How do you do so much?
You homeschool and blog? How is that even possible?
You have so much going on. How do you do it?
I am asked these questions and ones just like them all the time.
The truth is, every single time I am asked, I feel bad. I worry that I am somehow making another mom feel less-than. I worry that you are not seeing a true picture of all that makes up this beautiful and completely messy life I have been given.
A few weeks ago, I posted a picture on Instagram of my sink and kitchen overflowing with dirty dishes. The caption read, “Good Morning.” I did it to be funny and real – because sometimes, I don’t get the dishes done after dinner. Then I’m up all night long with my little guy and then morning comes and I walk into a kitchen disaster. I want you to see that too. I think you should see that too.
This picture got so many comments from moms who genuinely thought they were the only ones – that they somehow missed out on some big secret to mom-ing, housekeeping, and life.
We are constantly bombarded with all the ways we should be doing it.
Last week, I found myself making a list of all the things I would like to be better at –
More consistent budgeting
Every single thing I see on the internet for homeschooling
Being more present for my husband
Getting up earlier
I stopped there and threw the list away. It’s too much. Seriously, is anyone good at all of these things, all at once? Maybe someone is, but please hear me when I say, I am so very much not.
There are a million things I don’t do, y’all.
There are corners cut around here all the time.
I pick my battles and then a lose half of them anyway, every single day.
And the truth is, no matter how it may look on the internet, I do a lot less than you think.
Mom Confession: I Do A Lot Less Than You Think
We use paper plates way more than we should or than I even really feel comfortable with. We buy the ones that can be composted and hope for the best. I can’t even keep up with the daily dishes anyway.
I cannot remember the last time I actually did my hair. Thank you mom-bun.
I do not have a cleaning plan or schedule. I clean what is the most obnoxious mess first and move on from there. Extra consideration is always given to anything that smells.
We spend about 3 hours in total dedicated to homeschool. There are probably another 2 hours or so in other random interests and educational programming (can I just publicly thank Mythbusters once again?). That’s it. And it’s enough.
While we are on the topic of homeschooling, I don’t do all the teaching. My oldest takes classes once a week. My kids take as many classes as they possibly can online, with other, more well-rested teachers. (Incidentally, one of the classes we love, Kids Cook Real Food is donating free classes this month to foster families. I love Katie’s heart to help kids who might not otherwise have access to real life skills and learning.)
Yes, I do take time to blog, but I do not blog in a way that really sets any of us up to be successful. I know very, very little about technology and would need to spend at least another ten hours a week on all the things to make the blog actually function like a job and not a special interest. Also, I am the first to admit that I do not take as much time as I should carefully editing posts (I see you, grammar people).
I would LOVE to do more, but life demands my attention be elsewhere. For now, I write when I can, I learn what I can, and I hope that in the future, I can spend more time as a blogger. Because I love it, you guys. I really do. And I am a realist. There are only so many hours in the day and these two boys, who have my whole heart, need my time more.
That’s what I don’t do.
The reality is that what I do spend time on, is hard to quantify and even harder to accurately portray on the internet.
Where I Spend Most Of My Time
Cuddling every morning with my little guy as he wakes up.
Getting outside as much as possible and encouraging my children to do the same.
Watching a show with my husband, just for fun.
Driving around for an hour so we can listen to an audiobook without fighting.
Sweeping floors, over and over again.
Helping my son in the bathroom when he needs it.
Praying for my husband and boys every morning (well, almost every morning – some mornings are not as peaceful as others)
Watching videos about birds and computer builds with my boys.
Sleeping any chance I can get.
Please, let me encourage you, rather than keeping a running tally of all the things you don’t do or even worse, feel like you should do, make the list of all the ways you make a difference in your home. Even if it feels small. Especially if it feels small.
All the little things add up to so much more than a meal plan or chore chart.
They make up motherhoods and childhoods.
They keep marriages together, even in the midst of trauma.
All those little things we do every day, no matter what we see online or worry about not doing –
All those little things matter.
At the end of the day, no matter what is on our lists, we are all just doing the best we can.
Shawna Wingert is a former training and development professional turned education specialist, and has homeschooled her two children for the last ten years.Shawna has written four books about homeschooling unique learners and has been featured in homeschooling discussions on Today.com, The Mighty, Simple Homeschool, My Little Poppies and Raising Lifelong Leaners.
You can find her online here at DifferentByDesignLearning.com.