Thursday, March 10, 2011

How Do You Do It???

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When we lived in Utah, it was no big deal to people that I was pregnant with my 5th baby.  Seeing a Mom with more than 2 children was commonplace.

In fact, that I only had 3 children made people assume that I would be adding more to my brood.  And a family of 4 or 5 kids was still a pretty small family.

I first noticed the attitude change when I would take my kids to the park in Texas.  I would get looks, and of course, comments.  "How many kids do you have?" "You're pregnant again?" "How do you do it?" "Are you done?".  Then it was at the grocery store and library and now I expect a comment or two wherever I go.

These questions always make me chuckle inside, but have given me pause to really think about one of them.  How do you do it?

It's true, I am busy.  My kids are in swim lessons, and dance -- that takes up 3 nights a week.  I have also been homeschooling for the last 2 months, and essentially have been ON 24/7.

How do I do it?  Well, first I take it 1 day at a time.  Sometimes 1 minute at a time, depending on how the day is going.  I also rely on my husband and friends to listen to me rant, rave and cry when I need.

Most important though, I try to carve out a little "me" time everyday.

I am really lucky that I have a very supportive husband who gets that I need to have a break.  When he comes home from work, we eat dinner, I bathe the kids and he cleans up, then he puts the kids to bed so I can decompress.


Some nights it is me sitting at the computer catching up on blogs and emails.  Other nights I am sewing in my room with my headphones on.  Other nights I am taking a bath in the dark with no one to bug me or distract me.  It just depends on what I want and need to do that night.

I know this isn't always possible, so I take advantage of the gym.  I try to go a few times a week (try is the operative word there) and know that I can rely on someone else to watch my kids while I take care of myself.

And that is what I think it boils down to -- taking care of myself.  No one else is going to take care of me the way I need.  So, I need to put myself first sometimes and do what I need to do to be a good wife and Mama.

How about you?  What do you do to stay sane?  How do you do it?  We are all busy, we all have full lives, I want to know some of your tricks and ideas. 

Remember, visit to learn more about how Crystal Light can flavor your day with 30 refreshing flavors. I was selected and paid for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.


Heather of the EO said...

I drink.

Oh wait.


I rely on the supportive husband a lot too. And I get a few hours of childcare a week so I can write or just BE. That's how I roll :)

Jen said...

So true. Being pregnant with #4, with a 1 yo, gets me lots of looks. Even my OBGYN laughed when I came in pregnant this time.
How do we do it? Some days better than others! Lots of prayer, lots of support of family and friends, and a GREAT husband.

Tender Heart Bear said...

Well my kids are older now. But I was divorced 8yrs ago and being a single mom you really didn't have time for yourself with three kids. If I was lucky the only alone time I did have was to take my shower. Because from the time I got up in the morning I had to get the kids ready for school, go to work, then pick the kids up from school, get homework done, make dinner and get them ready for bed. That was my day. On the Weekends all my time was with the kids. There dad didn't even want to see them and still don't.

Andrea said...

I have four kids, ages 9,7,4, and 18 months. I am still not totally sure how I do it. I am used to all the comments, though, as I live in Michigan and a family with four kids is NOT common around here. In fact,every other family in our neighborhood has either one or two kids. Anyway, all of this to say, I'm working on getting more me time but still don't have it figured out. I'm looking forward to reading more of how other people carve out that time.

Kirsten said...

We do it because life happens and needs to get done. And we love the little people in our lives and the lives we've created with our families. So, yes, some days are crazy and insane and we want to run away, but in the end we like our lives so the work is worth it.

jodi peterson said...

I had to readjust my expectations and sense or normality, what I just to consider INSANITY is now sanity. Scremaing kids, poopy diapers and all.

Megan@TrueDaughter said...

I have nine kids, ages 20 (2 of 'em), 14, 12, 10, 8, 6, 3 and 1. My husband is a huge help, too. He does a lot of laundry and cooking. That leaves me free to do the homeschooling, and I work part time from home for a web dev firm. My blog is some of what keeps me sane. I blabber all over it what ever is in my heart. I also go out with my sisters once a quarter. We each have a birthday in each of the seasons, so it works out perfectly.
I have had to let go of a lot of things that would ordinarily make me crazy. House not being perfectly clean, and dinners being easy, rather than full blown cooked meals. My husband makes a big meal at lunch, so we eat lightly at night, when he is at work.
Go with the flow! And come up with some nice one liners when strangers ask questions about your family planning practices! Sheesh!

designHER Momma said...

I haven't been super good at this recently.

But. But! I joined a gym on Monday! (and then I got strep throat). So, I haven't actually been there yet. But I have big plans!

And I don't even live in Utah and I think our family would feel good with 4 kids. :)

Leigh said...

Just like you said, one day at a time. Funny, but I think of myself as "only" having three kids. Guess it is all relative. When you have friends with 6, 7, 8, and nine kids, 3 doesn't seem like so many. I do often wonder why people think it is OK to ask such personal questions as "are you done?" and "don't you know what causes that?" and my all time favorite, "don't you think you are getting a little old to be having children?."
It really is all about priorities and you absolutely have to make yourself a priority. After all, there is a reason "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is a cliche. :)

Marly said...

I just do :) I have a husband who does his job as a husband and does his part in taking care of the home and kids. I just joined a gym and holy cow, what a difference it makes to exercise there compared to on the treadmill at home!
So basically taking care of myself but also working on my patience with my kids. Its constant work but I want to raise some awesome adults.

SM @ The Mom Adventures said...

Wow, busy lady :) I only have one but I'm a single mom and my son is special it's still very busy here.

I'm a new follower and fellow #CleverRefresh blogger :)

The Mom Adventures

nicole said...

A lot of what you do. I love that you say you take it one day at a time--that is what I always tell other people too. Right now I'm on a retreat team so I have a meeting once a week for that, and my particular role allows me lots of prayer time, even at the meetings, so it is very restorative. I also stay up too late because I love the quiet time in the evenings when the kids are in bed. I love knowing that the time is really my own.