Last Updated on June 14, 2018

Our daughter Libby (who is a twin) gave birth to quadruplets last fall. When they (one girl and three boys, all fraternal) were born, her oldest daughter, Grey, was not quite two. Suddenly, this 31-year-old was the mother of five children under the age of two! Yes, life has changed forever!

Now that the quads have turned six-months old, we asked Libby to share what life with quads is like with all of us by asking her to answer six questions others often ask. You can read Part 1 Here.

What’s the hardest time of the day right now?

Definitely 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Everyone is awake, hungry, and crying and also grumpy — including me!

What have been the biggest challenges so far? What little things have helped these challenges?

It’s been hard to have people in my house all the time and not feel like I have space or alone time. What helps is remembering that this is how I bless them: by letting them be a part of our lives.

It’s hard not to lose my temper with the babies. I have to remind myself that they are babies. They are crying because they need something — they aren’t trying to irritate me! Crying is part of the normal sound of our house in this season.

I can’t multitask in the same way I once did. Sometimes I just have to stop what I am doing and take care of a baby. And I have to be flexible. This morning I went for a walk with the babies at 6:20 a.m. My husband wasn’t feeling well and needed to sleep, so I had to get fussy kids outside. It also helps to simplify. I don’t put babies in pj’s. They just sleep in what they already have on. They don’t get a bath every day.

It’s hard not to lose patience with my husband, McLean, especially when it’s just the two of us during the dinner hours and early morning hours (as well as throughout the night!). We have made a deal not to take anything personally at these times — to ignore what each other says or does as much as possible. Our rawness doesn’t have anything to do with us; it’s more about the exhaustion and the time of day with its unique demands.

I can’t get things done the way I once did. I have to lower my expectations, as well as be creative. When I go up or down the stairs, I always carry something like laundry. The babies are all in the same room, which helps. I shop online. Many places have free delivery. I let Grey help with feeding and changing babies.

How do you protect your relationship with Grey in the midst of all the demands of her siblings?

Every day, I try to take her outside for time alone with her. I’ve also realized I can let a baby cry and spend five minutes reading to her. It will not hurt the baby. I’m trying to let her make more decisions — like what she wants to wear, or what baby she wants to change. She loves the babies and likes to help change them. The other day, one of the boys squirted her right as she was changing him. It was hysterical. Often if she hears one cry, she’ll respond, “Oh, Mimi, you are fine. I am right here.” She recognizes each cry and can tell you exactly who it is and what they need. (Typical bossy older sister!) I’ve learned to relax and not worry if things aren’t done right. It’s okay. On weekends, McLean and I tag-team with Grey for special outings with just her.

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  1. I like Libby's approach to mothering overall….her ways, her tone in these comments. The attempts to lower the stress level of her home are great, and really apply to all of us moms, whether one child for 5! I like the ways Libby and her husband are being gracious to one another when they are "pressed". God bless you, Libby, today!

    1. Thanks Erin!

      You are so right about being gracioius to our husbands! A good reminder no matter how long we've been married:)


  2. wow! i am in awe! i have 5 kids age 9 and under and i do all the things you have done to simplify life you just have to, right. one thing i struggle with though is letting other mums down or not being the friend i was able to be with 3 or 4 kids. just yesterday a mum, of 2, criticised me for being flustered on the school pick up run, not having time to talk to her; for taking days to respond to texts, for forgetting to reply to texts after all she said she had given to me in friendship- right there i felt so awful and like such a failure…..and so hurt and guilty. taken me a while to get over that one. i'm sure you can relate!! bless you SO much, you are AMAZING!!!!!!!

    1. Sarah,

      It sounds like the other Mom had a bad day! You are doing a better job than you think you are!

      Love, susan

  3. Laurel Hanke says:

    Libby, thank you for sharing so honestly.

    I have begun to describe my overall feeling as a mother of 4 (the youngest is 8 months) as "I feel underwater all the time." I acknowledge that in God's economy there is always enough, but I can say with honesty that I don't feel the "enough" the way I'd like to. I could relate to what you said about catching yourself getting frustrated, and reminding yourself that they're crying because they are babies. Sometime over the past 6 months, since the baby was born, I caught myself saying out loud to my 9 year old, "Oh, stop being so childish!" Wait! He is a child! He needs to be a child! With God's help, what I'm learning to say is "I would really appreciate some help. Could you sit on the floor and play with your little brother so I can finish getting dinner on the table?"

    While your situation is truly a unique one, the words you share are encouraging to those of us who feel like it is "too much for us." Thanks for taking the time to put words to the experience!

    1. Laurel, Thanks so much for this dear friend! I love your honesty!!!

      Hugs, Susan

  4. Thanks for sharing. I love the laid back approach. I'm expecting #5, but I can't imagine having them all the same age. I'm sure I'll have some struggles adjusting to having a new baby and 16 month old at the same time. I know that God wanted us to have this child, so He will equip me with what I need to be able to continue caring for my family.

    1. Suanna,

      You are right, He will equip you! (1Thess 5:24).

      He has special plans for you all!

      Blessings, Susan