How Do You Do It?

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How Do You Do It?

How Do You Do It?

BE FOREWARNED….. A RANT IS COMING….

I tend to understand why people have the tendency to ask this question….  I get it.  I especially get it if the person asking it only has one or two or three kiddos.  I have a larger family.  I may have five kids to care for, yet this question, reasons I mean to explore, is really digging at my very core.

“And oh my, with five, HOW DO YOU DO IT?”

And it’s rhetorical in nature.  They really don’t WANT to know how it all gets done.

I get it, fellow questioner.  I get it.  You probably don’t feel right complaining about this or that, diaper changes, laundry, school supplies, school uniforms, meals, cleaning and so much more…. to ME. Oh my, I must have it so much worse.

Really has our quality of ranting between Moms come down to this?  Let’s compare who has it worse?  Who has it better or easier?  Interesting.  Is that the level of complaining we’ve succumbed to?

I have done this job for almost 13 years.  You CAN complain to me.  I know the hardships, the scheduling, the organizing, the multi-tasking, just like you do.  It’s no different.  By the time three kids or four kids come along, adding one more isn’t all that difficult to mange.  (And I do believe most Moms of bigger families would say the same.)

How does all the ins and outs of family life get done?  Well we make a good go at it.  First I do my best. Once I have realized there are only so many hours in the day, I work out chores for my crew for every day of the week.  They live here, it’s their way to contribute to the family and the household.

Perhaps smaller families don’t have to hand out a chore list.  Perhaps some larger families don’t either.  I am not a big believer that the Mom should be the martyr of the house, though there are days where it happens anyway, and I have come to embrace those days and those moments, as though God handed me something very special and just for me.

And in the end, if our house isn’t perfect, but we’ve found time to relax and laugh together this summer, then that is what was needed.  The house will wait.  It doesn’t care about dust bunnies, and frankly, neither do I.

The harder part is the pride that swells at imperfection.  Ugh.  I have to sacrifice something here or there in our imperfect house, I have to let it go, in order to really appreciate the day and the kids and our family for what and who we are.  I love that.  There is a freedom there that is really fantastic.

While the difficulties of having a larger family are real, I have discerned, what the meat of the issue really is.  It actually comes down to how often we let our jealousy take us over….. of other smaller families, with larger homes, big pools, and amazing vacations.  Would I choose to send one or two back if I had the chance?  (That’s rhetorical of course.)  When I look at my Entertainer and Babe, and all the possibilities they have brought to our lives, I would give up a fancy house, a great vaca and any other material thing.

This little person is worth it.

The internal battle rages on.  The beauty is that we have a rational and a spirituality to guide us.

Ok, back from my tangent.  How do we do it?  Not that anyone here is questioning…but am I guessing that this question comes from a financial place?  How to afford everything that goes into preparing five kids for school?  Is it about how do I maintain sanity with five kids?  Is it about how to take them on luxurious vacations and keep up with the Jones’?

Well, it’s a tough thing to answer.  Looking deeper than a silly superficial answer, I will confess something near and dear to my heart… My HH and I have never looked to our left nor our right in order to find our happiness and security in this life.  Our sense of purpose and fulfillment in this journey has never been from owning this car, wearing that label, owning a particular sized home in the ‘right’ town or subdivision.  It’s just not how we live.  And I am not saying we wouldn’t love certain luxuries, of course we would.  What I am stating is that our happiness and security doesn’t depend on those things.

In the end, my children, hopefully, will also not require those things for their happiness.  Would it be nice for them?  Of course.  But we can’t know the future.  We can’t guarantee financial success for each one of them.  In order to answer the rhetorical question in my title of this post, “How do we do it?”…. I’d love to be able to present a deeper answer to those who ask…. though not socially acceptable during circles of Moms chat and rant.

Guess what, the answer is simple. We don’t do it.  We don’t do all the things you probably think we do.  We find balance where we spend and where we don’t.  We concentrate on the real simple joys of this life, that are lasting, fruitful and given from God.  How do we do it?  Well, we don’t.  We don’t do it ALL.  We do some here and there, spend here and not there, we find our joy and security not in things.

Vanities of vanities….. ‘Oh My!  What would they think?!’  Once we step out of other’s expectations, a whole new world opens up.  And it frees us.  And it can you too.  The letting go of what other’s expect of us, brings a peace and confidence – words can not express it, and this post will never come close.

So, in future, if you ask me, “Oh My, with five, how do you do it?”

Here’s the answer, “I don’t.  I stopped living up to what you thought I should be doing or buying, and I keep searching for my true source of security.  I have given up the ‘rat race’, and chosen to be what God intends for us all, a rare flower of gratitude.”

Copyright 2013 Sahmatwork

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4 Comments

  1. I “only” have “3 kiddos” and don’t have a large home or a pool and I share a car with my husband. We live in a fairly undesirable city in the scheme of things. We’ve only taken one family vacation–and that one we won in a Church raffle. None of our clothes have designer labels–even the ones I wear when I speak at events.

    Because I had 3 boys in 4 years and have always worked outside of the home and have suffered from a chronic illness for more than 3 decades–people have always asked me a bit increduoulsy “How do you do it?”

    Maybe they dont’ really want to know; nonetheless, I have always seen this question with great appreciation because I’ve felt that people are letting me know that they are impressed that I’ve soldiered on–that I’m making it!

    For me it has been a bit of heavenly intercession. Sort of God patting me on the back and saying, “You are doing it! Keep going!”

    It makes me uncomfortable when you use the word “only” when referring to a family with “just” 2 or 3 kids. You never know why that is and it seems like you’ve taken a very uncharitable stance and made a judgement about those families.

    Maybe God is trying to give you a pat on the back through the seemingly imperfect words of people who enter your life.

  2. Christy Purnell on

    Thank you for your article. I have 3 children, but I know many wonderful larger families through our homeschooling support group. I often find myself asking the, “How do you do it?” question or other related questions to these friends because I’m in awe of them. I know how often I struggle as a mom, and I admire those who– with even more children– are doing their best to live out their calling. These larger families are inspirational to me. I’ll bet many of the people who ask you this question are inspired by you, too.

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