"I don't know how you do it!"
How I Do It
Has anyone heard this from well meaning friends, family members and even strangers? People often seem flabbergasted as to how I’m awake and functioning while also caring for four tiny dictators. Here’s how I do it.
1. I have to.
There really isn’t another option except taking them back to the hospital. Not that I don’t imagine that sometimes.
2. My incredible husband.
I hear stories of husbands who don’t change diapers or play video games all day. Nope. Not going to happen in this house. My husband is the real MVP. He comes home and immediately takes the kids off my hands, makes dinner, does the dishes and the laundry. I don’t know how and I don’t ask. I’m in the other room trying to overcome the emotional trauma of tending to my children. Alright that’s an exaggeration...but sometimes it feels that way. On the weekends that I work, he’s taking all four kids on outings and activities. He does their hair for ballet. I seriously lucked out.
3. My Community.
Ever had a day where everything is going wrong? No one is better equipped to empathize than your fellow mom friends. Making it to Stroller Strides 20 minutes late, the moms look at me and say “wow! Amazing you made it!” And the stress immediately melts off. I feel welcomed, accepted and honored to be in the presence of such angels. I also spend a lot of time texting with friends who have small children. We send pictures of our messy houses and our crying babies. It helps to know you’re not alone.
4. I have drastically lowered my expectations.
I now consider sitting and nursing baby all day long a productive day. How is being the direct reason a human is happy, healthy and most importantly alive not productive? Some days I don’t get out of my pajamas and some days I get 16 loads of laundry washed, folded and put away. It’s all about balance.
5. Other than my family and community, I have help.
I’d rather work an extra shift than do certain things around the house. I have a cleaner come every other week, I do grocery delivery, Amazon prime is my lifeline. In reducing the things I don’t like doing, I can spend more time doing the things I love!
6. Sometimes I don't.
I don’t do anything. I lock them all in their rooms and I escape for a minute or two. Some days are awesome and some days you feel like a complete failure and your kids are all going to grow up to be sociopaths. I try not to feel guilty for taking a moment to myself. I have to put on my own oxygen mask first.
Know that moms who look like they have it all together really don’t know what they’re doing either. We are all just winging it. Even if we have many kids we still worry about every rash, fever and developmental delay. Moms are just people trying to stay alive and make a wonderful childhood for our kids. However many kids you have or how well you think you’re doing, repeat after me: “I am enough”.