12 August 2011

Question-How do you deal with everything?

Like, laundry, cooking, cleaning, kids fighting, schooling, errands, snuggles, you know, stuff like that? How do you fit everything in and get it all done?

We were at the pool last night and I met a mom of 3 little girls. One was 7, and she had 5 year old twins. She was so cute with all her questions and inquiries once she realized I had a boat load of kids. And that, "you homeschool too?"

Her questions were actually easy to answer. It's simple ~ I don't fit it all in nor do I get it all done! I mean, who does? No matter how many children you have. Well, actually, many moms get it all done, I'm just not one of them. I fall seriously short of my expectations each and every day. I am amazed at so many moms who are so accomplished but instead of berating myself or comparing myself to them I see them as inspirational. And it very possibly may be you reading this right now that I find so inspiring and I thank you. I have decided on one thing though that serves as a foundation to help me as I serve my family. And it is this: that life is a process based on relationships, not a list of attainments! Although, I do love the little lists with goals on them that I love to check off as I go along but that isn't reality for me. I'm not that talented. However, there are a few days out of each year where I go to bed at night and say, "wow, I got a lot done today. Everything is so nice and organized and clean." And I love it that I can say that once in a while. It's the early fall when daddy goes to the woods to begin cutting wood for winter. He normally takes everyone with him leaving me pretty much alone in the house for hours at a time a couple days a week for a month or so. And it's then, and only then that I can say that!! So how do I explain a day in the life to someone with less than half of the children I have without overwhelming her? Well that would be priorities first. But what are they? Well they always look different depending on the day. But I do have an overview of HOW I would like to see my day go; in order of priority. (Remembering that relationships are priority because 'things' have a way of destroying those things which are most important) The standard to which I strive to keep but don't at all times because again, I have way to many imperfections that are constantly holding me back.......

But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Luke 10:42 To me this translates into a process based on relationships.

1. First and foremost ~ Loving Flexibility ~ If I try to keep my wits about me and remember that being flexible is key with love then life runs more smoothly.
2. Running a well ordered home ~ This goes without saying for anyone. But I have found if chores are done then life can glide along better. De-cluttering is my favorite way to keep things orderly. Always remember that if you own it, you have to be accountable for it. Accountability takes time, and that could mean time away from our family. Let me also say that my idea of a well ordered home does NOT mean one that is always kept up. I mean simply a place for everything with the goal of everything in it's place. There's one of those goals I shoot for with loving flexibility.
3. Simple meals ~ This could mean different things to different people. I try to shoot for high quality foods. This kills two birds with one stone. A. If the food is high quality then they get the nutrients they need, and B, it usually means I can get away with less of it! Quality versus quantity.
4. Chores ~ Everyone has a job to do. Many hands make light work! I don't normally switch around jobs too often. Perhaps just once a year. The same child keeps the same job until they are old enough to graduate from it then they 'hand it down' to the next child and move on with one slightly more difficult than before.
5. And last but not least ~ Fitting in schooling. I put this last because without the above attainments reached then we can get into trouble. In order to run a school with several children then there HAS to be order. That order is covered in the first 4. And since my children's education is so important then the other things have to happen. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That is life, that is our life and we strive each day to do better than the day before. Because everyday is different and brings it's own challenges that we cannot see so that's why I call life a process based on relationships.

My father-in-law always says:
"If you are not going forward, then you are definitely going backwards"


Julia said...

I only have 3 children but have learned over the years what works for me and my family (and our circumstances) is going to be different for someone else. As soon as I start comparing what I do with someone else..I usually fall way short of my own expectations of how I should measure up!

mommyx12 said...

I am the same way Julia. It is so easy for me to compare myself to others. Especially when I KNOW I fall so short of keeping up with everything. So many moms make being a mom look so easy!!!!

Marla Grace said...

love love your blog. We have been blessed with six Children. Great post thanks.

ccc said...

Excellent post! And, you are so right that school is last on the list. There is no way that school can be done if the other things on the lost are not done first.
Also, what you said to that mother of three at the pool was good. I never know how to respond to those questions/comments. We have grown and learned so much as we added each child. Even when I had three I remember being awed by mothers who had more.But, it really is a process and still with 11 children I am awed at mothers who have more than me.

dggp said...

Great post Tricia. I struggle too. I guess it's part of life. Did you get my email this morning? My computer has been kind of funny so not sure it went out.

mommyx12 said...

Thank you for the comment. I wanted to comment back that it really is a journey. Learning and growing each and everyday. I think once I finally figured out that I was NOT capable of accomplishing in a day all I wanted is when I really set out to look at my priorities. I wish I would have learned that so much sooner than I did!!

The Mayo Family said...

Hi Tricia,
Great post...
I as well (as the other commenter shared) have to fight the "comparison" struggle!
I look at how it seems that others get it all done....ug & things all look so great! Then I ask God to help me as yes, we are who He made us. I also agree that these others who get it all done, yes, are an inspiration & we can learn much from them...as I have you!
I am so thankful that God has allowed so many to be able to share etc through these blogs as it is a help & encourager!
Thank you~

UmMusa said...

Thank you for sharing. Mothers need this kind of encouragement and support.

Erika Shupe said...

Oh! I love this! Just what I needed to read tonight (instead of working on my schedule for this school year, which I need done by Thursday). I've prioritized the same as you've listed here, and sometimes I've wondered if I should put homeschooling higher upon the priority list, but feeling just like you put it - it has to be in this order in order for any of it to work... Where do you live? I'd like to fly over for coffee! =)