“I don’t know how you do it! I couldn’t do it. I would go crazy!”
I hear those words so often from other women when they find out that I am a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooler, and am an entrepreneur of a home-based business. Honestly, after writing that sentence I think that I want to take a nap and be alone for a while. The days are certainly busy, and time flies even when we’re not having fun.
When I was a little girl I constantly played pretend that I was a mommy or a teacher. I remember making up worksheets for the kids that I played with, and I was always the teacher. There was a time just after college that I contemplated becoming a school teacher, but then I had the realization that I could potentially be in charge of 20 to 30 little kids. Ummm, no thanks. My props and kudos to you teachers out there that do this on the daily, because I think I’d want to pull out my hair. I’ll gladly take three little boys over that any day. Seriously…I don’t know how you do it.
I still wanted to teach at that point, but not in a school so I taught at church to smaller class sizes and only twice a week. Now I homeschool a 2nd grader and a kindergartener. Side note: my wee one is four years younger than his brother, and it’s a startling realization that I have to start all over again in a couple of years!
Do you see what I see? I’m living out my childhood dreams to be a mommy and a teacher. I may not be in a school building, but I’m still a teacher at home (and in church). Confession: In the last eight years of motherhood I have periodically had to work out of the home, though always part-time, and I hated it. Hated. It. I know that there are lots of moms love to go to work every day. Lots of moms go to work but wish they could stay at home. Lots of moms are at home yet wish they could be at work even though they still love their kids. I am a mom that wants to be in the home with my kids, and I’m so thankful for the blessing of that possibility!
Working from home is like the icing on the cake for me, and since my hours are whenever I make them that makes it even sweeter. Sometimes I work in the morning, then a bit in the afternoon (like right now) while the eldest does some independent school work and the other two have nap time; then I get after it again in the evening when all three kiddos are in bed. Then there are some days when I can’t or don’t work. Since I have an amazing team supporting me in what I do, I know that a day here or there won’t deflate everything I work hard to accomplish. I’m really grateful for the opportunity to be able to help out my husband and our finances while still being at home with our kids.
So how do I do it? Y’all, sometimes even I don’t know. The sheer grace of God sustains me. No lie. My husband supports it all including my crazy wackadoo Lemon Dropper dreams. Even still, I have days when the to-do list gets no items marked off, I scream at my kids, the school day was a bust, I couldn’t answer any of my work messages/emails, the clean laundry is still unfolded on the love seat, the floors are sticky, and it’s the third day since the boys have had any semblance of a bath. Those days feel so defeating. Those are the nights when I plop into bed I feel like a terrible wife/mom/housekeeper/LemonDropper/friend. Those are the nights when I struggle to fall asleep because the to-do list for the things undone keeps growing in my mind. Or sometimes I even lay awake at night and question my worth as a wife and mom. Am I doing it “right”? Will my kids end up screwed up because I yelled at them so fiercely today? Gah. So many “what ifs” and hypotheticals most of which I can’t control. So I force myself to remember: The mercies of the Lord God are new every. single. morning. Every morning I get to start fresh, and as I grow in my commitment to walk with and in Christ, as I grow in my love and understanding of Him and what He is truly like, I have greater peace about the future because HE is the one in control and can see it all. Isn’t that awesome?
Maybe I should say, “I can’t do it, but I sure know Who can strengthen me to do the best I can with what I have.”