By Natalie, Editress of Visionary Womanhood
Here is the second official installment of Just Ask the Wemmicks! This is WUUAAAYYY better than Dear Abby, don’t you think? Because, I mean, you get a WHOLE BUNCH of Wemmicks answering your questions instead of just one. And the more opinions, the better, right?
So here’s this month’s question:
“How do I teach each child their lessons AND cook 3 nutritious meals a day AND nurse the baby AND keep everyone in clean clothes AND keep the dust bunnies at bay, all on very little sleep?! Did I mention that right now I’m only teaching 3 out of my 6 and we are focusing just on phonics and math?”
What is this gal’s problem anyway? I don’t have any trouble AT ALL doing all of that. Well. Maybe not the dust bunnies. But we like bunnies around here.
OK! OK! I confess! I have NO answer to this one. How DOES one do all of that? Wait a minute, I guess I do have an answer:
At least not all at the same time. You know what I’m saying? You can cook three nutritious meals one day and keep the baby fed, but the clean clothes? Maybe not that day. The next day everyone gets clean clothes (if you’re lucky they can wear them 3-4 days without anyone noticing they haven’t changed) but the meals? It’s mac and cheese from a box for lunch.
One day you’re sucking out those dirty little bunnies from under the beds, but within 48 hours they are grinning at you in triumph again as they skitter around on the surface of your floor.
You start off the week with guns a blazin’ at those school lessons (you can talk about guns at home school without getting suspended), but by mid-week you’re limping along; your energy just a distant memory. And sleep? With a nursing baby? I won’t even go there.
Sweet Woman, give yourself a break. Heavens to Murgatroyd, you can’t do it all! And that’s normal. That’s OK.
Five Things to Keep in Mind When You Think You Ought to Be Perfect
1. Who is laying this burden on you? Friends? Family? Yourself? Maybe. But not God! God does not have these kinds of unrealistic expectations of us. He knows we are dust. He knows we are weak, needy, and dependent. And believe it or not, He wants us to figure this out too! That way, we’ll lean heavily on Him. He loves that!
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
2. Keep first things first. The baby needs feeding. The dust bunnies can wait. In any given moment, do the next thing and leave the rest. We live in our heads. My mother taught me that. Why take up brain space with fretful thoughts about what is out of our control anyway?
3. Write stuff down. I am most stressed when ideas or responsibilities are floating around on the outskirts of my brain – bumping into one another. I solve this problem by writing them down. Every time a nagging thought comes to mind – I lasso the little bugger and write it either on my white board or on a sticky note. Later, I can organize the stickies on a piece of paper according to their order of importance. I’m almost always relieved to see that everything is doable if I can just put each sticky on one day of the week. By the end of the week, the stickies are taken care of!
(And new stickies take their place.)
4. You are in a season, and seasons change. This year you are focusing on phonics and math. That’s about all you need to focus on for little kids anyway, so you’re doing great! Next year when you don’t have a baby, maybe you’ll be able to add something else, like Greek. When I would have a new baby, we’d eat cold cereal for breakfast every single morning. The first time I broke down and did that, I felt horribly guilty. I had to avoid reading certain blogs or I’d start to hyperventilate. I got over it, and you will too. You can make gourmet breakfasts next year. Or decade.
5. The fact that you can’t make it all come together in one beautiful, perfect picture, doesn’t make you a failure. It simply makes you a member of the human race. A normal Wemmick, if you will. If you WERE a bundle of awesomeness, you’d turn your nose up at everyone else, and that wouldn’t be very pretty now, would it?
But not to worry. You can lean back and rest in the sweet knowledge that in the beautiful mess of life, you are you. You are His. You are held.
And all is well.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:5-7)
Now how about hopping over to see what a few other Wemmicks think about this?
Marcia Wilwerding of eHomebody
Kelly Crawford of Generation Cedar
Terry Covey of A Mom’s Many Lessons
Kasey Norton of Walking Redeemed
Bambi Moore of In the Nursery of the Nation
Cindy Dyer of Get Along Home