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"