I hear that refrain from MANY people. We are quite a phenomenon in town. EVERYONE knows who we are~we’re the family with a 2nd grader, a preschooler and 1 1/2 year old twins. When we go to one of Meg’s sporting events (hockey, softball, soccer or basketball), we usually all attend. We get the stares from people who don’t know us well, and the inevitable “how do you do it all” question from those who know us a little. My answer is usually “oh, I manage”. But really, I don’t do it all. Not even close.
My days are filled with chasing around toddler twin girls who are trying to figure out what they can, and can’t do. They climb furniture, empty the diapers out of the diaper bag, try to take the wipes out of the wipe bucket. They try to circumvent our safety gate system~I have found them at the top of the stairs before because I went into the basement to get bread. They steal each other’s toys, hit each other and cry. They also chase each other around the dining room table laughing their heads off. They empty their cribs of all their blankets and toys and squeal in delight doing so. Phew. Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?
Now add in a 3 1/2 year old son who wants attention so badly, being the middle child, that he knocks over his sisters, takes their toys, and screams at the top of his lungs. The same boy who comes crawling into my bed before 6 am every day to get a little quiet snuggle with me and his dad, because his days are filled with 3 sisters and lots of noise. The boy who wishes desperately that I could watch him play with his cars all day, which I would, but for the above mentioned twins.
And finally the eldest. No longer the baby, she acts out to get attention because she feels so left out. She gets to play all the sports but still feels like she is missing out on personal time from us. I spent a good hour reading to her every night, and each night she begs for more. I know she is begging for more me time, but by then, I’m exhausted, and she’s exhausted. She is smart, funny, and beautiful. Soon she’ll realize that if she just stopped acting like the 3 year old, life would improve dramatically.
So, after dealing with all of that every day, then there’s the diapers, laundry (oh my lord the laundry) that only gets washed, sometimes dried on the same day if I’m lucky, the dishes and just general tidying up. Forget about time for myself. So no, I don’t do it all. I do what my husband calls “stopping the bleeding.” I deal with the most important crisis first, then work down the line. I have dirty kitchen floors, I don’t remember the last time I managed to vacuum upstairs, and it shows. My husband and I folded 4 baskets of laundry the other night; what a great date. And there’s still more to be done.
I love my children with all my heart. I wish I could give each one of them 100% of my attention every day, but there is only one of me and four of them. I am doing my best, but I certainly don’t do it all.