I get asked, "Seven children? How do you do it?"
They seem confused by my blank stare. I have never really thought about HOW I do my everyday. I just do it. I always think I can be doing more. Nothing extraordinary here. A morning jolt of java makes every day doable...right?
My response is usually, "Some days, I have no idea, lol..." or "It's a balancing act for sure...". But lately it has been on my mind a lot. I think the forty-somethings have set in. I had three wee ones in diapers at once many, many moons ago. But it never seemed hard. Now I look back and wonder how I did it. Crazy lady.
This summer in particular has been a little crazy. I have had to reevaluate priorities and adjust the "need to do" and "want to do" categories of my life. Nothing terrible has happened and despite news reports, the world isn't coming to an end. We are just so darn busy. I took on some new projects and had to put others on the back burner, just for a bit. And we are involved in a few diabetes studies at Sick Kids. We decided to participate in another one over the summer. Why not?! This one was "for fun". The research team has developed a computer game to help kids strategize and prioritize their diabetes care. All the other studies involve medications and blood work, etc. This study involved my son meeting other teens his age and playing a tower defense style game.
I don't see any of our "busy" going away in the foreseeable future. But as all busy families know we only tend to add to it. Here comes the fall. Back to school, swimming lessons. Can we squeeze in some music lessons? And the holidays. Do you know Christmas is only 115 days away?
Actually, I am looking forward to the routine of back to school. The closer we get to it, the less crazed I feel. Lol. That's nuts.
But how I try to re-balance my chaos.
I need routine MOST of the time. Then when life is going at a million miles a minute, nothing is going smoothly or in any particular order for that matter and your hanging on for dear life you know there is hope. A calmer day ahead.
I try really, really hard not to beat myself up when things get crazy. One foot in front of the other. Just accept it and move on.
I try to take a little "me time" or "me and hubby time". To reconnect with me. It's important. Usually that means a run for me. I have solved the world's problems at least twice this year while running. It's meditative. And my husband and I have recommitted to date night. It was a no-brainer for years. But the kids got older and we stopped taking the time. Some nights it can be a simple stroll.
When all else fails, I take a step back and take a look at my family. It becomes very clear where my priorities lie at that moment.
There really is no magic answer about managing life's twists and turns. Some days seem perfect and others just need to be frazzled.
C'est la vie.