Somebody Asked: How do you do it all?
I was all set to write a post – and somewhat of a downer – about discouragement and balance and feeling appreciated and respected (or a lack of feeling either one of those things), but as I sat here and thought about it, I realized that I feel pretty good about how I manage things. I’m NOT perfect, I have things to improve. But, you know, on the whole, I’m happy.
To say I’m busy would be an understatement. I’m a Martha. (You know, Mary’s sister, of “Martha was too busy with her tasks to sit with Jesus” fame.) I run Wallypop (which means processing, packing, and mailing orders; managing inventory; sewing inventory and made to order items; answering emails and phone calls; keeping the website up to date; 8 million other things). I homeschool. I take care of my children. I webmaster 3 other websites. I teach dance classes at least one night a week, often two, in addition to choreographing for and coaching our performance team. I volunteer with ICAN, Des Moines Cloth Diapering, and Des Moines Babywearing. I run our household, including all the typical housewife tasks like laundry, dishes, cooking, cleaning, managing the budget and bills, and facilitating home repairs. I am the household handyman. I take care of the chickens and will soon be also caring for my rabbits. I also do things for fun, like knitting, reading, and internet-ing.
It’s a lot. But if I weren’t doing those things, I’d be doing something else. Seriously. I have been like this since I can remember.
So, the question on the table is… How.
– I multitask, and I’m good at it. I know there’s a lot of, um, yoga type advice out there about being In The Moment (more on this later) and focusing on one thing at a time, and that when we multitask, we do a poor job at everything. But that’s not always true. I’m a good multitasker, most of the time. I know how to mix and match my multitasking. For example, with me, cooking + anything else = bad news. Cleaning + washing dishes = great. I clean the bathroom while the kids take a bath. I scrub the shower while I’m showering. I nurse while doing, well, practically everything.
– I never stop. I just don’t stop. I get up in the morning, and I don’t rest until bedtime – usually long after everyone else is asleep. When both kids are happily occupied, I move faster. I am always moving. This is just how I am. Not everyone is like this. I have high metabolism.
Now. The trick is realizing that there ARE times when being In the Moment, focusing on one thing, is important. Kid time, for example. When we’re homeschooling, I’m doing homeschool (and parenting Genna, which is unavoidable). When I’m reading to the kids, that’s all I’m doing. I don’t multitask my time with them – mostly. (I have an upcoming blog post on the topic of mixing work and kids.)
And, unlike Martha, I do try to not be so busy that I don’t have time to sit with Jesus. But, at the same time, I also know for a fact that God can reach you while you’re sweeping or sewing just as easily as He can reach you while you’re resting.
(and, yes, I really was asked this question.)