Working Mother

“How do you do it all?”

Not a week goes by that someone doesn’t ask, “How do you do it all?” I’m sure I’m not the only one who hears this. Nor am I the only one who thinks to myself,”If only you knew.”

The roles in my life include full-time work, full-time mom, school and community volunteer, and daughter/sister/aunt. That seems like a short list, but I’m sure you all know what goes into each of these roles.

The short answer to this common question is actually, “I DON’T!”

Rather, I make choices and trade-offs so I can fit in what is important to me.

For every school meeting I attend, there is a drive through dinner to eat rather than a home-cooked meal.

For every night of running kids between activities, there is a sink full of dishes that did not get washed.

For every community event we attend, there are a couple loads of laundry that have to wait for another day.

For every night we read books and cuddle before bed, there is a budget waiting to be balanced and bills waiting to be paid.

In order to fit in all the things that are important to myself and my children, we have to give up or delay something else.  I already shared previously that we used disposable plates and silverware, but here are some of the other things we have done.

All three of my children know how to wash their own clothes. Even the seven-year old! Yes, he needs supervision, but I can unload the dryer and watch him at the washer so he doesn’t flood my basement.

Most of my bills are set up on automatic bill pay through my bank so I won’t get late fees for missing a payment.

When I am watching my children at their practices or games, I bring busy work that doesn’t require my full attention but still needs to get done.

My kitchen floor gets washed each time my children do the dishes. They spill so much water on the floor, that we just run the mop around while it’s already wet.

Speaking of dishes, I actually PAY my children to do the dishes. They typically wash dishes while I am cooking dinner, so I am able to keep an eye on the process, and return any dishes that do not get clean. My explanation is that I will not pay them for a job that I have to do again when they are done. (Plus, I HATE dishes!)

When looking to purchase a home, I chose a very small house so we would accumulate less junk and need less time to clean it.

My car only gets washed and vacuumed between sports seasons, so about 4 times each year. The back of my car is typically filled with all sorts of sports equipment that just stays in there during the season. When we switch to new equipment, we clean the whole car inside and out.

There are so many other examples I could list as I seem to be making choices between activities multiple times each day. Do you have an example of a trade-off in your life?

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