do it

How Does This Mom of Five Do It?

do it

When I hand someone one of my business cards, the first thing usually said is how they can’t wait to read parenting advice from a mom of five because they don’t know how I do it! This puts a lot of pressure on me because I’m not sure that I have any words of wisdom to wow you with! What can I say to live up to these expectations?! So since the last time this was said to me, I’ve been pondering it. I’ve mentioned that I don’t drink coffee or wine, so what am I doing to keep it together?

After much thought, it seems like it’s my patience and overall laid back attitude that help me manage. Parenting seems automatically a million times more difficult if you sweat the small stuff. Some days, it’s a never-ending trail of literal poop.

A friend of mine described her day on Facebook the other day and it sounded strangely similar to many of my own and probably many moms everywhere. She was running late because maybe her son wasn’t sure where his other shoe was or one of her daughters got toothpaste on her shirt. Then as she finally went to pass through the open door, she felt the wet on her hip and realized her baby had a blowout diaper. Time to turn right back around and change the baby’s diaper, outfit, and her own clothes. Now on her way just early enough not to have to reschedule, the car breaks down. Most days, parenthood isn’t thrown off this drastically, but it definitely happens. No matter how sure I am that we’ve got shoes all lined up at the front door, usually something goes wrong that I have to manage. Some days I give what I think is an incredibly unnecessary amount of extra time and still, still I’m getting by barely by the seat of my pants!

I feel like getting stressed out doesn’t really solve anything, it just makes everything that much harder. If I’ve got a smile on my face, dealing with the struggles doesn’t seem so bad. Since many of my plans have at least one monkey wrench thrown into them (and that’s on a good day!), I think that allowing myself to get upset every time things didn’t go my way would result in being upset nearly 100% of the time.

I don’t think there is a right way to parent AT ALL, helicopter or free-range, bottle or breast, squeaky clean or hoarder-esque. Actually that last one might be illegal so maybe don’t let that happen but focus on the essentials, cluttered is not dirty, don’t let it get yucky…if there are dead cats in an unidentified location in the home, you should probably do something differently! (Oh, I also use humor to make life easier, haha!) What I do think is that you have to be willing to be flexible and go with the flow sometimes. Do what feels right and makes sense to you, even if it changes in the moment. Don’t be so dead-set on something being a certain way that you let it fester inside of you or hinder your situation. Don’t cry because breastfeeding didn’t work out, don’t scream at everyone because you’re late, don’t lose sleep at night because you didn’t finish folding the laundry.

If you do desire for things to improve, build a step-by-step process to get that done instead of putting it all on yourself at once and try not to think of anything as a burden. I know that sometimes it’s easier said than done, things can really get crazy sometimes.

You can be as organized as can be, and that’s certainly a great trait to have as structure is important and leads to less chaos, but things can always happen because you can’t control everything. What you can control is your attitude and I think it’s kind of essential to the parenting process, especially with a big family.

The point to the rather disorganized strain of consciousness I lay before you is…just go with it. Control what you can control and let the other stuff go. Don’t fret about the little things that won’t matter in the long-run and appreciate the good in everything. That is how I do it.

1 thought on “How Does This Mom of Five Do It?

  1. I was always one of those people who gave myself PLENTY of time for wherever I went …. I don’t much care for people who speed on the highway because they’ve not given themselves enough time, and often you don’t know whats going on , on the roads (recently there was a street closure in the city so there was only one entrance in, and that was backed up for 20 min). We didn’t do a whole lot of traveling in the car, maybe 3 times a year we headed to the city, and we always implemented 1,2,3 Magic (there was only one time I turned the car around and went back home, and believe me, when you have to travel 2+ hrs to get to the city, this is pretty drastic!!)

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