Parenting 4 as compared to parenting 2

When I had two children I strictly monitored the amount of television the boys watched each and every day. A DVD was a real treat. Now I have four boys it is not uncommon for whatever film is the current favourite to be on loop.

When I had two children there was no xBox, Playstation or Wii and Nintendo time was as strictly monitored as that for the TV. Now I have four boys COD (Call of Duty) is on pretty much 24/7 so long as the blood-splattering-on-the-screen option is turned off.

When I had two children you had to sit at the dinner table until you had finished your dinner. Now I have four boys if you don’t like it, don’t eat it. Don’t even sit at the table, see if I can muster the energy to pretend to care. Sometimes I’m so resigned to it all you will still get dessert.

When I had two children you never left the house without being fully clothed – including underwear – and wearing shoes. Now I have four boys we’ve been known to turn up at the supermarket, kindergarten and family gatherings without shoes on or even in hand. Underwear is also totally optional. If it’s cold and you’ve forgotten a jumper you’re on your own.

When I had two children and we went to the movies I would absolutely crack it if they got up from their seats. Now I have four boys I point out the acceptable race track route around the cinema.

When I had two children bedtime was strictly adhered to six nights of the week. Now I have four children bedtime is after Dr Who.

When I had two children we read stories each and every night before bed. Now I have four boys I read the same story every night. It’s called ‘I SAID GO TO BED’.

When I had two children I vacuumed once a week. Now I have four boys I vacuum once an hour.

When I had two children we would entertain at least once a month. Now I have four boys we don’t even have friends.

When I had two children I’d get so strung out over the smallest detail, the slightest event. Now I just wing it.

When I had two boys I felt totally isolated from the world and on the periphery of society. Now I have four boys we are a society and isolation is just a pretty daydream.

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  • Anonymous

    you have 4 very lucky boys.

    you allow them to listen to their body and judge their own hunger.

    you empower them to make choices about personal clothing.

    you acknowledge that young bodies are not designed to be motionless.

    you are consistent about bedtime routines.

    you are teaching them not to sweat the small things.

    you are a legend (and I strongly suggest you remind them of that fact on an hourly basis)

    timid children in colour matching outfits e.g. the GG and her brood in their red/pink/white photo shoots, scare me shitless.

    gimme a bunch of wild boys any day!


  • no blog norma

    that mix sounds fine to me,just the you getting some you time/isolation maybe could be a goer. i love your blog and it is a pleasant blast of fun reading the good and the rest ! but i hope there are lots of more fab things in 2010 for you.

  • blackbird

    Isn't Linda brilliant?
    (no sarcasm intended)

    You didn't blog when you had two.

    There's an ad, in your sidebar, for the hospital near my house. (Thought you should know as we've had the steroid convo. Of course, as of 1/1/10 I can't afford to go to the ER anymore as it is now $200.)

  • BabelBabe

    This is brilliant.
    And you made me laugh out loud.

    My contribution: When I had 2, I refereed and fairly handed out punishment for bashing your brother or stealing his toy. With 4, I say, Unless there's blood, I don't want to hear about it.

    We should write a book, us two. What do you say?

  • sooz

    It scares a little that all that stuff is true for me and yet I only have 2. Well all except the hourly vaccuuming. I can't vaccuuming, there's too much stuff in the way. Luckily the ants are doing a pretty good job of taking shit away.

    But I think I gave up before I even had kids. I'm just lazy.

  • Jodie

    I'm with sooz, all of that is relevant (bar the vacuuming) and I only have two. I distinctly remember with one, after playing with the tub of duplo I would check each piece of the checklist onthe side of the box as we packed up…..
    By the time we wrangled the second , they were eating duplo!

  • kim at allconsuming

    Sooz & Jodie – no no, all this shows is that you are way faster learners than I am.

    And that like attracts like.

  • Janet

    yeah, we're a bit pants optional around here too (actually lots of kids around here a pretty clothing optional). Or sometimes with being a girl it's clean pants optional because disaster is leaving the house without your dora the explorer scrundies even if they are totally feral. And Grace watches far too much telly because we're lazy and then things go pear shaped and we ban it for a day and think OMG why did we do that. I can't wait to go camping (said with not a touch of sarcasm oh no, not moi).

  • Anonymous

    I loved this and all previous posts which I had lost whiel away.
    Sounds like you had a lot going on, not all of which was great.
    Here's to a larger part of good things for the new coming year

  • Elizabeth

    I have two and Im slack so I do all your 4 stuff… and Im only slightly embarrased about that.

  • Abbington

    I'm about to have my 4th – and this sooo made me laugh out loud! (Or maybe it was nervous hysteria, I'm not quite sure… I'll let you know in a few months)

  • Corrie

    that is too funny! everything went out the window when the twins arrived so I relate to all of that! thank goodness I have floorboards and the broom and I are best buddies! they can't even eat 1 biscuit without it going everywhere and the toys—- I'm not even going to start on how many toys we have all over the place!


  • Abbington

    Well, we are 7 weeks into being parents-of-4, and we are surviving – in fact, we are actually enjoying it! Is it crazy? Yes, but good crazy, not bad crazy. Does my home resemble a Country Style photoshoot? Not so much – (more like the photos coming out of Christchurch) Is there a scary amount of crusted on weetbix building up on the floor under the breakfast bar? I'm trying hard not to look. But I am still very much appreciating and chuckling at your words of wisdom!

  • Maxabella

    LOVE this post. It's all so darn true. Mind you, I do all of this and I only have 3.

    I think the best thing we can say is that the more kids you have the more likely they are to grow up to be independent, easy-going self-raising adults! x

  • Maxabella

    PS – loved the first comment left by Anonymous. S/he's absolutely right. Now, if only we could really think like that all the time!!

  • Inner Pickle

    hahahahaha!! I just read this. GOLD. xx

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  • I have 2 boys, too scared to go back for a 3rd in the case its another boy!! I couldnt imagine 4 boys!! I struggle with 2. How I am now I have a business and 2 kids compared to 1 kid with no business…..would hate to see me with 4 kids! would not be pretty!
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  • That’s hilarious! I do all that with two (as compared to 5 years with only 1). Four boys. Wow, you’re one brave woman. lol ;p
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