How Do I Do It All?

I get asked this question a lot. How do I do it all? How do I managed four children, a home, homeschooling, chickens, garden, crafting, etc.? The me who loves to be respected and revered would love to say something falsely humble, like, “Oh, I’m just blessed.” Or something vague, like, “I don’t really do it all.” Which is true, but leaves much to the imagination. (What does she mean when she says she doesn’t do it all? Does she mean she leaves a dirty dish on the counter once in a while, or that she does dishes once a week?)

I have tried to clarify before, but I think it bears repeating: I really, truly don’t do it all. One one hand, I’m grateful for the many things about mothering/homemaking that I’ve learned over the years, and I’m very proud about some areas of success that I’ve attained. But I have to be blatantly honest and tell you it’s taken eight years to learn a lot of the things I’ve learned. That’s how long I’ve been staying home with my kids – eight years. It’s taken four kids for me to get my act together when it comes to things like laundry (which I try to keep up with nowadays, or it becomes a monster that takes over my house). I didn’t know how to be a stay-at-home mom, and I’ve had to learn a lot of homemaking skills along the way. That means a lot of failures before attaining success.

What I want to be, as I type these posts about balance, is an inspiration and help. Not a source of anxiety and stress. I think what we all long for is support – other moms going through the same thing. And mentors – someone we can learn from, who has been there before and has wisdom to provide. Please don’t read any of what I write as judgement about the state of your home, your employment status, your educational choices for your children, etc. I am simply hoping that I can share a little of what I’ve learned with those who would like to receive it, and to dispel some myths that you might have about how much I have it together.

I will follow up this post with one that details a typical day in my house. This is much-requested and overdue. For today, I want to leave you with a short list of honest things for you to ponder:

  • Sometimes I have to choose between knitting and dishes.
  • Sometimes I have to choose between dishes and laundry. This means something is left dirty, people.
  • Sometimes I serve cheese and crackers for lunch.
  • Sometimes I wish my children were in school or day care just so I could get a break.
  • Sometimes we use the furnace instead of the woodstove.
  • Sometimes our yard looks like a combo of a dump and a flea market.
  • Sometimes I wear pajamas all day.
  • Sometimes I yell at my children.
  • Sometimes I use disposable diapers.
  • Sometimes I buy junk food at the grocery store.

Just a small list, but all this to say – I am just like you. I struggle with wanting to be perfect, and I always fail miserably. But I keep trying to be what God has called me to be. I want to be the best mom, wife, teacher, gardener, and farmer that I can, and that means both shooting for the stars and learning from mistakes. As I was typing this entry, I had to deal with a dispute between my two girls, and I wasn’t the most gracious or patient mom. So I’m going to go deal with that, and I’ll see you tomorrow.

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7 thoughts on “How Do I Do It All?

  1. Thanks for your honesty, Serina. Even though we lead very different lives with number of kids, employment status, and other lifestyle choices (farm v. urban), I have learned a lot and been inspired by who you are as a mom. Isn’t that how God made us to be? Different so we can be inspired to be better versions of ourselves by what we admire in others. And at the same time, none of our lifestyle choices define who we are.

  2. Serina, if I could write an eloquent blog post, I would have written the same thing (minus the farming). It’s all so true, we’re all human. I’m right there with you.

  3. thanks! great post- and totally there, too… it’s good to be humble, because it’s so easy to be arrogant (and discourage others) because on the surface we want to be revered and respected, just like you said.
    great post

  4. I remember reading of a Mom’s response to that question being “I work really hard, every day.” I think of that when I’m tired and I just need to keep going.

    And I do think that “it all” is impossible for anyone. We all make our choices. How do you do everything you do? is a better question, one that is answered by the statement above.

    I do try to remember that we as a family are still young and have more time to figure out things. And our priorities are different than other peoples’. Our yard may not look like a flea market, but it sure looks like a meadow!

    There was a Saturday last month when all of my family was out of the house for the day except me. I did a whole load of laundry from beginning to end (including folding which is what doesn’t happen on a normal day) and got some other rest and work done. It was a lovely time. But I did realize by the end of the day that for a regular day, I’m glad that they’re all here and so what if the laundry doesn’t get folded until I need the basket for the next load? (:

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