Since I returned to work, I have on more than one occasion, been met with the question, "How do you DO it?" I never know quite what to say, so I flash a coy smile and sheepishly say, "I don't know." Some people seem rather shocked that I can care for three kids (three and under), work full time, and go to school without going postal. Upon seeing me back from maternity leave, my coworker, looking rather surprised, said, "You look normal and thin and sane." How horrible am I for taking "thin" as the biggest compliment in that statement?
Anyway, in an attempt to avoid getting some sort of complex or patting myself on the back thinking I somehow do it all, let me attempt to answer how I "do it". The truth is, I don't. At least...not alone. First off, my husband is in this with me one hundred percent. There is no way I could to half the things I do without him. He is the one who stays at home with the kids and does a ton of housework. He is such a hands on dad. He's also a full time student and part time photographer- I honestly don't know how HE does it. I know he hardly ever sleeps, that's one thing.
Then we have Leeny...aka a Godsend. She is my friend's mom, whom we've known since before Kadence was born. She once told us, "If you guys need help, let me know." And she meant it. She has helped us and watched the kids since Kadence was just a couple months old. She is part of our family, and the kids are soooooooo attached to her. Often times, when Luis gets home from school they tell him to leave so Leeny can stay! She babysits while Luis is in class and for the very rare date nights. I don't think Luis would be graduating this year (omg..next month!) if not for Leeny.
Beyond that, there are my grandparents. They live right next door. They are wonderful. My grandpa will come swing the older kids some late afternoons, or he will let them run around his garden. He gets quality time with them, they love being with him, and it gives me a few minutes to clean up, feed the baby, or whatever I need to do. It's a win win win! Their house is also our occasional grocery store. Sometimes, we run out of toilet paper at the most inopportune times. I've been able to run over there and grab a roll...and they don't mind one bit. Just last weekend, Luis and I went on separate grocery shopping trips. We were out of dishwasher detergent, and we both forgot to buy some. My grandparents happily gave us some of theirs. And do you know, it's Wednesday, and we STILL haven't been to the store to get some. Pathetic.
My mom and sister in law have also been known to save us on occasion. My mom brought us dinner one evening when the toddlers where whining nonstop, Luis was at school, the baby was screaming- cooking just was not an option that night. So after she ate, she picked up McDonald's and brought it over (before I look like a total brat, she lives less than 10 minutes away and I paid her back). My sister in law comes over pretty regularly to visit with us. She ends up playing with the kids and wearing them out, which gives Luis a chance to clean up or do school work, and I get a moment to feed the baby without worrying about the toddlers fighting or being all up in my grill.
On top of the great help and support we have, I still do not DO it. Our laundry is always backed up. I currently have four loads of clean clothes sitting in the laundry room. It's day three of that. Our house is usually a mess, and never truly clean. Our kids watch more TV than they ever did before, but at least it's educational....Gavin knows Spanish. If you ask him how to say blue in Spanish, he replies "cinco". See, educational! I'm also a few minutes late to work almost every day. I forgot the kids' school lunch at home yesterday. They don't get baths every night...and neither do I, for that matter. While I may appear sane and normal..and THIN, I don't have it altogether. And I would surely be a basket case if I didn't have my family and friends.