People often look at my with my little brood of children and ask me how I do it all.
Simple. I don’t. Ha!
My friend told me something interesting when I was telling her about how my kids don’t have clothing in dressers anymore, just totes that I can quickly sort their laundry in by child. No folding, and it’s easier than digging through laundry baskets of EVERYONE’S clothes because I used to put off sorting laundry. Now I get it done in a snap! Anyway, she said that generally speaking, with the first child you read all the parenting magazines and get this image in your head of what your ideal parenting will be, and you actually get pretty close. You still can maintain it to some degree with 2. Moms with 3 kids tend to be the most stressed out because they are often still holding on to that supermom dream. But with 4+ children, you just can’t do it all and that’s when many moms not only start letting go of the supermom dream, but also come to terms with what is realistic for them. I never tried to be a supermom, but I did let go of a lot of my personal expectations after Ruth was born. I stopped making homemade bread. I switched to disposable diapers, although I still want to do cloth for newborns until they start on solids. For that matter, we also often use disposable dishes, which works out to be about $0.25 cents a meal. Much cheaper than a maid! In the homeschool arena, I admitted to myself that high quality screen time is doing a pretty good job teaching my kids some subjects and stopped feeling guilty for delegating parts of our education plan to the screen while I do something else. Ultimately this gave me more energy and passion for the subjects that I do sit down and do with them, and has led to a better balance for all of my children overall.
At first I thought I had never fully recovered from having a new baby, but some time after her first birthday I realized that this was my new reality. It wasn’t a moment of depression as much as a moment of release. I embraced that new reality and was able to improve upon it in small ways. I have learned SO MUCH from having four children, lessons I never would have had with less. It has taught me to focus on what is most important to me and freely let the other stuff go. My house is messy because we live here. And I am very happy with my life.