|An old photo with some of the cousins|
My sister and I got to see each other last week which was a rare treat. She lives in Adelaide which is about 16 hours drive away so catch-ups aren't so straightforward. She has six kids (ages 10 down to 2 1/2). While our children ran around the holiday house playing/fighting/negotiating/crying, we attempted an actual conversation, collapsed on the lounge, hoping to never have to move again (optimistic? yes, well, a little bit!).
I was chatting to her about how the more kids you have the more you give up - give up caring about a whole lot of other things that cause people angst. Partly it is the number of children - the more kids you have the less you care about your birth experiences because you can't remember them all and the epidural/water birth/c-section/drug-free births all merge into one big glob of 'things you'd rather forget'.
But what you do do is think about all that you can do now that will prevent future angst and hassle. My sister says she picks up speech problems earlier than she did with her older kids and gets her little kids to practice saying sounds properly because she's spent so much time and money in speech therapy. I've always been obsessed with our kids going to bed well at night - I'm not up for hours of wandering around the house asking for drinks etc., etc. - super-tyrant mummy comes out at bed-time (not that hard because there is no patience left by that point in the day).
And I have to say for myself that listening to the hours spent analysing the educational and developmental qualities of the local preschool did not even connect with me because I was just thinking "they aren't with me and someone else is looking after the child for me and the child is happy - what a blessed relief".
As I've said before, one brain can't hold it all, so you have to cut your losses at some point and hope that you've picked the right things to get worried about!