Thursday, April 23, 2009

"How Do You Do It?" Part One

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Occasionally, I am asked this question in one form or another. I usually smile and mumble something about "lots of prayer".

Recently, though, a friend who has just begun homeschooling three daughters asked, "How do you get up each morning and keep yourself from saying, 'I can NOT do this. It is too much.'?"

I think I said something about knowing the feeling in addition to the "lots of prayer" mumble, but I have since thought about it and would like to address it more thoroughly.

First of all, you should know that I look to ladies like Holly, Jaynee, Kimberly, and Sherry for advice and encouragement on caring for and homeschooling a large family.

As for me, I'll start with home and personal appearance.

When someone asks, "How do you DO it?" I am certain that I am not doing it as cleverly as it might appear. What I mean by that is when I am meeting a friend for lunch, I want to be well dressed and groomed. I am not always so well dressed and groomed, though.

When I have friends over for dinner, I like for my house to be orderly and neat, but my house isn't always so orderly and neat.

I'm not saying that I fake my way through life, but just that people naturally like to put their best face forward, and that is what others see, and may interpret as the ONLY face.

Which it isn't.

There are plenty of days when I go through the entire day with baby snot on my shirt, oatmeal in my hair, and little peanut buttery fingerprints on my pants.

One day, I remember going to the library with a new baby in a sling and all the rest of the kids in tow. I noticed that the librarian's gaze kept going to the hair falling around my shoulders. I thought, "She must be admiring my curls." When I got out to Hogzilla, though, I took a look in the mirror and saw a big ol' glob of spit up in my hair!

On any given day, there is usually at least one mess, probably more, at my house that is waiting to be dealt with. We may have a basket of clean, folded clothes that has been overturned on the floor before they made it to their final destination, and a sticky kitchen floor from a lemonade spill that was wiped up hastily.

One evening when we were entertaining guests, I ducked into the guest bathroom to make sure everything was in order after I had seen a couple of the children come and go from there. Toilet paper? Check. Hand towel? Check. Soap? Check. As I turned to go, my eyes fell on the light switch and I said a silent prayer, "Oh, dear Lord, PLEASE let that be chocolate."

I did a quick clean up with my homemade Clorox sanitizing spray, just in case.

If you looked in the bathroom towel cabinet right now, you would see that the towels are not folded and stacked neatly, but rather wadded and stuffed haphazardly. I noticed it earlier in the week and honestly haven't had the time or energy to address the reteaching of that chore to the offending party. It's on my list of things to do, though! (By the way, Honey, there's something I need to talk to you about when you get home from work.) OH! QUIT IT! I'm kidding! It wasn't him!

That list of things to do is never ending. There is always something to reteach or redo or work out or work on.

How I "do it" is the same as everyone else. One thing at a time. Then right on to the next thing.

And lots of prayer.

More on that next time.

See Part 2 here.
See Part 3 here.

*Have you signed up for the 16x20 poster print giveaway?


Raising Olives said...

Oh Connie,
What a great, real post. Yes, you're right, we always like putting our best foot forward don't we?

You are have such an amazing way of putting things.

Thank you!


Lene said...

What a great post! My husband fixes our towel/linen closet after I stuff things in it :).

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

Eh, just leave the linen closet. As long as the towels are clean it doesn't matter.

Loved this post!

Kris said...

I believe, if someone dropped by my house right now, I would seriously consider the merits of tackling them before they walked into my kitchen and saw the pile of dirty dishes in the sink. (It's a BIG pile!)

And, I would seriously hope that, on their way to the guest bathroom, whose state of cleanliness I cannot vouch for at this moment, they would not notice a smell from the laundry closet. A smell that would smell suspiciously of a load of clothes that got washed, but hasn't quite made it to the dryer.

Hmmm...maybe I should take care of that as soon as I finish eating my lunch, which is my only excuse for being on the computer right now.

Kara said...

I'm so glad you wrote this. I am struggling with getting all the laundry put away from last week and my hampers are overflowing for another round!! And I think how am I going to do this and teach my children:) But as your former neighbor I must say I was always impressed by your organization:)

Shari said...

Great post. I am not homeschooling as many kids, but I have learned that the work is always there and I absolutely love homeschooling my kids so that housework can wait a while. It gets done; just in a different fashion than I had imagined when I first got married.

Noel said...

This is soooo right! We don't have to be a fake perfect mom, just be yourself, keep trying to do a good job and keep moving!!! Yeah, the keep moving thing is from morning to night, but hey, it's a great life :)

john alan turner said...

Glad to have inspired you to post, but still not sure I will be able to do it. One little bit at a time I guess. We have had the additional challenge of trying to do all our schooling in the car for the last two weeks, but we'll be home soon. Hooray!

Kayluray said...

Thank you for this very real post. I, too, struggle to keep things in order and often wonder how other moms do it. Your post is very encouraging others who are in the real world with you, but may not know it.

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