Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Devil in the Details

You guys know me well enough by now to know I'm a details person.  I'm a do-er.  In several of the news stories that have featured us, I seem to come off as a sort of task master.  Several people (who of course don't even know me) have criticized me on social media for being so focused on the details that I don't show gratitude for the blessings that I have.   I get it--I'm obsessive.

There are 24 hours in a day with 48 30-minute increments.  The au pairs can work 45 hours a week each week, therefore 90 hours of childcare.  I have 2 other women who I pay to help out with housework and childcare.  We have 5-7 volunteers who communicate with me weekly about our childcare needs.  Every day, we wash at least 20 bottles, each bottle with five parts.  We give 5 doses of vitamin D and probiotic supplements.  We change at least 20 diapers.  We restock at least 40 diapers.  We pick out 5 outfits and 5 sets of pajamas.  I prepare and serve dinner to at least 4 adults.  I empty three diaper pails.  I fill two vaporizers.  I feed our dog two meals a day in addition to comforting her when the kids overwhelm her.  I pay our bills, manage our investments, grocery shop, pay the folks who help with childcare, all while running my college planning practice and attempting to be a good friend and daughter to those that I love.

Sometimes it's too much.  Sometimes it feels like I'm holding it together with both hands. So yes, focusing on the schedule and the details sometimes comforts me.  Because you know what, this life--this life that I have now--it's scary.  I'm afraid of how we'll afford a life with five growing babies.  I worry about affording braces, prom dresses, and gas.  I worry about giving them an opportunity to see the world while protecting my husband's and my retirement.  I worry about college education, grad school, and weddings.  I worry about being able to protect my children from addiction, violence, and obsession.  I worry about time, lack of time, and too much time.  I worry about my children being a spectacle instead of special.  I worry about my children being treated as a unit instead of individuals.  I worry about my sweet puppy Ellie and how I can make her feel special in the wake of all of this. I worry. I worry a lot.

But then, I'm reminded of how I got here.  I worried about being childless. I worried about a big, creaky house that lacked the pitter patter of baby feet.  I worried I would miss the giggles, the sticky fingers, and the bear hugs.  I worried I would miss the joy.

So, today, I choose to overlook worry.  I choose to focus on the now.  On the gifts.  On the giggles.  On the good. I have no idea how we are going to make all of this work, but I do know that we've faced bigger challenges.  I have faith.

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