Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Doing It All

Yesterday on Facebook there was a conversation among some friends of mine about getting fixed up before husband gets home. The poster had been working hard all day and was sweaty and trying to get supper on the table and shower before he got home. This created some interest---one friend of the poster, who I don't know, wondered if she was living in the 1950s.

But another lady was inspired and came back later to say that she had showered and put on make-up and clean clothes before her husband got home. She was concerned he might have a heart failure when he stepped in the door. :)

Do you clean up and freshen up before your husband gets home? Do you clean the kids up? Do you pick up the house?

I'll tell you, we ALWAYS pick up the house. At least the living room...at 4:00. The girls know I expect the disaster to be resolved before Daddy walks in the door. I shudder to think of him walking in early and unexpected one day because I think he would just be in such shock! HOW is it possible they did ALL THIS since I left for work this morning? Sometimes I'm shocked.

Have you heard of this rock stacking thing? We gave it a go this weekend. 

I do brush my hair. I'm not often sweaty and disgusting. But I'll admit I haven't put a ton of thought into what I look like when he walks in the door. Then again, I ALWAYS shower and get dressed every morning. I understand that some ladies do not. It grosses me out to stay in pajamas all day. I just could not do it. So, yes, if I were in pajamas, or yoga pants and a stained shirt--I could see where there would be room for improvement. I also understand how a mom can let that get away from her and not even realize what she looks like when husband gets home. But I think it's important.

Anyway, Carrie piped up in this Facebook conversation to say that many women in the 1950s had help of some sort. Either they had a maid, or some kind of hired helpers, or even just that you could get milk and groceries delivered to your house back then. Also that most of them did not work outside OR INSIDE (read: homeschooling) their homes. Her point was--yes, look presentable. But we can't do it all.

Sweetheart working on her creation. 
This was an interesting thought to me. I hadn't really stopped to consider the time homeschooling takes away from other things I could be doing. THIS is what being a "stay at home mom" means to me because this is the only way I've ever done it--with homeschooling thrown in the mix.

Oh don't think I haven't dreamt of all I could get accomplished if these little sweeties were gone for 8 hours a day! But that's not what I want. Not what we want. I love having them here but I admit--I love the holidays a whole lot when the homeschooling factor is gone and I just get to be a mom and homemaker. It's so nice.

That's why it irritates me that I get stressed out about not doing spelling for the 3rd day in a row. Or how we forgot to do Zoology yesterday. Or the other myriad of things we don't always get to. I have so many other things to be doing! Homeschooling is a lifestyle, but it is not life. 

Meal prep.
Kitchen clean up.
General housecleaning.
Bill paying/checkbook.

JUST those things take up a considerable chunk of time. I don't have time to homeschool for 12 hours a day on top of that! All things in moderation, right? Even lessons. Checking off all the little boxes does not ensure a successful education. Quality over quantity, right? Balance. We have children to educate, but we also have a house and a husband and responsibilities.

Other people before us went ALL out!
So I will not worry about what didn't get done. We will wisely use our time during "school hours" and then move on to other things. (Knowing, of course, that learning doesn't stop at a certain time.)

(I'm trying to convince myself here and I'm not sure it's working. I guess I really do believe somewhere there are families who get all their subjects done, cook a home-cooked meal and have a neat house.)

Your thoughts on all this?


  1. Train the children, train the children, train the children. List priorities and live them out at the expense of lesser priorities.

    Gads, I sense an entire blog post on this myself!

  2. you know what Brenda there are people like that-- but that doesnt mean they are growing God children and character training, it doesnt mean they have a good relationship with said children, it doesnt mean that they have a happy blessed home--- it might mean that organization and check marks are more important to them then a snuggle on the couch reading Goodnight moon for the hundreth time, or they might not let their 12 year old make "messes" in the kitchen cooking dinner because it is not effecient, they may not take time to take dinner to a sick friend or be open to saying YES (like we are :0)-- or hope to be)

    I think we have a happy mix-- all in moderation!

  3. Q--bring it!
    And I know you guys are right. I think pregnancy is messing with my mind.

  4. Phew! Those were some big chunks of meat to think on. My hubby works from home, so he sees all stages of life as our day evolves... but our ultimate goal every day is to have things neat and tidy by dinnertime, just because it makes us all feel better. I don't do any "freshening up" myself, but I also make sure to get dressed every morning and so on.

    I also struggle with the balance. Yesterday we took a day off of "school" just to get the house clean and to run some errands. There just isn't time to do everything I need to do 100% everyday. Hubby and I consider this time of our lives as one in which homeschooling is the priority.... so if the house isn't as tidy as it could be, or if a meal comes out of a box once in a while... we're OK with that. Well, he is. I'm harder on myself than he is. ;-) *I* wish I could do it all - but for me, that stems from a desire to find my worth and value in what I can accomplish each day. I really like check boxes! So it's a good humbling from the Lord to not be able to, for me. If that makes sense!

  5. I think that it really depends on what is important to you and your spouse. If your spouse's love language is "acts of service", it is more important to have the house tidy and a meal cooking and your hair done when he walks in the door than it would be if his language was "words of affirmation". For my husband, I've learned that it is more important that we all run to the door to give him a hug than that the house is in order, so that's what I focus on. If we can do that AND the house is clean, great! But like you said, we can't do it all, so I don't worry about it if the toys are still decorating the floor.

    Also, I'm having a maid service come out for the first time tomorrow because I am learning to give myself a break in the "doing it all" department. With baby #3 coming and wanting to spend more time and energy on homeschooling, not to mention having a couple projects for "me" that I want to have time to develop, something has to give. I'd like to wait until we are completely debt free to add that to our budget, but we're making good progress and...like you said...I can't do it all. At least not and have energy and patience left to be happy to be around my children!

  6. Megan--excellent point about what is important to your husband! I know mine prefers a neat house! Funny that he married me :) And Erin, yes. Its me being hard on myself most of the time.

    Kind of dreaming of the maid now but I'm too horrified to think about them coming into my house!

  7. I try to get myself and the house looking nice before hubby gets home. It's not always possible though because he often comes home early to finish his work from home. When he comes home to a mess (which happens a lot...I have 3 very active boys...and a baby girl) I try not to stress about it (hard for me because I'm the perfectionist type). He knows it's not possible for me to do it all. If he has a nice home-cooked meal and the kids are behaving pretty well and we were able to get some school done, then he can overlook the rest. This is just the season we're in right now. It will not always be this way.

    I do often stress about the school work that goes unfinished day after day, but I found this poem/prayer recently and it has really helped me: "Heavenly Father, When things get rough and the days are long, help me remember, of all the things I teach, it is what they learn about you that matters the most."


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)