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When you have kids, making plans is hard work. Even if you only have two kids, it seems that as soon as you are walking out the door, someone comes down with fever. Plans are never made with complete confidence.

When you have a bunch of kids, there are way too many variables involved. At any given time someone either has a cold, pink eye, fever, rash, the vomits, head lice, a broken leg, or all of the above. On the rare occasion that every single child is in perfect health, plans are often interrupted by hockey play-offs, music recitals, and dance lessons.

If the stars are all aligned, we actually have a chance of getting to our destination.

I recently made cottage weekend plans with three other families. There was one major complication – each of the three families has four kids. Do the math and you will find that the four families involved had a kid total of 18. To plan for a crew like that, there are a lot of stars that need to be aligned.

The cottage weekend planning Olympics officially kicked off about two months ago and involved four mamas exchanging countless Facebook messages. After pouring over our personal calendars and the children’s schedules, we accomplished the near impossible – we nailed a weekend that we were all available.

Planning is one thing, executing is another entirely. We were fully prepared for and expecting the last minute bail-out due to some infectious disease that no one wanted shared around. What we didn’t account for was the other risk involved – the plans of the daddy-o. In the end, one of the involved families was not able to come because the daddy-o had plans that were not on mama’s radar when she went ahead and made plans with us.

This is easily done. In our family, there have been countless times that daddy-o and I have left each other out of the loop on some pretty significant happenings or events. We have combated that by adopting an e-mail and outlook appointment policy – plans are not considered officially made unless they come across our laptop screens. If this sounds ridiculous, then enjoy the calm and peaceful household you live in. If this sounds sensible and effective, then welcome to my club.

I suppose we’d have greater odds of getting together socially with families who have fewer children. However, there’s something nice about spending time with mamas of many because they understand the dynamics of a big family - and heck, what do they say about misery loving company?

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