Dear Mom With Quirky Kids: You Cannot Do it All

Please hear me. You cannot do it all. 

Little ones are such a blessing. They keep us laughing, guessing, and covered in sticky kisses. But it’s easy to lose focus of what’s important when you’re home with them all day long… and you have older kids homeschooling that need your attention, too.

Again and again, when I talk to other moms of multiple children, the conversation turns to “doing it all.” Getting the kids lessons in, getting to outside commitments on time, playing with toddlers, engaging preschoolers, cooking meals, keeping the house clean, meeting book deadlines, giving time to husbands, spending time with friends, and the list goes on and on.

I’m going to be honest and tell you… let go of this idea. When you have little ones in the house – you. can. not. do. it. all.

you cannot do it all

Every day I make a choice – the choice of what item on my to-do list not to do. Potty training gets in the way of calendar time, for the third day in a row, and I just catch the dates up when nobody’s looking. Late night planning {or blogging} and we have dry cereal for breakfast with a piece of fruit from the bowl while I have a few cups of coffee on the couch and we watch another {and another} episode of The Magic School Bus on Discovery Education Streaming.

Now, this feeling of being overwhelmed is not unique to homeschool moms. Some of my best friends are not homeschoolers and they often share with me how great it would be to just have another hour {or six} in the day to get a bit more done.

Dear Mom With Quirky Kids: You Cannot Do it All

Moms have a habit of comparing themselves to others – friends, acquaintances, relatives, celebrities, whomever – but in doing so we forget that other moms are comparing themselves to us. What we moms need to remember is that we only see the shiny exterior of most people’s lives.

Everyone has a messy interior.

The trouble is that it is easy to see our own messes and to overlook the shine, while at the same time overlook our neighbor’s mess and bask {or wallow} in their shine.

You, my beautiful reader, shine brilliantly.

you cannot do it all

But you can’t do it all. Ordering take-out for dinner {or setting out boxes of cereal and cartons of milk} doesn’t dull your glimmer.  When you stop vacuuming to cuddle with a 3 year old and her favorite book – again – you are doing exactly what you need to be doing when you are called to do it.

So the house is messy when your friend stops by; you’ve fulfilled a higher purpose instead, and hospitality is about home, anyway, not house. A messy loved-in-home will forever be a more welcome respite than an immaculate, but lonely, house.

Homes are lived in, loved in, messed up, and slightly overgrown. But its occupants are content.

Be content in your purpose. You are a mom and your priority is motherhood. Let the dishes go sometimes. Let laundry pile up. Let lessons get pushed aside occasionally.

And cuddle.

Jump in leaves.

Go for a walk.

Play a rainy-day board game.

Have popcorn and a movie for dinner.

Just enjoy your kids and get to know them inside and out. Cultivating a relationship with them is the most important thing you will ever do. Kids may be our future, but your kids are your present. My kids are my present.

you cannot do it all

Friend, whatever you do, don’t do it all… don’t even try. Spend time with the Lord, praying about your kids and their futures, and give them your present.

Give them your time.

Give them you.

And rejoice in those sticky kisses.