How Do You Do It?
This being a very common question asked of this mom of six kiddos, I often wonder why people even have to ask. Can’t they see that I’m a saint, and my kids are always well behaved and even tempered. We do not yell or raise our voices in the slightest. Any of us. Ever. My floors sparkle and the laundry is always clean, folded, and hung up. I make all meals to perfection, and even Noah looks forward to the chicken cacciatore I make every Saturday night.
Wait … what? You don’t believe me? Okay, okay. Here’s the truth …
I very rarely leave my house with all of my kiddos in tow and when I do, I’ve been known to leave a certain blondie at the checkout counter as we make our way across town—without him. My kiddos dumped a whole bag of cheerios in the pantry today and every single Cheerio is still on the floor. We have clean clothes, but they are all piled in a giant heap, in the middle of the loft, at the top of the stairs. I spent lots of time with the kiddos today, and I tried not to yell at them, but they can be just. So. Darn. Frustrating. And I didn’t cook tonight; Ray went out and got tacos for dinner.
If you are anything like me, you wear many hats—wife, mother, friend, teacher, blogger, and more—but balancing those many roles can sometimes be quite challenging. Is it possible to do it all without losing your sanity?
I know that everyone has a different way of doing it, but since I am so often asked, I thought I would share some of the secrets that I’ve discovered to maintain my sanity, while filling my many roles. Maybe some of them will help you, too!
How many of you feel like you need help simply because you can’t do it on your own? I know I can’t do it on my own. Put your trust in the Lord and start your day talking to Him. He will help you get through one day at a time, if you trust in Him for strength.
Learn to say no and know when to say it. I have always been a people-pleaser so I know how difficult it is to feel like you are letting someone down. It can be torture for someone like me to say no, but it has been a key element to saving my sanity!
Spend quality time with your spouse, without the kids. My husband and I try to have regular date nights and we leave the kiddos with a trusted friend, or family member, and spend the evening together. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to spend quality time together … wait until the kiddos go to bed, turn off the TV and computers, and play a game or enjoy a glass of wine, and just talk.
Go with the flow. Some families are very scheduled and organized. Ours—not so much. In our family it is super important to make sure that our school work is done in an orderly fashion, but with so many little ones, short attention spans, and lots of testosterone, I must be very careful with how we make it through the day. Every day looks different, and you know what? That’s okay. Really.
Don’t sweat the small stuff. The laundry can go unfolded yet another day (or until my kiddos can fold it and put it away themselves, for that matter), and the licorice just before dinner won’t kill the kiddos. It’s the big stuff that matters. So, teach them how to be obedient, respectful, and helpful. Make sure that your kids learn how to love God and others simply by watching you. Spend time together, as a family, cultivating those relationships. This is the stuff that really matters.
Knowing that the Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle, often holds me back from asking for help from others. I need to remind myself that God puts people in our lives for a reason, and that it’s okay to lean on others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ever.
Cherish this time while your kiddos are young. It’s a lot of work being a mommy, but enjoy your children. Remember that “the days may seem long, but the years are short!” Thanks for that one, Mom!