Try-it Tuesday: How to “do it all"

{Warning: this post is long, and that title is supposed to be tongue-in-cheek, just in case the quotations didn’t clue you in}

I would be willing to bet that every single semi-successful blogger has been asked the following question by at least one of her readers:

HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL?

(although, I’m not sure it was screamed at them like those capital letters would seem to imply…not ruling it out, though).

And if the blogger happens to have children (especially of the youngish variety), then I’m no longer betting they’ve been asked this. I’m sure of it.

To which that blogger must reply, if she possesses even one iota of truthfulness (and most of us do):

I DON’T DO IT IT ALL!

(that one might be yelled, perhaps with a crazed expression in her eyes and frantic tugging at her hair).

And then she’ll go on to describe the various ways she copes with her hectic schedule and still pays attention to her family, hopefully including the areas that fall by the wayside because, as we all know, no one is truly good at every facet of life, and we tend to fail the most where we are the weakest.

Take me, for example.

In the household chores arena…

I’m good at: washing and folding laundry, picking up, doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, sweeping floors, and having dinner on the table.

I’m bad at: putting laundry away, decluttering piles, deep cleaning (dusting, baseboards, window-cleaning, reorganizing cupboards etc.), and gardening.

I kid you not when I say that I envy people who enjoy throwing stuff out and seem to get some sort of therapeutic buzz from alphabetizing their DVD collection.

It sounds lovely in some ways to be so organized that you like to do such things.

But that’s not me.

And if you read my “coping with the never-ending to-do list” post from a while back, then you know that, even though my only work outside the home is as a fitness instructor, I still manage to stay relatively busy all day, what with the homeschooling and the house projects and the…what was it?…oh yeah, 3 kids 6-years-old and under (soon to be 5—Oh Father, give me strength).

So…what’s my point?

Just this: that one woman cannot do “it all.”

To say that she can is a lie straight from the pit of hell (did you all just gasp?).

And if the devil gets you to believe it, then you will spend your life in a constant state of self-loathing and/or envy at the perceived accomplishments of others.

Source: howjoyful.com via Abbie on Pinterest

 

How do I know this?

Because I’ve been there.

I was there not very long ago, when, after a particularly long day during which I felt like I’d failed at practically everything a mother is supposed to be good at, and I looked around my living room to discover that it was an absolute pigsty of toys, laundry, various electronic remotes, crumbs, and—oh my goodness, is that a half-eaten apple I see under the couch??—I poured out my angst-riddled heart to my husband (who was gone on a work-trip), ending with this plaintive cry: “I need help.”

And because Shaun is the incredible husband, father, and man of God he is, he didn’t argue with me.

He didn’t say, “Oh, babe, you’re doing fine. You’re just tired. Go to sleep, and I’m sure you’ll feel better in the morning” (all of which would have been more or less true).

He just said: “Okay. We’ll get you some help.”

Well, you know those moods you get in where you don’t really want a solution, you just want to gripe?

I was so there that night, so I shot back, “Great, that’s just fabulous. But I’m fine with the everyday cleaning stuff. What I want to know is how in the world is the rest ever going to get done? Even if we hire somebody to help with the housework, how will that help me declutter my drawers, finish my house projects, and work outside in the yard? Besides, I can’t have anyone come help me until I get all of that other stuff under control.”

And that is another lie Satan wants us to believe—that we don’t deserve help until we can master all the weak areas that plague us.

(A bit of a paradox when you realize that the whole reason you need help in the first place is because you’re not good at everything).

That kind of thinking keeps us mired in the slough of despair and self-pity.

And you know what else?

It feeds our pride.

Because that’s really what it’s about.

I don’t actually want anyone to think I’m Super Woman. It’s too laughable for words.

But telling you about my un-put-away laundry and cluttered cabinets is very different than letting you see them in person.

Because if I just tell you, then if you’re like me, your automatic reaction is to think, “Oh, she’s just exaggerating. I’ll bet it’s not nearly as bad as she’s saying it is.”

Depends on the day, but sometimes, it’s 5 times worse

So, there’s that.

So…what?

Am I just saying that that little voice in your head saying, “You could be doing better than this. There are better uses of your time right now. It’s your responsibility to make sure that gets done, and you’re slacking,” is just a liar, liar, pants on fire?

Nope.

Mommy guilt gets a bad rap—and for good reason—but I would like to posit that conviction and mommy-guilt are two very different things.

Conviction is the deep-down knowledge that—either from laziness, fear, or some other factor—you are shirking a God-given responsibility, which can be something as obvious as dish-duty or as subtle as building your children up with encouraging words.

But mommy-guilt is the nasty little voice that whispers, “No matter how hard you try, no matter what you accomplish, you will never measure up to ‘real mother/woman’ standards.”

Conviction says, “You can do better, by God’s grace, and you know it. Now get out there and face the day because you are a child of the Almighty God with whom all things are possible!”

Mommy-guilt says: “You can’t win. Because there’s always someone who’s better than you are. And you’re a failure every time you don’t get everything done that you should.”

That little word should is so insidious.

According to my own (and no one else’s) expectations, on any given day, I should:

  • spend time with God
  • feed my family three square meals
  • pick up my entire house
  • clean at least one room that’s not a kitchen or a bathroom
  • homeschool my children
  • blog
  • read to my children
  • connect with my husband
  • teach my exercise classes
  • finish a project
  • answer emails
  • snuggle with my children
  • snuggle with my husband
  • connect with friends
  • run errands

After all, even if I devoted 1 whole hour each day to each pursuit on that list, then that’s only 15 hours, and I’m awake for at least 1 hour more than that each day.

So what’s the big deal?

Life.

That’s what.

We all know that, even with 16 hours of wakefulness, the reality is that I’ll probably only get to 5 of the things on that list in one day.

Which means that I score a whopping 33% on the test of Life.

That’s an F.

And I’m a straight A kind of girl.

Now, I would love to tell you that this is the part where I share my eureka moment—the part where everything just clicked, and I figured out how to get it all done, keep my sanity, and be nice to my husband and children.

How I figured out how to do it all…alone.

But I didn’t.

Instead, I got help (and I’m not referring to the “happy pills” variety).

And the truth is that I wasn’t even the one who got it.

I mentioned when I was doing my dinner party recaps that my husband had found a neighbor lady named Teresa to help me with the party prep and how she pretty much saved my life that week.

Well, ever since that party, Teresa has been coming to my house 3 days a week 4 hours a day.

That’s 12 hours a week, people.

That’s a lot.

Do you know how hard it is for me to admit that to you?

If you’re a Christian, then like I, you’ve probably grown up with the concept of the Proverbs 31 woman as the ideal example of godly femininity.

I’ve heard talks on practically every aspect of her accomplishments:

  • her diligence
  • her discipline
  • her business acumen
  • her strength
  • her creativity
  • her love for her family
  • her servant girls

Um, what?

Truth is, I’ve never heard a talk on that last one.

Probably because “servants” are not exactly a PC topic these days, but that’s not really the point, is it?

Because it’s right there in Proverbs 31:15, which says:

“She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.”

I glean 3 main points from this verse:

1) Mrs. Biblical Super Woman had servant girls. Ergo, she needed help. Ergo, it must have meant that even she couldn’t “do it all” alone.

2) Just because she had help doesn’t mean that Mrs. BSW sat around eating bon-bons and reading the latest issue of People Magazine: the Zion Edition while her servant girls did all the cooking, cleaning, and washing like Old Testament Cinderellas (see that “provides food” part?).

and…

3) Mrs. BSW gets up way too early for my taste.

All jokes aside, reminding myself of the Proverbs 31 Woman’s need for help dispels at least a bit of the #1 fear that I have when it comes to getting help of my own:

That I will become the kind of lady of leisure who doesn’t care for her own home and uses that “extra time” she would have spent scrubbing toilets to instead pamper herself and ignore her family.

Maybe even more so, I fear that, regardless of whether I’m doing that, others will think I am.

But here’s the honest truth so far: having Teresa around makes me work harder.

When she’s here, I feel energized, motivated—heck, maybe even duty-bound—to be just as productive as she is, even if it’s in a different arena of my household (she cleans counters while I homeschool; she mops floors while I sort summer clothes, etc.).

When we prepped for the party, we both worked non-stop for 4 hours one day and then 7 straight hours on the day of the actual party. We literally didn’t sit down once.

If I’d done it all myself (ha! as if), there’s no way I would have lasted that long without a nap or a break.

And right then and there, covered in flour and sweat and hot glue, I was reminded of two more truths: 

Proverbs 27:17 

17 As iron sharpens iron,
so one person sharpens another.

And also:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.”

After all:

island-001

Now, I know what some of you are thinking right now:

“Good for you, Abbie. So glad you have the resources to get help. That would be super-nice and all, but I don’t have that kind of money.”

And I get that.

But here’s how it works around here

I teach exercise classes, right?

So, the money I make from those classes now goes to pay for Teresa’s hours here.

Which means I get to do something I love, which raises my energy levels, helps me blow off some steam, and provides socialization for my children. And it then pays for the help that I need.

Now, we are blessed in that that money I make is extra and can therefore be channeled in this direction, but I know not everybody has that luxury.

So, I have a couple of thoughts for ways to lighten your load that may not cost you a penny:

1) If you live near girlfriends in a similar state/stage of life, consider forming a “cleaning co-op.”

Go out to lunch and figure out who’s good at what, then come up with a schedule for trading cleaning services on set days of the week.

I don’t like organizing drawers, but vacuuming doesn’t bother me a bit, which may mean that you come to my house and clean out/organize my neglected refrigerator while I clean the downstairs floors in your house.

Yes, it’s still time spent cleaning, but I find that I work fastest/best when I’m focusing on my strengths AND that cleaning other people’s houses is way more fun than cleaning my own.

2) Similarly, you could establish a rotating “cleaning day,” where different Saturdays of the month are dedicated to different girls’ houses, and you all get together to deep-clean, knowing full-well that your turn is coming.

3) Also, something as simple as making twice as much of a meal every Monday and then swapping your dishes with a friend is a fun way of livening up your menu while motivating yourself to have a freezer meal or two handy for those nights when cooking sounds about as much fun as chewing on crushed glass.

4) If you’re feeling a little crazy, you can also enlist a friend for once-a-month cooking days, which I’ve done several times with my good friend, Jolinda. It’s an all-day, bone-tiring experience of mass cooking insanity, but at the end of it all, you each get to take home at least a month’s worth of meals to stock your freezer. (Once a Month Mom is a fantastic resource for recipes, ingredient lists, and instructions for your big cooking day).

I’m sure there are tons of other great ideas out there for getting/giving help without paying for it (and I’d love to hear them), but I just wanted to say one more thing:

It’s not all about you.

I was so focused on my own prideful shame at not getting everything I wanted/needed to done and how it would only benefit me to have help, that it never occurred to me that I could be a blessing to someone else in the process.

But it’s totally true.

Now, again, my situation is a little unique because I truly feel like God dropped Teresa in my lap.

How so?

Well, for one, she lives next door, which is awfully convenient for her (she loves not spending money on gas).

Also, she only speaks Spanish (I’ve been praying for the longest time for a friend with whom I could use my Spanish, but I wasn’t expecting this as the answer), but she wants to learn English, and I’ll be helping her with that.

She needs/wants the work/money (after the initial first couple of weeks of her helping me catch up on cleaning projects, I mentioned lowering her hours since I felt like just cleaning the house didn’t warrant 12 hours, and she looked a little crushed…so I told her that if she was willing to help me with miscellaneous house projects, then I could definitely find that many hours for her to fill, and she said she’d be willing to try anything that I had in mind).

She gets a different perspective on life. I know this may sound snooty—like I have some great wisdom to offer her—but I don’t mean it in that way at all. Still, even though I don’t know that much about her yet, I get the impression that she comes from a bit of a rough background—one that does not involve the best interaction with men, specifically.

She’s already commented on how impressed she is that my husband is loving with our children and—gasp—changes Della’s diapers and has even asked my opinion on how to discipline children (hers are grown, but she lives with relatives who have small children) because she thinks my kids are well-behaved. 

(And she sees them for 4 hours at a time in their “native environment!” I need to remember this when I’m feeling like I birthed 3 little hooligans! : )).

In return, I get to benefit from her organizational expertise (whereas I’m a “nostalgic organizer” who tends to think, “Hmmm….I might use that one day,” she’s an objective machine), use my Spanish, learn from her life experience, practice showing her Jesus, and as mentioned before, get an extra jolt of motivation on those days when I’m so tired that I want to sit around pretending like the laundry isn’t eating the couch alive.

(Oh, and I’m pretty sure she may be the #1 person I have to thank if I manage not to go stark raving mad when the twins come).

It’s a pretty big win-win, if you ask me.

So, what’s the point of this mile-long dissertation?

3 main ones, really:

1) There is no shame in asking for help (I need to write this backwards on my forehead and recite it out loud every time I look in the mirror).

The talented and impressively organized Cassie from Hi Sugarplum recently wrote her version of the “I don’t do it all” post in which she admitted that she has a twice-monthly deep-cleaning service and furthermore admitted that she’d never even told her mother that (I hear you, girl; I didn’t want to tell my mama either).

Apparently, it’s pretty deeply ingrained in our psyche as women that weshould (there’s that word again) be one-woman dynamos.

And I can pretty much guarantee you that Cassie and I aren’t the only ones having trouble owning up to our shortcomings.

In fact, I promise you that there are other bloggers, authors, speakers, etc. (and maybe even close, “real-life” friends) whom you admire who have outside help in some form or another but just haven’t told you either because they want you to believe that they do it all themselves, they are embarrassed to admit that they do not, or they just don’t think it’s any of your business. : )

2) If you feel like you are working to the best of your ability and still drowning a little at the end of the day, you could probably use some help and should, therefore, pounce like a duck on a June-bug on any reasonable opportunity for it that comes by.

3) If outside help—paid or not—just isn’t feasible, do the best you can and then cut yourself a huge piece of slack and go hug your babies. Chances are you’re the only one who cares whether the floor gets mopped every day (I guarantee your kiddos don’t give a rip!).

Believe me when I say that your family will thank you and that you will be ‘sharpened” and energized (either by the help, the hugs, or both).

And that, my friends, is a true win-win.

P.S. Anybody else want to testify to ways that they have/wish they had help? Come on now. Don’t leave me hanging here, folks!

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24 thoughts on “Try-it Tuesday: How to “do it all"

  1. Abbie, finally checking in on my favorite blogging ladies and congrats on the pregnancy!! Yes I am behind, but hey I have 5 boys including quads so at least I am saying that before the little sweethearts are born ;) Thank you for this post, beautiful, and most of all for acknowledging that no one does it all and that is not what it’s about anyway. I have had to humble myself and accept help, especially when the boys arrived and for this reforming type A, control freak ;) I have learned over these past 2 years that being in our lives has blessed others, being able to do things, etc. I still had say in how it all happened and the two people who we had here most {b/c family did not help} have now become part of our family and our boys adore them. Guilt was but into my conscience growing up and it just serves no purpose other than to depress and make us unable to move/do and it’s not what our Lord wants us to believe. Great analysis of the Proverbs 31 woman too ;) While my oldest just turned 7, I promise the 5 under 6 thing isn’t so bad ;) God Bless, Michelle

  2. Well said, Abbie!! And your belly is the cutest thing ever! I also adore your vacation outfits….especially the red/white striped top!!! xo

  3. I don’t know that we will understand why so often, we, as women, find it so difficult to ask for help. I know I hesitate to readily admit that I have cleaners come each week and that my mother in law does all of our laundry. I have two kids, a full time job and I blog…of course, something had to give!
    I am glad that you have had help recently! I think it is so important to accept help where available and give help when needed. It takes a village to raise a child but it also takes a family to make a house run (and by family…I mean friends, relatives, etc.)…no one can do it alone.

  4. Oh Abbie! This post was so needed for me yesterday when I read it. My kitchen was piled with dirty dishes, my living room was swarmed with clean laundry while the laundry room floor was covered in dirty laundry. That was on top of the usual every room needs to be picked up, the bathrooms need to be cleaned, groceries need buying, meals need fixing and 100 projects need working on! I have frequently looked at you and put you on a pedestool admiring all that you do (umm…3 kids, 2 on the way, homeschooling, blogging, excercising, teaching excercising, cooking, designing, crafting, projects, etc, etc!) I then look at my easy life (1 kiddo, no job, no blog, etc) and think I should be doing soo much more and then you give me that fabulous reminder that comparison is such a thief! A wise friend shared a saying with me last night that we as women tend to compare our worst to other’s best and it is so true. Thank you for being vunerable and admitting that you truly don’t do it all and that you don’t want us to think you do!

    Some friends and I are having a freezer meal exchange where we will each make a dish (I’m making your turkey lasagna by the way!) for each person in the exchange then we get together and swap meals so that we walk away with a great variety of meals but we only had to make one kind! I’m so looking forward to having several meals stocked in my freezer for those overwhelming days :-)

  5. I needed this so badly. Thank you.

    I became unexpectedly pregnant while still in college. While I always wanted to be a mom and I am extremely happy, trying to juggle a baby, new motherhood, and finish school has been rough and some days I feel like I have about 36 hours worth of work to do and things just dont get done.

    This just put everything in perspective. I love that you are not afraid to talk about your faith on your blog. Thank you.

  6. Amen, sista! This is all sooo true! I hadn’t “seen” the part about the servant girls before, but that is so interesting :) It is time to let go of the guilt!
    So happy you were able to find a solution & use your Spanish. God is good!
    I’m gonna save this post so I can come back to it when that guilt creeps in :)

  7. Thank you, thank you , thank you for writing this post! I am also an A+ student- type mama and house keeper, and I am constantly comparing my home-keeping/mothering/wife skills to that of others around me. It most certainly does rob me of the joy of being a wife and mom at times, but when I get over myself and ask for help, it not only encourages me, but also those that help me. It’s a win/ win like you said. Thank God for your honesty, this REALLY encouraged me. Thank you!

  8. First of all- I read that you home schooled your kids and can’t believe you didn’t get help sooner. I totally agree that sometimes us women just need to cut ourselves some slack and admit that we can’t do it all.

    I found your post really encouraging- I do not have kids yet, but reading posts like this certainly prepares my mind and heart for these times in the future.

  9. I can’t tell you how refreshing it is to read this! I struggle too with feeling like I have to accomplish it all, all by myself. Just yesterday, I started a search for a housekeeper because I’m ready to admit that I need help, I want help, and I’d rather spend my Saturdays with my girls than with my mop and broom.

  10. Abbie, first off i really enjoy your writing style. Now that thats out of the way, thanks for today’s post I really needed it. And thanks for introducing me those two Bible verses, I’d never heard them before. Finally, I’ll try real hard to remember to speak to you in Spanish. I sure wouldnt mind the practice either.

  11. We all struggle trying to do it all – just most wont admit it. My kids are 18 and 15 and I have learnt to ‘let go”. It has taken years. My hubby doesn’t care if the floors are spick n span, neither do my kids. Your family wants YOU. Your time, your ear, your hugs, your heart. What a great post Abbie. Be kind to yourself, your family and your help. I am good at sorting out wardrobes. My friends have asked me to ‘HELP’ do theirs. So why not share your skills. Why not help your friends and they help you. When my mother died last month a friend arrived with two bags full of food. It was the best gift because I did feel like grocery shopping and yet my kids and husband needed to eat. I will always be grateful for the help my friends gave me in my time of need. I guess that is what its all about. You are getting help in your time of need and there is definitely no need to feel guilty at all about that. Take care.

  12. Abbie–this has been one of my favorite posts! It’s easy to feel like we have to be successful in every aspect of life–Type A personality right here. I love your perspective on the Proverbs 31 woman. So glad you’ve been blessed with Teresa!

  13. Love it! You’re right….I’ve never heard anything (or thought anything) about the servant girls! However,….after so many years of “not doing it all”. I am realizing, that “doing it all” probably isn’t going to happen. lol I am hiring out some of my homeschooling this year. I figured some sleep and my sanity are both important things. haha

  14. I have 3 kids under 3, and in just trying to keep up with the house, laundry, kids, husband, yard, etc. I’m overwhelemed and buried most days. I also have an in-home business that does NOT get the time necessary to make it grow as much as it needs to. I have struggled with the idea of hiring someone to come help me a couple of afternoons a week. Like I have been debating this in my mind for over a year, and I always feel so GUILTY and embarassed that I can’t “do it all.” Thank you so much for your post. I think it is time for me to take the plunge. You’re amazing and inspiring!

  15. Okay, I can come out of the closet now and admit that I have help. And have had help for several years. It’s not something I mention on my blog because I know there are so many girls out there that want help and can’t afford it. I don’t want any “It must be nice” comments! But it is. I raised 4 kids, two who are still home. My house is clean and in order because I have that twice monthly deep cleaning and have the time to do all the organizing, shopping, laundry, cooking, errands, etc. I in turn provide these sweet Polish ladies with money that they inevitably send back to Poland to help out their families. It’s a win/win.

    Thanks for a great post, Abbie!

    XO,
    Jane

  16. This post speaks to me so much! My fourth little boy is 3 months old today, and through the tiredness caused by broken sleep, I have been hearing so many lies from the enemy. Praise God for his grace in allowing me to realize the difference between Satan’s lies and God’s truth, but it is sometimes still a struggle to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. But God is always faithful and through your post today has provided encouragement, thank you! What a blessing that your husband was able to encourage you and the Lord provided “help”.

    Since I always am thinking of a million different things, I am also preparing to start getting back into shape after baby! Ahhh, the thought of that is so scary for some reason, but you are an encouragement for that also.

    And one more thing, :) you have mentioned before you feel huge, you still look so tiny, especially for carrying twins!

  17. I’m so happy that you’ve found something that works for you!

    I recently began a child swap with my neighbor, a mother of two who is writing a novel and needs time. Twice a week I watch her children in the morning for 3 hours, and she takes mine in the afternoon for another 3 hours. I do my writing during this time (I have a work at home job) and tackle some home projects if I have time.

    I am one of those crazy ones who actually enjoys getting knee deep in weeds and mulch and scrubbing the kitchen floor to the point where you can eat off of it. I love my daughter much, MUCH more of course so those projects have gone way, way by the wayside when I didn’t have any help. Writing always came first when I had some time, but since starting this swap and hiring the neighbor girl for a couple hours another day a week I am now able to actually get my writing done during waking hours and have some time to devote to deep cleaning/projecting/gardening things. Those activities are great exercise and I enjoy doing them. Win, win.

    Now before you think I’m lyin’ by telling you I have it all figured out, I’ll confess that my kitchen floor has not been washed in at least a week and is looking pretty sorry about it. ;)

  18. This is so much of what I needed to hear today, Abbie. Why are we so willing to get/be help for others but unwilling to accept the idea that we too might need it?

    I’ve just put my twins (7 year old boys) in summer camp for two FULL days each week so their Dad, who is the “day help” won’t lose his mind. He only has to be with the 2 year old on those days. I work full time, he works part time (all weekend, every weekend) and I constantly struggle with the fact, FACT, that I cannot do it all. Why am I willing to get help for him, but unwilling to do it for myself?

    I so totally relate to what you wrote about another person lifting you up and making you work harder. That person for me is my mother – she does that to me every time she comes (they live 4 hours away so it’s not often) – but even my mother, the original Born-Organized Super Mom who literally does not stop working from sunup to sundown, even SHE told me I should hire some help! If I’m honest – and your post has really inspired me to look at my own situation with stark honesty and not naive wishfulness – you have NAILED it when you said it’s pride, pure and simple. I fear how crushed I’ll feel when another person walks into my mess and gasps. I fear the guilt and feeling of failure as I hand over payment to someone who is doing what I think I SHOULD be able to do myself. You are completely on target with all of it.

    I’m going up and re-reading what you wrote right now because you have so thoroughly described the world in which I live. I need to evolve my thinking.

    PS: Do you know how much I adore that you mention “her servant girls” in Proverbs 31? I don’t even think I really saw that or had it register with me EVER in my whole life what that could possibly mean. I always saw it as – the BSW takes care of everyone PLUS some extras cuz she’s just that great!

  19. oh wow, your post is so my life. The first half – not the second half where I am finding solutions to the mommy guilt. New goal – reread and implement second half of your post :) thx!

  20. I love that statement at the end. It’s ok to cut yourself some slack. I’m not a duster either, so I let it go, but I am good at playing with my daughter, so I do a lot of that. At the end of the day, I think that’s what she’s going to remember.:)
    Great post.:) Thank you so much!

  21. We don’t have any money to pay for help, and I don’t have any friends to trade services with (because they already have maids or just aren’t interested), so I just don’t worry about the housework very much. I clean up when company is coming, although I have refrained from killing myself so that my house is perfect…I had to remind my dad during one visit that I’m home all day by myself with three small children. My mother was a perfect housekeeper when I was young, but she also never spent time with us, a tradeoff I’m not sure I’m willing to make.

  22. Oh girl, you’ve read my mind! I’ve been having this “doing it all” conundrum since having baby #2, and he’s already a year old! I’m in the full-time-job, fully-time-wife, full-time-mommy bucket, and the engineer in my knows that one cannot be 300% of oneself (100% x all three of the aforementioned). It’s just not possible. So I end up 40% work, 50% mommy, and a measly 10% wife. It makes me crazy! The Proverbs 31 woman has always made me feel inadequate, so thanks for putting her in a different light.

    I need a cleaning service!

I love comments so much I'd actually consider making them my sixth kid if I could. Seriously. Love. And I read every single one and will do my darndest to respond, especially if you have a question. So, yeah. Comment away! I'm listening!