Life has become pretty busy. I mean, I guess that’s what’s supposed to happen when you have four kids, and they grow older, and subsequently get busy with their lives. Aside from my growing teaching schedule, the kid’s taekwondo and Luca’s vision therapy, Claire and Mae are starting softball today.
Coordinating life is so hard. I feel like I’m constantly trying to strategize how I can make it through the day. Just two weeks ago I had to figure out how to be three places at once. No lie. I had to teach at 9, a dentist appointment for myself and Audrey at 10:15, Mae finished school at 11, she had her dentist appointment at 11 (same place as me), then Claire and Luca had a half day, so I had to be home before the bus at 11:45, then meet my mother in law in a town 30 minutes away by 12:30. By some bit of magic, I managed to get everywhere on time. All the lights were green for me. But there are days when I hit every red light and I’m sitting in my car, heartbeat racing, and mildly sweating, because if I’m five minutes early, I’m late. So when I’m actually late, I’m super frustrated and borderline insane.
When I take a minute to sit back and actually look at the coordinating that goes on in my daily life, I’m pretty impressed. I’ve sort of gained the motto of, “Eh,” which I don’t think is really helping me much, but it’s better than my old one of, “OMG HOW AM I GOING TO GET ALL OF THIS DONE? I CAN’T DO THIS. HOW DO PEOPLE DO THIS? I WANT TO CRAWL INTO A HOLE AND HIDE.”
Tonight I teach my regular BodyPump class, but at the same time, Claire and Mae have softball practice and Luca has vision therapy. It took me about 5 years, but I finally figured out that it truly takes a village to raise a family, and you can’t be afraid to ask for help.
Since softball is Matt’s thing (he’s one of the assistant coaches) I don’t have to worry about that. He just needs to know where I’ll be so he can grab the girls. Vision therapy has been a bit of a struggle, but my step-dad has been super helpful with taking him on the days Matt or I cannot.
Everything I do, I have to have a fallback plan. If a kid gets sick, and I am scheduled to teach, who sits with them? If heaven forbid I get sick, who helps me? Who watches the kids when I need to go to the doctors? When the girls are napping, but a kid needs to come home early from school, what do I do?
In a few weeks, Matt and I are running the Pittsburgh marathon. (I’m only doing the half. And for charity! If you want to help me reach my 1k goal, donate here! Claire is running the 5k for the ARL as well.) In the past, my sister or mom have come to the house at the crack of dawn to watch the kids, but this year we got smart and asked if Carly could just take them for the night. That way everyone wins. The kids have been begging to go back up to Carly’s house and run around her huge yard, and this way, we can leave when we want to (which for Matt is way earlier than I want to) and not have to worry as much. I used to dread running these races because I’d worry about the kids. Are they okay? Are they giving the adult a hard time? Does the adult watching them hate me for asking? Am I being selfish for running a race and asking someone else to watch my kids? Am I a horrible person for even asking someone to do something for me? I should stop racing.
And then I get home, and everyone’s fine, and the kids are happy, and the adult is probably thankful they’re either done having kids or now never want to have kids, and I did all that rushing and worrying for nothing, and completely missed that I ran a race. I never stay for the post race activities. I never seek out other friends who ran. I usually get in my car and drive home, as if it was just something I had to check off my to-do list.
And that’s basically it. I am constantly checking things off my to-do list. Always. Today, for example. I am subbing a pump class this morning. I keep checking the clock. At 9:15 I will leave the house to go teach. At 11 am, I will get the kids out of the gym daycare and come home immediately. Check, check. Lunch. Nap time at 1. Kids get off bus at 3:25. Homework. Leave the house at 4:25 to beat the traffic. Larry picks up Luca at the gym at 5, Matt picks up the girls at 5:15 for softball. I teach at 5:30. Check, check, check. Get home. Get them fed. Get them in bed. Stare at phone for an hour. Sleep.
I can’t be alone in this, can I?