Time Changed When I had My Fourth Baby

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There are a lot of things that change when you have your fourth child. Many that didn’t surprise me.

Your house suddenly feels a lot smaller for one and it’s nearly impossible to find a quiet space.

Your favorite car or truck that you have loved no longer fits two car seats and 4 other people and you ultimately have to decide if you are minivan person or not. I am not. I am fighting it.

You can no longer fit at the kitchen island for meals. Someone or two or three are standing around and you realize you should have went for a house with a bigger kitchen. Because that is where you spend all of your time.

The laundry. Don’t even get me started on the laundry. It’s unbelievable really. Never ending. And so many sizes. The right things will never end up in the right drawers no matter how hard you try.

Little things will become big things. Like shoes on the living room floor and a rogue sock stuffed under the couch. The sheer amount of stuff you have now, just lying around, is insanity.

Someone is always hungry. Always. We go through a gallon of milk in a day and cereal seems to disappear. Chips don’t last and I didn’t know one family could eat so much peanut butter. You will become thankful for Costco and their ridiculously giant packs of toilet paper. And when you buy it you will laugh at the volume and yet it will be gone in an instant.

And sleep. Nope. There is no sleep. Someone is typically always awake. I have an early riser, a VERY early riser, a night owl, a middle of the night waker-upper and every night someone seems to crawl in our bed. Sometimes more than one.

These are all things I imagined would happen when we had our fourth baby.

One thing I didn’t prepare for was the way time would change.

With each little human you have time will go faster. It will pick up speed. Seasons will seem to fly by. Every day before you know it it will be lunch time. It’s always Friday too.

And your babies? Each one will grow up quicker than the one before. Their little babyisms disappear in the blink of an eye. Before you know it they are wearing your shoes to run outside and your two year old is turning into a teenager.

I wasn’t prepared for the way time would change. No one prepared me for that part. I can’t seem to slow it down no matter what I do either. All I can do is hold onto each of them as tight as I can.

Children…beautiful little stealers of time. And givers of everything else.

Photo Credit: Journeys of Life Photography

Finding Cooper’s Voice is a safe, humorous, caring and honest place where you can celebrate the unique challenges of parenting a special needs child. Because you’re never alone in the struggles you face. And once you find your people, your allies, your village….all the challenges and struggles will seem just a little bit easier. Welcome to our journey. You can also follow us on Facebook, subscribe for exclusive videos, and subscribe to our newsletter.

Kate Swenson

Kate Swenson lives in Minnesota with her husband Jamie, and four children, Cooper, Sawyer, Harbor and Wynnie. Kate launched Finding Cooper's Voice from her couch while her now 11-year-old son Cooper was being diagnosed with autism. Back then it was a place to write. Today it is a living, thriving community of people who want to not only advocate for autism, but also make the world a better place for individuals with disabilities and their families. Her first book, Forever Boy, will be released, April 5, 2022.

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