Anonymous Mom: My Cousin With Quadruplets Is Hogging All The Free Family Child Care

Four Noras on the SofaAnonymous Mom is a weekly column of motherhood confessions, indiscretions, and parental shortcomings selected by Mommyish editors. Under this unanimous byline, readers can share their own stories, secrets, and moments of weakness with complete anonymity.

I am a working mom with three children ranging in age from six to one. I work because I do like my job, but I also have to work. I am married and my husband does help a lot with our children but it still seems daunting at times. I know we had them and it is our responsibility to love and care for them. I absolutely love my children and enjoy lots of things about them but let’s face it, it is harder to have more than one child. Period. I am tired of hearing we have it easy because we only had one child at a time.

A few years ago, my cousin had fertility problems and ended up having quadruplets. Everyone rushed to help. But the help has continued and every time we ask for a night out, we are told no one can because they are helping with the quads. They have had constant help from lots of family members for years now. I understand they needed it when the quads were preemie babies (my first was a preemie too), but the kids are almost three years old now and my cousin has never watched them by herself for a day!

They have constant free babysitting and help with meals, clothes, diapers, etc. People still come to their house every day and weekend to help babysit and cook. People watch their kids while they go on vacation by themselves or grocery shop. She gets to go have her hair done at a salon. Mine is dyed from a box at home. I get to race home from work every day and cook for five, clean it up, and plan another meal for the next day. Every family event is centered around my cousin’s needs and who can help them with their four kids. I want to scream out loud, “I have three kids and haven’t had a date night in years. No one helps me! No one watches my kids while I go to the store by myself! No one takes my kids and let’s me and my husband take a vacation by ourselves!”

Recently I asked my cousin how potty training was going. I was answered with, “you try potty training four by yourself!”

I did snap back, “my daycare person did just that when my son was two. In fact, she did it while watching four 2-year-olds and other kids on top of it.” They act like everything is so hard for them when I don’t see how it could be with all the help they get.

I understand parents of multiples do have stresses and concerns that I don’t. However, I wish my extended family could see that we could use some help too. And just because we had three slightly spread out, that doesn’t make parenting any less stressful. I want to tell my cousin, “you try chasing three kids around a store while buying food and keeping a budget. We pay for our daycare and it is not cheap!”

Parenting any child or children is not easy. It is the most difficult thing I have ever done or will do. Sometimes I think having three or four at once would be easier. At least you would have all the rough years over in one shot.

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(photo: erikrasmussen)

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