Four Times Everything!

We have four kids. We love it. In the beginning, we really didn’t think about all that comes with that. All of those beautiful, squishy babies, some planned and some a great surprise, we were just living the young life open to what fate had in store for us. As time goes on though, we quickly realized that, that fate could be a whamo with four times everything! The EXPENSE, the chaos, the number of people talking to you from the back seat, the teacher emails, the study guides, the SNACKS, the dental bills, the amount of bodies you have to sunscreen up, the entertainment, the love … I am always uncomfortable when people say to me “I don’t know how you do it.” My response is always, “I just do it. One day at a time, just like you.” Whether you have 1 kid or 10, we are all on this rollercoaster of parenthood.

The baby years are kind of a blur with all of that sleep deprivation. Lots of babies needing me, touching me, the oldest 7 year old attention seeking child, constant runny noses and nighttime coughs. Sweating to death during the summer months trying to buckle everyone into carseats and a husband still interested in being intimate at night and me looking at him like he must have three heads! I remember a neighbor remarking to me one time “I’ve never seen him with clothes on! He’s always out front in a diaper.” … SO! Or “Do your kids ever wear shoes?” Yes they wear shoes. I put them on them like umpteen times a day, and it’s the most exhausting experience ever! “Ommm, your kid’s on top of the counter!” Is that a strange thing? Phrases like “Mom, he’s eating dirt” didn’t even faze me and walking around with poo poo on my shirt unbeknownst to me, well, as the saying goes “Poop” happens.

The youngest of 4, eating dirt.

A trip to the grocery store could bring out the devil in me. An infant sitting in the front of the cart, a toddler in the back, another toddler hanging off the side and an eight year old telling me that SHE will push the cart. Zig zag left, zig zag right, using the cart like she’s on a motor speedway to all the kids’ delight … “THAT’S IT! I am in charge! Not you!” then literally prying her fingers off of the handle that is rightfully mine! 

We’ve had full nighttime tee-tee diapers thrown across the room and bust open and a peanut shoved up the nose that needed to be professionally removed. “Move along people. Nothing to see here,” constantly ran through my mind. I realized the other day, we’ve been wiping someone’s tushy for the last 15 years. 

Now they are all a little bit older. The cost of choosing private school times four makes our eyes spin. $5 free dress each week of the Lenten season turns into $20 free dress for us. We have to sell four times the amount of raffle tickets without four times the amount of family members or neighbors to sell them to.

The homework …

I feel like I will be doing homework and studying till I’m 70. Birth control classes should indeed be held in my house during homework time. Just set up the chairs and let those teenagers get an eye full!  

Extracurricular activities …

“We can’t do it all people! There is only one of me and four of y’all!” There just aren’t enough hours in the day to fulfill everyone’s dreams of being a dancer, gymnast, cheerleader, soccer player, baseball star, etc.” And it brings about so much guilt to me when they have to choose. “Hire a nanny!” they say. Well nannies cost money, and we aren’t exactly rolling in it since we have FOUR kids!

Sickness and the domino effect.

You watch them all like a hawk just waiting for the next kid to vomit because you know it’s coming, and you wait on pins and needles wondering how much of your week(s) you should go ahead and cancel. Then there’s the comment, “Your kids are always sick.” … ummm, no, they aren’t. It just seems that way because there are so many of them. 

Family pets …

“Can we get a dog, another dog, a fish, a hamster, a rabbit, another hermit crab?” “Are you freaking kidding me?” I’ve seen enough poo and pee to last me a lifetime and I have no desire to ride that train wreck of bad sleep again. But alas, we’ve had 2 dogs, 1 cat, 3 hamsters, 6 fish and countless hermit crabs. I remember being secretly overjoyed when the goldfish died, because I’ll give you one guess who really took care of it (plus dirty fish water smells worse than human throw up.) 

“Can I have a friend over?” -Major eye rolling from me.

“What are we doing this weekend?” -Why?? Can’t we just do nothing! 

“We are the only ones that haven’t been to Disney World!” -Because we send you to private school and we can’t do both.

“The tooth fairy didn’t come.” -Well isn’t that a curious thing?! Then I drop the money under the bed while they are at school and totally blame them that it must have fallen out from under the pillow and offer up words of encouragement like, “See! I told you to always have faith! She would never forget.”

“I love you Mom. You’re the best.” -Oooo, you got me good right there.

They make me strong. They have given me a can do attitude. Multi-tasking has become a profession. I will run the roads from here to eternity to be able to be with them. We have four kids and we love every minute of it (minus the homework).

Betsy is a stay at home (but never at home) mom, to her four children, Maggie, Annie, Jack Henry, and Bear. She grew up in Hammond, La., but moved to Lafayette at the age of 18 to attend USL (now ULL!) After graduating with a degree in Interior Design, she married her high school sweetheart, Matt, and they moved to Shreveport, La., when he got accepted into LSU Medical School. During their 10 years in Shreveport, they had four children while Matt completed Medical School, Surgery Residency and a fellowship in Colorectal Surgery. As Matt worked long hours and Betsy was often raising the children by herself, she learned to "expect the unexpected", "go with the flow" and praise the Lord that they were all alive at the end of the day! After their 10 years there, they packed the family up and moved back to Lafayette, where they always knew they wanted to raise their family. They've been back in the area since 2011 and their lives are full of chaos, homework, studying for tests, after school sports, traveling for gymnastics competitions, and children that are growing up way to fast! Betsy spends many hours volunteering at the children's school, serving on the PTO board and driving the Boudreaux Bus! She truly enjoys every minute of it!