I can't do it all.
Surprising, I know.
But still I get emails and messages from readers each day asking me ‘How do you do it all?'
Short answer: I don't. Each new phase of life that we've moved into has caused us to reassess, reevaluate, and re-prioritize. And that's good. I'd even venture to say that's healthy.
Here's a prime example: those who have followed me for years know that I'm a huge cheerleader for cloth diapering. I cloth diapered my first two babies for years – even writing posts about our cloth diapering system and homemade baby wipes. All good things.
And then we moved to a farm and had another baby. And frankly, cloth diapering was one of the extras that I was able to give up and trade for a new chore. Couple the extra laundry with the fact that Owen (literally) poops, like, seventy times per day and it was easy for me to admit cloth diapering was not longer a priority.
I, like everyone else, only have 24 hours in a given day.
When we moved to the farm, my 24 hour days began to include hand milking our cow, feeding and watering the meat chickens, laying hens, (and now) sheep, and pigs. It began to include tending to our large gardens, preserving the produce as it came ripe, and taking on giant projects – like building our greenhouse. Farm life involved lots of fence building, rail mending, and trips to the hardware store. Lots of new priorities, for both us and our animals, began to arise. And in order for those priorities to stay priorities, other priorities had to go.
For example, the cloth diapers.
Do I love cloth diapers? Yes. Will I get back to using them eventually? I hope so. They are a much more sustainable and cost effective way for us to diaper our littles. But somethings gotta give and for the given moment, cloth diapers were one of those somethings.
My work in the kitchen has been another prime example of this.
With the farm and three kids, at least this summer, certain kitchen tasks have been moved to the back burner – such as baking sandwich bread and snack making. I still haven't been buying many prepackaged snacks (they're so expensive and processed!) but instead have been opting for simpler snacks for all of us have to just deal with – hard-boiled eggs, carrot sticks, homemade popcorn, etc. For the time, I've bid adieu to my delicious homemade animal crackers and the like. Not always, but for the majority of the time.
80% of the time, dinner is very simple – a trusted old recipe, a simple roasted chicken, raw and slices vegetables from the garden, local fruit, etc. It's all still good, but it's very simple. Because in this season of our lives, and in this season on the farm, that's what's humanly possible for me to accomplish.
And that's okay.
I can't do it all. And I shouldn't be trying to do it all.
Have you looked at a disposable diapering Mom lately and thought, “She should really be cloth diapering, that's much more eco-friendly.” How about we give her grace instead.
Have you judged someone by their food choices lately? “I can't believe they let their children eat that. They should really be feeding them vegetables.” How about we give them grace instead.
Have you looked at the cleanliness of your friend's home and thought “Girl, this place is a wreck! You need to get your act together!” How about we give them grace instead.
I'm not superwoman. And neither are you. None of us have perfectly behaved children, a manicured lawn, a spotless house, an organized fridge, the perfect marriage, or are completely caught up on chores. We forget to take vitamins. We slam doors. We go to bed with dishes in the sink. We put off taking out the bathroom trash until the flies start to congregate around it. This morning, Georgia ate a grocery store cupcake – synthetic, dyed frosting and all.
And that's okay.
I can't do it all. Life is not meant to be perfect. It is meant to be glorifying to God. And God can be glorified in our messiness.
More of my posts on parenting, chaos, and/or time management:
- Of Whom I am the Worst
- A Day in the Life
- One Way to Live Your Life
- The Ordinary
- Meet My Friend (Chaos)