Randi, I hope this doesn’t embarrass you or offend you. You know you are my hero! You’ll all be glad to know that my to-do list overfloweth this week, and I am actually getting things done for a change! I just needed a little kick in the patootie.
Doing It All
Our library books are overdue. Again. My husband gave me a loving-yet-frustrated, “Hooooooneeeeeey!” when he saw the fine we are now required to pay. Again. I’m not sure how this happened (again), except that lately I’m feeling more and more like I cannot do it all. In the midst of trying to take care of my family and the house and carting the kids to their lessons and practices and keeping the walls of my home from caving in, something is bound to fall through the cracks. Like library books.
I’m in awe of women who appear to have it all together – those talented women who can keep their homes clean and their children stimulated and still find time to make cute little crafts. (I cancelled my subscription to Family Fun years ago because I couldn’t stand the guilt.) My friend, Randi, is one of those women. We met in 1995 when we were both newlyweds living in Houston, and even then, she made these amazing projects and culinary creations. Thirteen years later, she still inspires me. Even with four kids and two dogs, she manages to homeschool her two oldest while taking care of two year old twins, sewing curtains, knitting baby caps and all kinds of other adorable projects, creating decorative items that would make Martha Stewart envious, cooking creative and gourmet meals, maintaining a blog, keeping up with her kids’ scrapbooks, sending handmade cards to every friend and relative on every birthday and anniversary (always on time), taking her kids on fun outings, and making cute little Family Fun-esque creations each week. My husband calls her “the Martha Stewart of Moms.” Kinda makes you want to hate her, huh? Which I would if she weren’t one of my oldest and dearest friends and one of the kindest and most genuine women I know.
Last week, she described her latest project – making a “Celebrate” banner for a blog swap – and I woke up in the middle of the night thinking, “How in the world does she do it all?” How does she have time to create all of these incredible projects and still have time to finish her laundry? Then I start feeling guilty. Why can’t I make crafts with my kids? Why can’t I sew my own curtains? Why do I not knit? Why is the entirety of my day spent running from place to place and just maintaining the house and not using the creativity God has given me?
So I asked her how she does it. And her answer?
“I don’t! At any given time you could walk in my house and find dirty dishes in the sink, an unflushed toilet, dirty kids, and cereal for dinner. That’s just life’s reality. I’m resigned to the fact that despite my best efforts (and sometimes not my best) I will never have a perfectly kept home and children. I do, however, think that keeping my home in decent shape and finding time for those extra things is worth the effort.”
She went on to explain the inspiration she finds in Proverbs 31:27: “She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” That doesn’t say that a virtuous woman gets it all done; it says that she isn’t lazy. It doesn’t describe someone who is trying really hard but still can’t fit it all in. It is describing someone who isn’t making any effort at all.
Whew. That’s a relief. A little less guilt now.
On the practical side, Randi reminded me that she keeps a very detailed to-do list, and she has to schedule time in her day to do all these great projects. She also grants herself grace when her kids are sick or life gets in the way of her list, and from the list she can prioritize what absolutely has to be done.
Ooooohhhh. A list! Of course. I used to have one of those around here somewhere.…
Randi has a passion for sewing, knitting, cooking, and crafts, and she makes time to do those things because she loves doing them. I shouldn’t feel guilty for not doing something that I don’t have a passion for. I do, however, love to write and I love to scrapbook. My goal now is to schedule time in my week to do both.
I am not Randi. I am not Gretchen or Lara or Holly or Courtney. I am me. I have been lovingly created with my own unique gifts and passions. I have three great kids who are doing just fine. Because of my best and even not-so-best efforts, my home is not caving in, and that is good enough for now. I have a responsibility to use the gifts I have been given, and that means getting up and doing something about it, not just whining because I’m not.
- Even the most inspiring women cannot do it all.
- Keep a list.
- Return library books on time.
- Don’t eat bread.
- Schedule time to do what you love.
- You are unique and significant. Don’t compare yourself to supermoms.
- Cancel Family Fun.
If you are one of those crazy creative people who worship Martha Stewart and want some great ideas and inspiration, check out Randi’s blog.