Saturday, April 25, 2015

Doing it all

          "How do you do it all?!"

           I hear this question most of the time when I tell someone I homeschool.  Rarely do I hear the "socialization" question, and NEVER when my girls are with me.  If you know my girls, you know socializing isn't an issue.  And it only takes about ten seconds to realize this.

          So I get that question up top.  Normally, I smile, and say, "I don't know how moms get their kids out the door on time for school."  In other words, I deflect.

          The truth is, I don't do it all.  I don't even try to do it all.  And quite honestly, I think it's time to stop asking each other that question.

          The implication is that, somehow, I am SUPPOSED to do it all.  But I'm not.  I can't.  I am one woman with three children who are where I am all day, every day.  Most days, that's home.  But they go with me to the store, the library, even some doctor visits.  To have blood drawn, even (and recently).

          The truth is, my house is most often a mess.  The "guest room" is unrecognizable at the moment, mostly because it has become storage.  My sewing room is a disaster, with boxes all over the floor, and projects covering the table.  I would give my left arm for someone to come in once a week, or even once every-other-week to clean for me.  I'm not a great housekeeper even when school is on break.

          I don't grow my own wheat, or my own cattle.  I am hopeless with plants.  My oldest now has a greenhouse.  I'm hoping as long as I stay clear, the plants will have a chance to survive.

          If I make my own bread, it is most likely done, at least partially, in a bread machine.  With store-bought, bleached flour.

          Snacks are fruit.  Whole.  Not arranged into pretty faces, or skeletons with cut up bell peppers.  And no dipping sauces, either.

          My clothes, and those of my husband and children, come from the store.  (With few exceptions.  I ADORE sewing, just don't have time for it.)

          I also don't work outside the home.  Getting my children out the door is a challenge, what with all the lost shoes and whatnot.

          Lunch is usually one of two options -- peanut butter sandwiches or vegetable soup.  Occasionally there's nachos, but not often.

          I do cook most evenings.  But there's always Costco pizza and Taco Bell on the Engineer's way home from work.  And I take advantage of that more often than I "should."

          I don't lapbook (I know, you've just revoked my homeschool mother card).  I don't scrapbook.  The pictures are almost exclusively on the computer still.

          I do, however, have three children with lively imaginations, who know how to talk to adults, how to be gentle with smaller children, and how to approach an unfamiliar dog.  The girls are inquisitive, boundlessly curious about everything in their world.  They know themselves and their strengths.  They are proud of their quirks, of who God has created them to be.

          I have a husband who is, without a doubt, doing the job he was created for.  And he's good at it.

          I know I am doing the right thing for my family and myself.  But I am not doing it all.  I can't.  I won't even try.  And I won't ask you "How do you do it all?"  Because chances are, you aren't.  You can't.  And you should probably stop trying to.

          Let's give each other some grace.  Grace to not look exactly like one another, grace to not be able to do it all.  Grace to not have it all together.  Grace to let our own personalities shine.

          Please, let's stop asking, "How do you do it all?"  It just isn't possible.  And the collective guilt is killing us.