Families with 4 or more, how do you guys do it?

DH and I have been blessed three times over, our oldest is almost 4, middle will be 2 next Sunday and our youngest is 5 1/2 months. Needless to say we’ve been feeling a little stressed and had thought that 3 was our magic number…

Wouldn’t you know it, talk of more children has come up. We’re thinking we would like to add to our brood. I’m just looking for some tips on finances and budgeting (I’m a SAHM and we would like it to stay that way) and tme management and maybe a few “sanity saving” tips :hmmm:

All your input is greatly appreciated (really, all I’m looking for is some one to pat me on the back and say we’ll be just fine;) )

Thanks and God bless you and your little ones,


As one of nine children, I asked my Dad how he managed.
He looked thoughtful for a moment and quietly responded, “With faith in God.” Now, with 56 children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, my Dad is facing his terminal illness with his customary faith.

Somehow, I don’t consider it to be a real “family” unless there’s a gaggle of kids running around… and at least one in diapers. :smiley:

I come from a family of six children… we didn’t have all the luxuries that most of the “ideal” (2.25 children) family had, but we all had each other… and even today, we all have the six of us to “have our backs” as it were. “Family” gatherings are always a joyful riot, with our own children and all the grandchildren.

I remember a silly, but rather meaningful quote from one of our parents about how they managed to feed us six children: "Fifty cents’ worth of Po’k Chops makes two dollars’ worth of gravy!"

I really wish we’d have had more children… but we were only able to “have” two sons, so we were foster parents for a while, and ended up adopting a lovely little girl who has “special needs”… and luckily, I consider myself a “pretty special” father for her.

I drink too much.

nice mike, real nice…:smiley: Unfortunately I’d be the one preggo/nursing so drinky drinks are out of the question. I will however pass on this sage advice to DH

You CAN do it! There will be days, wild, long crazy days when you want to pull your hair out, but it is doable! Sounds like it may be that way already some days for you with three little ones under 5. It keeps life from getting boring! :wink: We always say once you have three, you are outnumbered anyway so go for more. :smiley:

God will provide financially and if he wants you to have more children, you will. It all works itself out in His time and in His way! Be prayerful and see what happens. I’ve never heard of anyone saying they regret having their “third, fouth, etc” child, only regretting that they didn’t have more!!

One thing I will say, we had several years of "un"success with having babies, this lead to a large gap in our children’s ages. In hindsight, it was hard to endure at the time, but now also appreciate what a wonderful help my older children are now with their little siblings! God has a plan, it isn’t always what we think it should be.

God Bless!

:console:You’ll be just fine. :wink:

The best advice I can give for any mom with little ones is to develop a strong support system of other moms. I found my early years with little ones very hard until I developed some strong friendships. It made all the difference. It’s esp. helpful to have friends who have or are open to large families.

I know it’s hard to get out and to entertain with three littles under 5, but make it a priority to do this.

I am basically a lazy person, but having a large family forces me to be a servant, so I’ve grown spiritually through it.

My family and his family shakes their heads at us and sometimes even gives us grief, but the support of our friends sees us through those spells. :slight_smile:

Having a large family isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. I love this life. My kids love it. My husband loves it. Just having all these Guardian angels in the house praying for us all day is such a blessing. :slight_smile:

Hi! We have seven children: three in their twenties, three teenagers, and a ten-year-old. I’ve been right where you are, and yes, it does get crazy.

However, keep this in perspective. You are in the toughest part right now, with several littles and no one really able to help out that much. Toddlers and babies are so much fun, so enjoy this fleeting time! And remember that it gets easier, I promise!

As your family grows, obviously your children will get older and will be able to do a LOT more. They won’t need you for every little thing. They will bathe themselves, dress themselves, and do all kinds of chores…from caring for a baby to doing laundry and cooking dinner. Right now it’s hard to see that far ahead, but it DOES happen.

Start training them now to help as they are able…to pick up toys, match socks, put away folded clothes, bring their dishes to the sink, even dust. They won’t do a perfect job but they’ll get used to the idea that everybody helps out in a family.

In many ways having baby #7 was much easier than having the older ones. I had two teenagers, and other kids old enough to do many things. Everyone was eager to help out with the new baby.

God bless you and your family!

Oh yeah, life is a lot easier now that I have teenagers. It seems like it became remarkably easier when my oldest daughter (not son–he was clueless) turned ten. I’m finding ten year old girls are very competent!

Nawwwww my prayers and thought go out to you and your family!! xx

I come from a family of 5 =) my sister is 21, im 20, my brothers are 18 and 17, 17 (twins lol) Sure it was hard at first, and at times it still is lol but everyone helps out lol Nana and poppa were always there when mum and dad needed it (God bless you nana! Love and miss you always! =’) ). Aunties and uncles too. We all still loive together as it is kinda custom for the children to only leave their parents home when they get married. But even after that many families still saty together!lol It may sound corny, but truly if there is unashamed love in the house, everything will work out =) Remember, a family that prays togther, stays together! xx

You’ll be just fine God will provide, a couple suggestions shop at the thriftstore for clothes and use decent hand-me-downs there is no need to buy kids new stuff as they grow so fast and wear out clothes. Budget your grocery shopping. If you can homeschool it’s cheaper than Catholic school (there’s finacial aid at most schools) but still it’s ALOT of money. Go on cheap family vacations like camping at a no reserve places etc. Have birthday parties at home skip Chuck E. Cheese. There are plenty of things. You’ll be fine. Our main burden isn’t the kids it’s the stink’n health insurance everytime I have a baby in the hospital :mad:


(we have 2 kids and we have another bun in the oven and looking at having how ever many God gives us)

i would love to have more children. my wife doesn’t :smiley:
but we’ll see where God will place us
i am worried too about the financial aspect of it. the parish priest from my former parish had a wonderful homily about the evils of modern times, on how anti-family life is today. especially here in vancouver where real estate prices is ridiculous. he says how can you afford to have more than 1 or 2 children when all you can afford is a measly 600sq/ft 1-bedroom apartment? then both husband and wife have to work ridiculous amounts of time just to pay the mortgage off.

we were fortunate enough to buy a decent sized home last year when real estate prices took a temporary dip. we have one baby now and would want at least another one. but the concern is we may have to move to a bigger house if we have two older children (not to mention if we have more). now, looking at real estate prices, the good news is i already made some money on our house :thumbsup: the bad news is we cannot afford anything in our current neighborhood. we would have to move further away if we want a bigger house for more space for more kids

i come from a family of 4 kids, same with my wife. although technically my family was always made up of 3 kids. my oldest brother died before i was born and i am the youngest.

You will be just fine. The greatest single sanity saving tip I can offer you is whenever any of the kids gets so much as a sniffle or looks a little run down, you give the child a little vitamin C and assign the child a water bottle.

Slap a piece of tape on the water bottle with the child’s name on it, as none of the others are allowed to drink from it (keeps down germs and allows you to monitor fluid intake). The child is to keep the water bottle handy at all times and drink from it off and on continuously throughout the day and night. The assigned water bottle (2 at bedtime) must be filled before bed, and tucked in with the child… with instructions to drink from the water bottle(s) whenever the child is awake and at any little cough or sneeze or restlessness throughout the night… if the child wakes up, the child needs to remember to drink from the water bottle.

It is a very simple thing to do… and yet whenever the latest cold germ goes around school, your kids will catch it and be over it quick and sharp using this method, no problem…
while all your neighbors end up having to take their kids back and forth to the doctor and spending a fortune on antibiotics… because of germs that gained a foothold on them because of nothing more than dehydration.

Hi Robin,

I had my 4 kids all within 5 1/2 years, and the best pieces of advice I could give would be:

-don’t compare yourself to other families, trial & error until you find what works for you
-be honest with yourself, your dh and your support system whenever you need a break to rejuvenate.
-keep regular date nights with your husband. I personally would recommend child-less date nights -in or out of home- but others are able to bring their baby along without any problem
-remember to take care of yourself, for me it means something like a new tube of mascara or something to make me feel good again

I came from a family of 8, and my mom was very self-sacrificial and loving, but never did anything for herself. I think it would have been a good example for me to see her do something for herself from time to time.

Good luck :slight_smile:

We “only” had four but it was within 5 years. It felt like a circus sometimes but we loved it. Our only regret is that we were unable to have more children.
My best piece of advice is this: do whatever you have to do, but get a helper. Advertise in your church bulletin or local paper, or ask a neighbor girl if you have to. It is definitely worth it. We lived on beans and rice and hamburger, I gardened and canned and preserved produce, we even raised our own animals for a while; our children wore clean but used clothing; we have always lived on a frugal budget; and I was able to stay home with my children until my youngest started 2nd grade. Even then, I took a teaching job at the private school my children attended so I could be near them.
But all the while, I had someone come in and help us at least once a week with cleaning, ironing, and laundry. It made everything so much better. Teenagers are pretty good about wanting to earn extra money. Do something for yourself and let a teenager help you out occasionally!:thumbsup:

We have ten kids (from 27 down to two 2 year olds). We had our first child at 19 and got our latest babies from Foster care in our mid forties. We’ve always had a full house.

Lots of people have told you things that make sense and I’ll not repeat them. What I can offer is some encouragement in on area that often comes up as an obstacle to large families: the cost of college.

We have three graduated (one with master’s degree, one getting her PhD and one taking advanced classes after graduation). We have two currently attending and one more about 2 years away. The rest all too young.

We use the community college system extensively. in our state, PA, all credits must be accepted by state schools. So, our deal with the kids is we’ll pay for the first two years of college is they a) go to community college and b) live at home. They pay for the last two years. They are not obliged to go to CC, but they have to pay it on their own. They can live at home for free if that is feasable for the university they have chosen, or pay for living elsewhere.

Our kids have gotten full tuition scholarships, taken loans, joined the reserves and worked to pay for their portion and the one’s who’ve graduated tell us that not giving them a 4 year ride was a very good thing. They “own” their education. They took it far more seriously then some of those on a “Mommy and Daddy 4 year party” that we hear about far too often.

The other hint I’d give you is look at Craigslist.org. It’s like a giant swap meet 24 hours a day. In just the past few weeks I gotten a steal on a truck, traded our Expedition straight up for a Van, and traded a junk car for a lawn tractor. You can get so many things cheap there: clothes, toys, washers and dryers, sheets - almost anything. It’s all local to your area so there is no shipping involved, just meeting up somewhere.

Thanks for all the great advice!!! I think we’re more comfortable with the idea, although DH wavers from time to time. It’s all in His (Gods, not DH) hands, we’ll see what happens.

Feeling alot better!

thank you all so much :love:


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