I get asked all the time. This one question. Almost once a week.
‘HOW DO YOU DO IT?”
Let me first go back and explain how I roll… I’m a Type A, self-diagnosed selective OCD kinda gal. I like order, but I can definitely roll with chaos (which goes hand in hand with 3 boys). I like my fridge neat, the house tidy, constantly sweep the front porch and walkway thanks to annoying squirrels, but could really care less that I have a pile of laundry <that my husband folded for me> on top of my jewelry box for the past two weeks. So, to organize some of the chaos, my husband and I created an iCalendar for each person in the family. See below for wonderful color-coding, organized chaos:
This keeps me sane most of the time. I didn’t even include another calendar for all of my midwifery appointments; that would be a HIPPA violation. So, yes, our life is busy and we like to keep it that way. Our boys enjoy sports, we enjoy work and CrossFit™, we like to have down time (but not too much), and we always live life “ON CALL.”
On Call is a special stressor that most people working in the health industry get to experience. I know there might be other occupations with on call, but I have yet to find one with more stress on a family than midwifery. It means that at any hour or day this schedule can be dropped like a hot potato. Nothing is in stone. I always preface any RSVP with “as long as I am not at a birth.” It means two cars to most events. It means my kids may not get to that party or sports practice. My husband recently told me that he just assumes that there is always a birth happening. He says its easier for him to adapt that way. And, I think he is sick of me repeating to him after 3 years that “I might have a birth tonight.” I might also be kinda over “on call” 24/7 since 2010. Just kinda though because witnessing a birth makes me have temporary amnesia until the next time I’m on call.
So, have you ever heard of the village principle? Not quite the villages of a third world country village principle. But, not too far off either. I am lucky. I have family in town. I have a super involved mom who is loved by her grand boys. She jumps in whenever she can after work and on weekends. I have a sister who takes my kids on a whim if she is home and not off teaching others on how to find yoga bliss.
I also have two wonderful friends who I call my co-parents.
These are the ladies that I owe so much to everyday. We have each other’s backs. No questions asked. They are the ones I can call or text at anytime to get my boys. Once they have the boys, I know that they will be treated as family. Their names are Stacey, who is a talented family photographer, and Brandy, an amazing birth doula.
So, the answer for me is “YES”. It does take a village to do it all or in my case at least 90%.
My hope is that every woman finds her village.
*Can you tell we spend a whole bunch of time at the box?