As my oldest is getting married tomorrow, I’m looking back at some older blog posts from one I previously wrote. The faces in these pictures are younger than what you’d see in our home now, and a part of me misses those days. But this is a good life, in all of its “doing”. Live every day to its fullest possible moment, because one day, the old pictures will bring it all back.
I hope you enjoy my little note from a past self. And that it helps you see life in a different way.
I'm working on a song about staying at home with the kids - I call it We Didn't Mess the House Up and is sung to the tune of (what else?) We Didn't Start the Fire. It is a work in progress and not at all finished, but I'm willing to share a small part of it here:
Dinner in the crockpot, make time to mow the lawn, foccacia bread, dusting, go pick up the living room. Vacuuming the downstairs, parish council, baseball game, tidy up the dogs' nails, gardening and homeschool.
We didn't mess the house up,You are so mean,When you make us clean.
We didn't mess the house up,Yes I'll try to clean it,
but it wasn't my fault...
Yes, I know - it doesn't rhyme and needs work. The boys have let me know! They're pretty good for making up song lyrics so they're helping me out with that. But it does help illustrate this post a bit so I've pre-empted my "unveiling" a bit.
That first paragraph is a micro-illustration of a day in our lives. Not every day is that busy, of course, but I do often hear "I don't know how you do it!" when people talk about what our family is involved in. Six children necessitates activity and means that we're always going to have some kind of adventure going on!
The real answer though to the question, "How do you do it?" or the statement that crops up just as often, "I don't know how you do it!" is that the person asking does know! How do they do "it"? Whatever "it" is, they are dealing with things that I have no connection with. Illnesses, two working parents, seven kids, two kids and lots of activities, on and on - you do it by doing it! We all have the little things that we "just do" and that others admire us for, whether or not we know of their admiration.
As you walk through your day, know that others are watching you just as you are looking through their blinds and open doors. Others are saying, "I don't know how she does it!" and shaking their heads in admiration. Whenever you feel inadequate, or like you're not doing enough or like you aren't equipped for the work you're doing, or like life is handing you "too much"… are you planning to roll over and die? Are you giving up on getting it done? Are you walking away (no matter how tempting that sometimes may be!)?
And the answer is: you're not. You're doing it. You wouldn't be in the position you're in at work, or with the kids you have at home, or the various volunteer activities at church or whatever, if you weren't capable.
Just remember in doing it "all" - to keep balance and take care of yourself. Get adequate rest at night, take a night out every so often to do something besides go to the grocery store, go for a walk and get your exercise in each week. Read an off-screen book…
Get that mental boost that comes from being able to breathe so you don't get overwhelmed by trying to "just do" whatever it is you do. And when you pass the crazy lady in the grocery store, who looks strangely euphoric and at peace at being there… say "hello" - it's probably me enjoying some time away from the masses!