I'm working on a project at work that looks at decision making and how a certain federal agency measures "fuzzy" concepts and how that effects its ability to prioritize resources in a budget reduced environment. We're looking at other disciplines (psychology, sociology, conflict resolution and peace building) to see if any measurement methods could be applied. I was thinking about work this morning as I drove in and it got me thinking about how I make decisions during to day.
It is a constant struggle of prioritization.
Some decisions are easy. Feeding the kids or scrolling through facebook. Obviously the minions must be fed. Go to my own soccer game or watch D play baseball. D is going to rank on top every time.
Some are a lot trickier. Read to L or listen to E vent about her day. Fold laundry or watch A skate. Sleep or spend quality time with K. Get some work done or do dishes or help M with homework or do all of the million logistics things that come with parenting (make appointments, talk to therapists, fill out forms, make lunches, etc. etc. etc.).
Among the five kids, some of them tend to get prioritized higher. The girls and D usually win out because they are the loudest and most demanding with their needs. A is a pretty quiet kid and doesn't complain too much (especially if he is being fed---see decision number one above). He regularly puts others' needs ahead of himself. L, being the youngest, is also a pretty "go with the flow" kind of guy. He is easily distracted by his DS or legos or drawing pad so I can deal with the more pressing need. Actually, as I was writing this, it dawned on me that A and L usually gravitate to each other during the day, cosed up next to each other playing angry birds or skateboarding together.
My therapist and I have talked a lot about shifting the dynamic in our family and trying to even things out. I remember writing a while back about thinking of each of the kids as banks and trying to make a deposit each day. When I really look at it, however, I certainly spend a significant amount of time making deposits with the girls. As individuals they are so demanding and, M in particular, needs so much support and help. I know this makes sense. They both have issues with attachment and feeling secure in our family and in my love.
I'm not sure, though, about the long term impact this will have on both the girls and the boys (especially my two chill guys). I worry about this. I worry about making the right decisions and whether I'm using all the tools (methods) I have to make sure all their needs are met. There is only one of me and just like the problem we're addressing at work, there is only some much to go around.