“How do you do it all?” I’m not sure what she was referring to but I sort of laughed. “Do all of what?” She shrugged her shoulders and just responded with “all that you do.”
The thing I’ve learned over the last couple of years is not how to manage all of the things. But managing what is important to me. It seriously came down to my sanity.
The reason this question gets asked to anyone is simple. Perception and comparison.
Social media makes everything look great. Even the hard stuff doesn’t look horrible. Our perception of what someone else’s life looks like is blurry. We never know the real stuff unless we’re in the mess with them. So just because my kitchen is clean and the picture I posted looks nice, doesn’t mean that my house is clean or anything is perfect. My laundry is most probably backed up and my office looks like a paper machine blew up in there.
When we compare our to do lists and accomplishments, we think about how much someone else got done and not what we accomplished. For starters our lists probably didn’t even look the same so we obviously didn’t accomplish the same things. We don’t have the same priorities and our families don’t have the same needs. So why are we even comparing anything?
For me, the key to managing way more than I can handle is grace.
Even with grace, I cannot do it all. Currently sitting here typing as I need to unload the dishwasher. But I just don’t feel like it. The grass needs to be cut, but it’s raining. If none of this gets done, it doesn’t mean that I’m a bad homemaker/housewife/mom/etc. It just means that life is busy and full and things have to take turns getting done. This is when I’m thankful for a washing machine, dryer, and dishwasher. I feel like I’m doing the ultimate multitasking if I have them all going while I do something else.
But seriously, what has helped me is figuring out a rhythm that I can stick with as I work on taking care of things.
- There’s a cleaning rhythm and if I stay on top of it, the house stays pretty clean.
- There’s a garden rhythm that changes with seasons but it works.
- There’s now a kid school rhythm and this year is going to look differently because there’s 2 kids. Which means the grace must be more.
- A reading rhythm
- A writing rhythm
- An extracurricular rhythm
The thing with rhythms is that they change. There really is a season for things and it all changes way more frequently than I care for it to happen, but I can’t stop it. My kids are growing, their needs change often. Life keeps moving.
Rhythms are a giant help with my anxiety. I feel more in control but still have wiggle room and less pressure when things aren’t perfect.
You are already managing more than you think you can handle. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out systems and rhythms for managing it in a way that works best for you and your family.