, 02:40 AM
 
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I don't try to be a mothering.com perfect mom ( if such a creature exists). I focus on the things that matter most to me (gentle discipline, learning, healthy eating, outdoor time) We are tv free, but not organic eaters, co-sleepers, tri-lingual yoga afficionados. We use disposable diapers (a leftover from the days when we had no washing machine).

Bri helpmeet to Chaise mama to K(2/07)  M(3/09) & A(2/11)

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