The side effects of having 4 kids

Posted on:February 11 2022

If you start having more than the usual amount of children, there are many interesting side effects. Also, you start running into lots of interesting problems. Adminsitrative, cultural but also lots of timing and management problems. As programmer, you'll also find a lot of interesting optimization problems - you always struggle optimizing your time in order to be able to finish all your tasks while trying keep everybody happy at the same time.
Here is a short list of things I encountered:

Cars

Most cars are made for 5 persons. But you'll have problems fitting in 3 child seats and two adults into most cars. With 4 small children, you still need to add one additional seat, so you are left with at least 7-seater cars as the smallest option.
Fine, right? But once you need also transport baggage, even a 7 seater like a Sharan, Zafira or Prius+ or even ModelX isn't large enough. You likely need to get a Van, or use a roof rack alternatively.

And if you want to use an electric car, your options are very, very limited.


Housing

Open any real estate website and search for an appartment or a house with 5 bedrooms. In my country, something like this simply doesn't exist unless it's a castle or similar. So, most people in my situation would let their children share their rooms - which again causes tons of other problems.
In my case, we simply solved this by splitting a few rooms with new walls. Everyone now has a still large enough, own room and is happy.


Hotels

The room situation is similar when booking hotels: Get used to book at least two rooms now.
Sometimes it's now better to search a bit more and book large apartements or even full houses. But this gets quite expensive quickly.


Social Stigma

Walk into a restaurant, a hotel, a public swimming pool or similar, with 4 small children, and people will stare at you.
Bonus points if you are just a single parent. Double bonus points when two of your children have taken their friends with them, making it look now like you have 6 children.
Racists will think you are foreigners, but once they notice that you are native, then they will explain it to themselves that you are likely crazy, religious, or trashy. Seldomly people think good of you.

What boredom?

Interesting is also to note that with 4 small children, you never get bored. You always have something to do. And you get used to it.
There was a weekend once where my wife went off for an activity and took all the children with her so that I was left home alone, with two days of time for me to do whatever I wanted. It was like a culture shock. I initially had no idea what to do. I had to think hard about what activity I possibly could fill two entire days with!


Forms

Ever noticed, that on forms you have to fill out, when there is a section for listing the names or details of your children, there is not a lot of space?
Usually not enough to list 4 of them, interestingly. That's a minor point, but it's constant and sucks.

Handling Babies

Every parent can probably agree that having and handling a baby can be quite a challenge. Constant sleep deprivation combined with the feeling that you don't know if you are doing this right, and later the constant need to entertain your toddler and do all the other tasks can be stressfull.
The good thing is, with every child, you get better. A lot better. With the 4th baby, we hardly noticed any difference anymore. You are experienced, used to every step, have seen every situation already multiple times. Nothing can happen. A piece of cake.
I'd write this strange difficulty curve like this:
  • 1 Child: Hard
  • 2 Children: Very hard
  • 3 Children: OK-ish
  • 4 Children: EAZY


Not giving a fuck

I'm a programmer, and introvert on top of that, so I usually always think a lot about all possibile outcomes of most situations I am planning to cause. But since I have many kids, more and more I started getting into the "I don't give a fuck" mood recently. It's probably the outcome of the combination of all the side effects listed above. Or maybe I'm just getting old. Or both. But it's a nice feeling to have, finally.



Yes, that's it already. Maybe this blog helped you a bit to decide if you want to have more than the usual amount of kids, too :D





Comments:


Interesting. I dont have children (yet) but still interesting article. Thanks!
asid
Quote
2022-02-13 13:57:21


With only 2 of the little humans some points do not apply, but for the others I can pretty much ack!

Was quite interesting already when there was only one child, but two friends were visiting and Mama injured herself so we had to go to the hospital - fortunately the car allowed for 3 children seats in a row, but while I was waiting alone with the three of them the looks were pretty much as Niko said.

And the forms ... they leave like half a page of space for the last name and address of each child, but then you have to fit first name and date of birth within like 2cm in a single row. Well designed!

I have to add that the age difference does matter to some extent: If the children are not too far apart, the more the merrier, because to some extent they just occupy themselves. Too large an age difference however diminishes that to some extent...

So I probably am good with the number of kids right now, and Mama said to find some other Mama should I want some more
xaos
Quote
2022-02-17 11:51:29


intresting article im dont have kids (yet) but its intresting to have a few
hanicraft
Quote
2022-02-24 22:00:42


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