I have gotten a few comments and emails lately, especially after Ladybug’s birth, asking me how I do it all. By *it all* I believe they mean…homeschooling, blogging, maintaining my website, and normal mom, wife, woman stuff. First I have to say I do not do it all and we are ALL DIFFERENT!!! We all have differing abilities, talents, gifts, passions, etc. We also all have differing circumstances that allow us to do different things during different seasons of our lives. If you read nothing else in this post read that! Don’t look at what I do and think it is better than what you do…it’s just different.
With that said, I will do my best to help you understand me a little bit better 🙂
First, I think it’s important to note the ages of my children…7, 3 (in 2 weeks) and newborn. That is MUCH different than 3 under 3, 4, or 5. Although my 7 year old is dramatic and draining at times, he is still 7, which is much more independent and responsible than 3 or 4. My 3 year old is wild and crazy but much different than a 1 or 2 year old. AND, my newborn is pretty easy…so far. With several years between each child, it has made my life easier. I am NOT one of those moms who wanted kids close together and thankfully God agreed ;). Those of you who are raising/homeschooling 2, 3, 4 or more kids who are all young –I don’t know how you even survive one day, let alone get anything productive done!!!!!
Next, blogging is my hobby, my down time, my personal time. I love to do it. It is not a chore for me as I love to design, write, take and edit photos, etc. Everything I do on my blogs and website is enjoyable to me, if they weren’t I wouldn’t do it. Blogging is never a chore for me, that’s what makes it so great. I love to do it, it’s such an outlet for me…and others seem to like that I do it! I know for some blogging can feel like a chore, and the thought of maintaining 4 blogs (my private family blog, this one, Totally Tots, and Lil Ladybug) plus a website (not to mention I oversee our church website too) seems daunting. For me it is NOT. Like I said, blogging is relaxing for me. I love learning how to do different things (like adjusting html on my blog), love sharing ideas, love writing, etc.
Homeschooling is my priority during the day. It is why I stepped down from working full time in ministry (which I did when Pac was little and the only). If I am not homeschooling to the best of my ability, I might as well go back to ministry life and send my kiddos to school. I don’t do things half way, and homeschooling is at the top of that list for me.
Finally, it is very important to remember how really sick I was during my pregnancy with Ladybug. I spent weeks 5-13 with Hypermesis, confined pretty much to my bed and bathroom during that entire time. It was miserable. Then around 24 weeks my severe physical pain set in and lasted through week 37 when I delivered her (2 weeks ago). Yes I had a c section, and yes it hurt to recover, but recovery has been NOTHING like the pain I endured for months. Seriously I could barely walk. Also, my husband got and recovered from cancer during the middle of it all (from about week 14-20 of my pregnancy). Our lives have been SO out of whack for the entire pregnancy…I couldn’t wait to get back to my role as a woman, wife, Mommy, and teacher.
I got back to “normal” on Monday and things went well. I haven’t done laundry, dishes, cleaning, etc. for months and I took back over all of my duties and it feels great (wonder how long that feeling will last). I haven’t put my boys to bed in months, and I could finally read to them, bathe them, and snuggle with them in bed. I wasn’t able to discipline Krash with the effectiveness he needs, and finally I can.
I think I am a better mom of 3 than I am of 2, and I was better with 2 than I was with 1. The busier I am, the better I am. When I get focused on myself for too long, I get annoyed when a child needs me. With 3, one is needing me all of the time. I don’t have time to waste until they go to bed and by then I am tired too!
I also want to say that even though I may seem to have it all together, I am still a sinner saved by grace. I make mistakes constantly. I yell at my kids, and I get frustrated over little things when I should offer grace. I speak harshly to my children or husband when I should be gentle and calm. I overlook chores or household duties at times, just because. I don’t answer the phone (and often frustrate people) because I don’t want to be interrupted. I get stressed out over simple things, and my anxiety has a tendency to run high when it shouldn’t. The list could go on and on, but those are a few for ya!
I have come a long way in my selfishness as a human being, and overcoming some of that selfishness is mostly what allows me to do what I do daily. The things I do are for my family, for the Lord. When I felt called to step down from ministry leadership, I knew I was stepping into another ministry role for the Lord-my role as the mother of this family, and as the wife, and WOMAN. From that moment on (about 2 years ago), I began to take it seriously and haven’t looked back. Before that time, I mothered halfway, I homeschooled half way, I cleaned half way, I took care of myself halfway, etc. I wasn’t the woman, wife, mother, or teacher I should be
I am still NOT, and nor will I ever be but that doesn’t stop me from trying each and every day.
I will leave you with a couple of life guiding verses, that seem to put it all in perspective for me…
A Time for Everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8)
1 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
2 a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
3 a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
6 a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
7 a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
8 a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.