How DO You Do It?

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Awhile ago a reader asked me to share how I “do it all” and stay sane by the end of the day. I haven’t exactly figured that out. I think I’m sane, but I’m not sure how much I’m actually doing.

In some ways, I’m kind of surprised by the question. In the same way I don’t understand why total strangers have this look of utter shock on their faces when they see me and my kids approach in the grocery store.

I guess based on the things I share here (namely homemaking and life with 5 kids), it must seem like I climb the equivalent of Mt. Everest everyday.

I admit to being slightly eccentric, so I’m sure some of the things I do just throw my image over the top. If you could only see my closets. Or my bedroom. Or my desk. You would think differently.

I certainly don’t want to set myself up as “an example.” I am lacking in so many areas, that it would be foolish to say, “Do it my way.” We each need to find our own groove!

I really struggle with

  • balancing quality time with my kids and husband
  • ensuring a decent, if not excellent, education for the children
  • feeding my family nutritious food (or just food, as the case may be)
  • balancing the budget
  • writing to supplement our income
  • and keeping the house from being condemned.

Some nights I go to bed knowing that the house is almost “spotless,” but the nagging thought enters my mind that I didn’t read stories to my preschooler or I was “short” (or worse) in how I talked with the boys. Aack!

This balancing act is not something that comes easily to me. I can have success in one area for a season, but then see that I’m sliding in another sphere. So, my life involves a lot of “plate spinnning.”

But it is my career, so I’ve got at least another twenty years to work on it. And, to be honest, I really like my life. I like the challenge of the tasks God has put before me. I love my kids and can’t imagine life with one of them not here. They are so “meant” to be a part of my life. What seems crazy to other people, seems “right” to me. I guess that’s why God gave this life to me and not all those people at that grocery store

So, please, dear reader, put aside any allusions of SuperFishMama. I’m just like you. Your challenges may be different than mine, but you probably handle them better than I would.

But, I do think we can learn from one another and help each other figure out what works. I loved reading the comments here as moms advised one another as to how to handle back-to-school challenges.

Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series on HOW it works (or doesn’t work) at our house. Take what is helpful and dismiss the rest. Give me advice on how to solve my quirks and insufficiencies. I hope you’ll share your stories, too.

But in the meantime, a question:

What is an area of your life as MOM that you feel challenged by?

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  1. I hope you realize this is exactly why your readers love you so much. You are transparent and venerable. You have cast off the illusion of “Super Mom” and strive to be mom the very best you konw how. I appreciate all you have to share.

    I struggle with the illusion. As mom, pastor’s wife, and homeschooler… I struggle with the expectation of what house, all of it is “supposed” to look like. Most days, we are in our jammies watching too many cartoons and reading too little. He isn’t done with me yet!

    Thank you…

  2. I struggle with it all. After working outside of my home and just maintaining for two years, I feel very unqualified for my job as homemaker. Plus we added another child in that space of time too. So, I went to working 27.5 hours outside of home, two boys to being home ALL day with two boys and my daughter. But I found a verse that helps..
    I John 2:20
    “But you have an anointing from the Holy One and you know all things.”
    I figure that applies to life as a mother as well 🙂
    I just try to remember that I am not, nor will I ever be, the perfect mother, wife, person,etc. I can only be the best me I can be!

  3. As a still somewhat "new" mom (son just turned 2), I struggle, probably weekly, with boredom in my child. I rarely feel "qualified" to raise a child because of the creativity factor. I think mom's who were elementary teachers or worked in some other capacity with kids have an "upper hand" as far as what to do ALL DAY LONG. I try to be out & about with him, but I also love the days that we are able to just stay put for a day – except for the boredom factor.

    I also struggle to not compare myself with what I "should" be doing as a mom. Yes, I know when I'm being generally lazy, unmotivated, etc. & that's where mom blogs help spur me on. But other times, I get too overwhelmed with how much it "seems" other moms do with their kids all day, being all artsy, creative, FUN. I completely agree – the challenge is in finding the harmonious balance for you & YOUR family, not in trying to achieve what someone else is doing in theirs.

  4. I get that same question all the time. I have four kids and just graduated from college after having gone back full-time two years ago (I’m also the PTA president and the Adult Sunday School teacher at church). People ask all the time how I do it. First it seems like a crazy question – I don’t “do it” all the time, sometimes I fail miserably! But it is just my life, I take it one day at a time, try new things, toss those that don’t work, embrace those that do!

    My biggest struggle is how to balance. My kids are older than yours so they don’t “need” me as much physically, but they still need me emotionally but I need to give them their space. And I need to do all the things I do, too. How to balance their needs, my needs, hubby’s needs, the “have to’s” and the want to’s.” Without feeling guilt! I struggle with this all the time.


  5. I struggle with what types of relationships to allow w/ my kids and other kids who don’t know/follow the Lord. How does one teach a kid to be discerning and not judgmental? I certainly want my children to be influencers. But more often, I find my oldest being the one influenced.

  6. What I am struggling with most right now is letting my two boys watch too much TV. I am expecting our third little one in February and just do not have the energy to do anything! I’m waiting for a burst of energy, but I think that’s wishful thinking. I really need to motivate myself many many times a day to just do the basic things here.

  7. I do admire you. My best friend in the whole wide world gave up homeschooling when her 6th was on the way. I miss her. We were in it together! The Lord is moving us apart and that’s OK. It’s a season.
    Thanks for telling us how it is.
    Jenn, another homeschool mom.

  8. MoM, you’re very sweet. In all honesty, I am just to wierd to be SuperMOM. I think we all have the equivalent of jammies/cartoons days. Thanks for your encouragement.

    Mrs. Q., thanks for your honesty. I am guessing that you’re a better homemaker than you think!

    Garden Gal, did you mean that your child is bored? I am curious what makes you think that he is bored. He seems so young. Feel free to email me if you’d like.

    Ladies, I am with you on the balance and tv and friendships issues. Those sound like great topics to explore!

    Thanks for your encouragement, everyone!