Story by Kelley Wild
“How do you do it?” I’ve probably heard this comment 1000 times over the years. This and “Awww, your poor husband” are among the top comments I get when people find out that I have 7 daughters and work full time. The dig about my “poor husband” is a little easier to respond to, since my personality leans towards sarcasm anyways and I don’t under any circumstance feel bad for my husband that we were blessed with 7 girls. The comment about my ability to “do it all” is a little trickier to answer, but I always try.
The truth is that I don’t do it all. Not even close. I do what I can. I prioritize what is important to me and to my family. I make them healthy meals and I spend every moment that I can with them, because those things matter to me. There is a pile of clean laundry in the corner of my room that never goes away, my car is a mess and I only wash my hair every 5 days of so, because these things are less important to me. I learned very early on in my motherhood journey, that doing it all and having it all is an unattainable myth. Instead I focus on my happiness and whether or not I feel fulfilled as a woman and as a mother. Sometimes things slip through the cracks and that is ok!
I don’t ever compare myself to anyone else. My oldest is 20 years old and I feel so lucky to have become a Mom before social media was there to make me feel like I was doing a crappy job! I didn’t have these perfect and sometimes very misleading pictures of other women’s lives to compare my own to. I learned and grew as I went. I didn’t worry about what other parents were feeding their kids or what activities they were in, I just focused on my family. Don’t get me wrong, social media can be a wonderful community for Mother’s, I just feel like it can sometimes cause more harm than good.
I put my husbands and mine relationship first, even before our girls. This wasn’t always the case for me, but now that it is my life and the lives of our children are better in so many ways. We make time to go on dates (even if our regular date night is actually grabbing a quick dinner and grocery shopping). We put the kids to bed every night and we talk instead of going on our phones. We’ve also made a yearly trip alone as well as a couple quick weekends trips a priority. I can’t be the best Mom and woman possible and not be happy. Spending time alone with my partner, making sure we are in tune and on the same page is what makes me happy.
I embrace the chaos. I love it! I constantly laugh at how loud it is in my house. When my little ones are singing at the top of their lungs and the playroom is a mess, as long as they are getting along I’m ok with it. When my teenagers won’t leave my room at night because they want to hang out and talk and I’m exhausted, I stay up. If the older girls invite me to a music festival that I have no interest in going to, if I can, I go. I always make sure that I am available to my girls and my husband and by doing so, I am making sure that they are always available to me.
I ask for help if I need it. This might be from my husband, family or sometimes even my older kids. Grandparents help with school pickup sometimes. Older sisters watch the little ones so I can get work done. My husband will do the dishes and handle bedtime. Whatever it takes, we all make it work. I’m always open to being flexible with how everything gets done and one way or another it does. I have made sure that I surround myself with people that I love and trust to care for me and my family.
I have realistic expectations about what is possible and what is not. I can’t work full time and do everything at home. I accept that my house will never look perfect. I am at peace with the fact that I’ll never be able to be a room Mom at my kid’s school. I know that I will miss field trips and I am ok with it. I try and focus on what I can do and not what I can’t. Knowing that I try my best and give my kids and husband everything that I have is enough for me.
Lastly and possibly most importantly, I sacrifice, we all do. I don’t always get enough sleep. I don’t have a lot of alone time. I spend my “free time” cleaning up messes and getting ready for the following day. My kids don’t get to go to every event that they are invited to. They don’t all play sports at the same time. They can’t join every club that they want to join. My husband doesn’t get to watch all of the sporting events that he wants to watch. He has learned to get the little ones ready for school in the morning by himself, which is definitely something he doesn’t love doing. Together, we sacrifice little things for the big picture. We don’t do it all, we do enough and sometimes that is everything.
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