“I just don’t know how you do it!”

November, 2018
IMG_3955Nic and I both work TWO full time jobs – our real jobs and the rest of the stuff.  From the start, our relationship has been based on teamwork.  We have four kids. In addition to their school and homework, the kids have extracurricular activities.  Lunchboxes. Housework. Dinners. Doctors and dentists and haircuts. The list goes on and on.  And in the midst of it all, people often say “I just don’t know how you do it!”  I think they mean well, but it just rubs me the wrong way. It sounds like an insult; don’t know how *you* do it.  Like they’re surprised everyone left the house with pants on today.  Recently though, I have found myself saying the same thing. How do we do this? How can we possibly do it all?

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We are running in every direction all the time.  Last Monday was the prime example. The dog, Rhoda,  had to go to the vet in the morning. I had already rescheduled her appointment 3 times.  Rocco had to go to the pediatrician for a follow up – ear infections, again. By the time I plugged in at the office it was noon, and Mondays are short work days for me – out early to get the kids at school at 2:35!  Sure, a 2½ hour work day. Great…

These kinds of days are getting more and more frequent as the kids get older.  I think we had assumed that once they were in elementary school, the routine would be simpler.  WRONG. We have managed to keep up our teamwork mentality. While we have fallen into a routine, we don’t consider anything “my job” or “your job.”  Nic does the majority of the laundry. I do most of the cooking. We don’t stick to a very strict schedule, meaning we are a “bedtime is around 8:00” and “crap, we’re gonna be late for school!” kind of family.  Sometimes the dishes wait. Rarely does the laundry get folded. I’ll admit that I don’t vacuum as often as I should. And, for a while, we pretended we were trying to change that. I think we’ve found contentment (happiness even) amidst our chaos.  We’ve accepted our more realistic approach since, honestly, this is all super fucking hard.

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So, how do we do it?  The answer I usually give is: “Not very well.”  That’s just my smart-ass answer because what people usually see when they look at my family are flustered yet smiling parents with silly, happy children.  They’re smart, cute, loving kids who brighten the faces of everyone they meet, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

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