Once a year in February, my dear sweet wife heads off to the annual "Sisters Reunion", where she and her 6 sisters flee from husbands and kids and life in general and hang out. As far as I can tell they mostly just pretend they're teenagers again, which we could all stand to do a little more often. The trip is sacrosanct, it's not up for debate or dispute, and somehow they all manage to align schedules and gather enough money to make it happen. That's not a small miracle, considering the number of people involved -- amazing how certain things just happen.
What also happens about this time every year is that I get a rude awakening as to what my wife's life entails. It was hard last year, now I'm running a small 24-hr preschool. This year before we even started we learned that all 3 kids have ear infections. Then, the first night Regan threw up in her bed (not a little, either), and Kendy was up periodically crying while Kinney had a fever. Since then it's been better, but whenever I'm not directly overseeing them, they're meandering around.
I have a new metric for describing my children: MTTFM. That's "mean time to food mess", how long on average do I have of non-direct supervision before one of them has made a mess with some sort of food product. Right now, that figure is somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes -- not enough to get going on any serious project. Kinney with the grapes, Kendy with the whole wheat (?), Regan with the cheez-its, etc.
So it's on. Am I keeping the house clean? Not really. Am I buying food, or getting exercise, or doing laundry? My dear sweet wife has figured out how most of the time to do all of those things, keep the kids on track, and maintain some degree of sanity. Nice. What a great lady.