Four is the Magic Number


A mother holding flowers and her daughter.It’s been five years since my first daughter was born. My second was born only 13 months later. Since that day, my life has felt chaotic, messy, stressful, exhausting, and busy. That’s not to say it hasn’t been wonderful, but it has been the most challenging five years of my life. 

For the first few years, I wondered when life would feel a bit saner. I had resigned myself to the fact that life would never feel normal again. I recall parents of slightly older kids saying, “Four is the magic number.” 

Four is the magic number when things change. Four is more independent. Four means fewer tantrums. Four is more rational. Four knows how to share. Four knows what is right and what is wrong. Four is longer attention spans, small responsibilities, and conversations. 

It’s safe to say they were right. This summer, my youngest turned four. Since this time last year, life has felt entirely different. It suddenly feels less chaotic, less messy, and less exhausting.

My four and five year old get themselves dressed. They can play for long periods of time while I cook dinner and clean the house. They can swim by themselves (still supervised), get their own snacks, use the bathroom independently, and clean up their own toys.

The other day I was at a party, and I found myself sitting with some friends and chatting. Something I haven’t been able to do in five years. I kept looking around to keep an eye on both of my kids, but they were off playing with the other kids independently.

Sometimes it’s ok to step away. Sometimes it feels really good. 

I am proud of the hard work I’ve put in these last five years. My body has taken a beaten, my brain has been overstimulated, and my patience has been tested. I’ve earned this time to watch my children become little people. To step back and take it in. 

Mamas, if it sometimes feels too heavy, remember, four is the magic number. When your babies turn four, I promise you’ll find yourself sitting at a table with friends thinking, how did I make it here? And you will have earned it. 

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Caitlin lives in Shelton with her hard-working and task-oriented husband, two opposite personality daughters, Liliana and Kinley, and her fluffy Goldendoodle, Boomer aka Boomy, Mr. Boombastic, Boombear. She is an enthusiastic kindergarten teacher and wholeheartedly believes in making school fun. Caitlin loves to drop it like it's hot on the dance floor, make the house smell scrumptious by baking a variety of confections, and travel to sunny and tropical destinations. She spends her free time going on all sorts of adventures with her girls, never slowing down or pressing pause. She adores childhood and all the ups and downs that go with it.


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