Some people say the hardest transition is the first. Others say the real challenge lies with the second kid. Still others think going from “man to man” to “zone” defense—i.e., from 2 to 3, when the kids outnumber the pairs of arms needed to carry/restrain them—is the one that really makes the difference.
But everyone I know agrees on one thing: beyond three kids, it really doesn’t make all that much difference.
I’m thinking about this today because over the holiday weekend, my mother’s family had a big family event to celebrate a wedding and a 91st birthday. I was talking to my grandmother about cars. I asked how in the world they found vehicles big enough to haul ten kids. Of course, she couldn’t answer—who can remember minutiae like that? I can’t remember enough about night nursing to answer my sister’s questions, and it’s only been two years!
What she did remember was mothers coming up to her and saying, “I don’t know how you do it all! I’m so busy with the two I have!”
I suppose it’s a fair question. How do we do it?
Well, I’ve been thinking about that, and here’s what I’ve come up with:
I don’t have time to obsess about how I do it. That’s how.
When you’ve got one or two kids, you try to be everything to everyone all the time, and you think, “I couldn’t possibly do more!”
But actually, you can. See, when you cross into more-kids-than-hands stage, all the chaff burns away…all the emotional energy we waste worrying about, you know, how we can possibly do it all. You just put your head into the wind, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grindstone (fill in the cliché), and you do it.
You know what? It’s probably a good lesson for other times in life, too. If I’m feeling cranky and whiny, and I have enough time and energy to devote to obsessing over the subject, it’s probably a sign that whatever I’m struggling with probably isn’t nearly as overwhelming as I think it is.
What do you think? Am I onto something? Should I compress it down to a slogan and trademark it? Or am I missing something obvious? 🙂