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I feel like I’ve been in survival mode since our third baby was born last year.

I used to be fairly organized, and I’d take my girls everywhere (store, pool, hiking, etc.) without a problem, but my third baby girl broke me — so to speak. I just got … tired. I constantly think about what the comedian Jim Gaffigan said about having his fourth child: “You want to know what it’s like having a fourth kid? Imagine you’re drowning and then someone hands you a baby.” I relate to that quote so much at this stage of life with three kids ages five and under.

There is always something that needs to be done: socks that need to be matched, dinner that needs to be made, bigger clothes that need to be purchased, or a stroller tire that needs to be pumped up. Of course, this is all in addition to reading to my kids every day, taking them outside often, feeding them healthy foods, setting up play dates, cleaning the house, washing sheets, picking up groceries, buying more diapers, and so on and so forth. It’s just a lot sometimes. Many nights I go to bed telling my husband, “I’m so tired of being in survival mode.”

However, at the end of July, I was reminded just how fragile life is. There was a 22-car pileup in Kanosh, Utah during a sandstorm that left eight people dead, many of them being young children. I have friends who knew some of the victims, so I’ve seen several articles and Go Fund Me accounts posted online for them. I’ve looked at the pictures of the victims and their families, and I’ve read about their lives. This awful accident has stayed on my mind for a few weeks.

Even though I still feel like I’m in survival mode, this awful car accident has reminded me that all of that “extra” stuff just doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things. So instead of sweating the small stuff, I’m purposely spending extra time putting my girls to bed at night, turning the music down in the car and playing “Eye Spy,” or reading them more books when they ask for “just one more.” I’ve been rocking my baby for a little longer even after she falls asleep and taking so many pictures of my girls to try and remember as much as possible.

Your entire life can change in an instant, and with the long list of fun distractions we have in this world now, it’s easy to let the most important things fall through the cracks.

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