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.