Catholic Husband

Love / Lead / Serve

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Life with Four

I bring a lot of structure and process to my life. During the day, when I’m alone with my children, I need that support. I need to have decisions pre-made for me so that when it’s time to go, I only have to execute. Sometimes I use these ready-made solutions for safety, like the order in which we get into and out of the van (everyone uses a single, passenger side door). At other times, it’s just for simplicity (I always arrange my children’s plates on the counter in the same order).

The nice thing about parenting is that it’s something that you grow into. You start with an immobile baby, who over several months starts to wiggle, crawl, and then walk. You don’t have to know everything on day one, you only have to be ready to adjust incrementally each day.

Earlier this year, when I had three independent children to take care of, managing our daily activities and movements was no big deal. I evolved into that role, and we were a finely tuned machine. Of course, that changed, as of today, with Veronica here and Alison back at work.

I’m not sure there’s an “easy” number of children; I think that caring for any number of children is always hard. I know how to care for an infant, a toddler, and a big kid. Now I just need to pull those pieces together to get acclimated to my new normal.

My life is very full, even when we mostly spend our days at home. Juggling different feeding schedules, balancing everyone’s needs, and taking care of me is my current struggle. For me to operate at a high level, I need to not take the easy route of neglecting myself. I’m not going to be a good dad or a good teacher or a good playmate if I don’t get to my morning coffee at a reasonable hour. The same is true if I skip meals. A balance must be struck, and it’s one that I need to find. Taking caring of me is the best way that I can prepare for taking care of my kids.

People have told me over the years that the hardest number of children to have is three and any more than that is easy. Yeah, that’s not true.