I am constantly asked, “How do you do it all? I mean you have lots of kids, two that are small and require so much of your attention. How do you find time to blog, raise kids, clean the house, make dinner, garden, play with your kids, and still keep your sanity?”
When people ask me this I am a little unsure what they mean, and I never know how to answer it! I mean I am no different than any other mom that stays home with their kids, right? We all strive to clean our house, make dinner, play and raise the kids, and try to have a hobby or two, am I right?
After much thought I have decided to let you in on a little secret as to how I do it all… Are you ready for it?
I Don’t Do it All.
That’s right… You read it right… I don’t do it all! I know that my blog paints a picture that my life is organized and is not crazy, but let me tell you, that’s not reality… My life has ups and downs just like everyone else’s. My family has struggles and disagreements. My house has toilets that need flushing, no matter how much times I remind the kids to flush them. My little kids live in their PJ’s about 3 days out of the week (sometimes the same ones two days in a row). I live in my yoga pants and joggers unless I know I have to get out of the car. And putting on makeup and doing my hair? Well… That only happens when I have enough time in the day or on date night (and sometimes then it still doesn’t happen.)
I do blog about things that go wrong and I try to be as honest and open about my life and share with you struggles that I have had or have been through and if you look closely you will see laundry all over the kitchen table, toys spread everywhere, floors that are in major need of sweeping, kids with hair that needs brushing, and last night’s dinner still on their faces. All these things just prove that I don’t do it all… In fact I can’t do it all, I just do the best I can.
There are many days where my kids run downstairs searching in the dryer for a sweatshirt or a clean pair of pants because they haven’t been folded yet. And my son spends way too much time playing video games, but it allows me to get something done. My 2 year old learns what circles and numbers are from IPad apps and watching TV, while I sit in the corner trying to write a blog post while the baby takes a nap. I wish I was more on top of things and could wake up crazy early or stay up really late to get things done, but I can’t. I normally look around my house and determine what needs to get done that day by what looks the worst, which usually takes me to the bathrooms for some thorough scrubbing, but let’s be honest that doesn’t always happen either.
To Do Lists
I have notebooks everywhere… Half filled that I take everywhere with me. I write down what I need to do that day, what we are eating for dinner that week, where the kids need to go, what blog posts need to be written, how much water I have drank (I should really track how much Diet Coke I have drank, I will probably have more circles filled in with that!) I love to write things down, because when I finish them and cross them off I feel some sort of satisfaction! But just because they are written down doesn’t mean I actually do them! I mean it’s so easy to write it down on the next day and then the day after that. You get the picture…
Simplifying to Find the Easy Way Out
I discovered a long time ago that we as a generation try to make things more difficult than they need to be. I mean let’s think about that for a minute. Someone has a baby and we volunteer to take them dinner. We spend hours slaving in the kitchen making a beautiful meal with a nice dessert and then we feed our kids cold cereal because we are simply too tired to make anything else. Why do we do that? I am sure our friends would have been just as happy with a $5.00 pizza or a bowl of spaghetti, we would be right?
I have learned that there are some things that require perfection and then there are other things that we can cut corners on that still serves the same purpose and makes people just as happy. My kids would much rather eat frozen chicken nuggets (I cook them of course) on a busy night than wait for me to try and throw something together at the last minute that takes 45 minutes to cook. My kids are just as happy with ice cream on Family Night as they would be if I made sugar cookies cut out in star shapes with frosting that took hours to make.
Making gourmet meals is a waste in our home… The time, the effort, the mess… My kids would rather eat tacos and I would too because it’s easier to clean up and they are a quarter of the cost!
Laundry is my arch nemesis…. I hate it… I wish we could throw our clothes away when they get dirty and new ones would magically appear, but let’s be honest that’s not reality, so we have to do it! When it comes to my kids clothes… No sorting ever happens… I throw them in and wash them all at the same time, unless I know for a fact something will run. Kids don’t care! And let’s be honest they grow out of things so quickly their whites will never turn shades of gray from mixing colors together like adult clothes do.
I buy clothes that don’t require ironing. If it needs to be ironed it goes to Ty’s pile to iron because I don’t do it. If something comes out of the dryer and it is wrinkled I throw it back in for 10 minutes to get unwrinkled… It works every time!
I Am Not the Entertainment Committee
I love my kids dearly, but my philosophy is they need to learn to play by themselves and with others. They have plenty of toys, books, puzzles, games, play doh, 2 acres of land to explore and siblings to play with.
Now I know you might be thinking, what kind of mom are you, I get that, but hear me out, if we constantly are sitting right next to our kids doing everything for them and with them how are they going to learn to do things in the real world and learn to play independently?
I have taught Talie that she can color or do play doh at the kitchen table while I make dinner without her feeling like I need to be right there next to her. I of course will go and help her open containers and roll out play doh if she gets stuck. I sneak away from my mom duties throughout the day so I can get extra snuggles from the babies, storytimes with the little kids, and get video game lessons from the boys. I am still very much involved in their lives, but we are good with mom not needing to entertain them at every moment of the day so that I can get other things done.
So There You Have It!
So there you have it… Now you know my secret as to How I Do it All?! The answer of course being I don’t. I am just like you. My house could always be a little cleaner. I could do a little bit more on my to do lists each day. I could be way more involved playing with the kids all day long. I could make fancier dinners and sort the darks from the whites when it comes to the laundry. I could eat a little healthier ( I mean, I did just eat a brownie for lunch). I could drink less Diet Coke, but what fun would that be?
I know you look around you and see perfection. Perfection on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and even people’s blogs, but just remember no one can do it all! Most Bloggers use stock pictures of beautiful homes and perfectly modeled children for their cover pictures. Instagram and Facebook have filters that make anything look beautiful and picture perfect, even if we haven’t washed our hair for a few days! And Pinterest… Well, I am sure that millions of people have had “Pinterest fails” before they have Pinterest successes. So next time you are thinking, “How do they do it all?” Just remember they probably don’t do it all and if they did… I’m not sure they would be very fun to be around anyways!
So, “How do you do it all”?