How Do You Do It?

This blog generates a generous amount of email that I thoroughly enjoy.  One question I get asked over and over is, "How do you do it all?" and variations thereof.

I always chuckle when someone asks me that because I don’t ever recall claiming to "do it all" and I would NEVER claim to do it all WELL! 

My husband has always said I have two speeds – stop and go.  And that sort of sums it up.  I love to be busy so I tend to go go go, and then I crash.  When I get going on something, I have tunnel vision.  This means, when I get into a blog design, or I’m in the mood to blog (or blab, there’s a fine line!) everything else falls by the wayside.  In fact, right now I am in the middle of a HUH-UGE project that I just started on a whim this weekend, never imagining what I was getting myself into, and at the moment the house is a disaster and my family had a sad collection of leftovers for dinner.  (As for the project, you’ll have to wait and see, but I’ll give you a little hint.  There will be lots of holiday gift ideas involved!)

So do it all?  Notsomuch.

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that I have some house help.  I could not do the design work that I do without her.  She does the heavy cleaning every other week.  Of course, the picking up, helping kids with homework, cooking, and laundry never ends, but it is such a relief not to worry about the major cleaning.

Also, my kids are in school.  I have 2 mornings a week with no kids at home.  I often spend that time working on blogs or design work.  I’ve also been known to work when the kids are around.  Ahem.  There are a lot of kids in the neighborhood for them to play with, and my youngest is pretty good at entertaining herself.

Beyond that, all I know to say is that I thrive on busyness.  I am highly sociable and love the interaction that blogging, designing, and twittering brings into my home.  Before I found blogging, I had a social network of friends online at Babycenter.com.  I still chat with those ladies via email every day although our email group isn’t nearly as busy as it once was.

And ultimately, some things just had to go when I started blog designing.  For example, I used to keep my scrapbooks up to date with intricate designs.  For a while I lowered my expectations and just made sure to get my photos into albums with basic labels.  Now it’s been over a year since I updated my scrapbooks.  My husband used to joke that I had yesterday scrapbooked.  And I usually did.  My how times have changed!

The other hobby I’ve neglected is cooking.  I used to watch the Food Network religiously and plan and cook gourmet meals.  Between my stomach issues, trying to save pennies, and blogging, I have let that hobby fall by the wayside as well.  Sorry, Hub!  (My kids couldn’t care less, but my husband misses my fancy meals.)

When I’m on the computer, I’m constantly multi-tasking.  I’m also fast.  And truthfully, I don’t do everything as well as I’d like to.  Sometimes to get everything done, you have to lower your expectations.  Prioritizing is key.  All in all, we find time for what we want to do.  And that’s the best answer I’ve got! 🙂

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13 thoughts on “How Do You Do It?

  1. I never thought once about how you do it. I figured it had assumed the proportions of a nice part-time Mommy job with a work equivalent of about 15-20 hours per week. That is totally manageable. It is good for you to keep your foot in the workplace somehow and it is good for you to have goals and aspirations outside of the kids and home…..but at the same time the goals and aspirations can be done with minimal intrusion on family life.

    I’m in graduate school and I work about 2 times per month. People say “oh , I don’t know how you do it.” But really…..my child is in school all day, every single day. What else would I do for those 6-7 hours? When you have older school aged children, you have WAY more free time. Unless you homeschool, LOL!

  2. Every mom deserves “the how do you do it?” question weather they work, blog, stay at home, home school or eat bon bons while watching soaps during the day. Raising children is a full time job and taking time for other things is a must no matter what those things are. I own a small business (and I mean small) and have 2 in school (1 full time and 1 part time) I have 3 calendars on my fridge, one for life, one for meals and one for school lunch – I blow through at least 2 pads of sticky notes each week – go to bed at night wondering where the day went but we get everything done and sometimes we even smile while were doing it!

  3. I’m lucky enough to be home with my one year old but he keeps me pretty busy. I do feel bad though because it seems like I’m constantly doing two things at once and I have a hard time NOT multi-tasking, though at the end of the day it still looks like I haven’t gotten a lot done. Why is that?

  4. I thrive on busyness too. But when it’s time to stop, I screech to a halt! Go, go, go, go, then CRASH!

    I’m also a fast typer, so I can leave comments lickety split. Now, getting my mind to keep up with my fingers, that’s one I don’t always have mastered!

  5. we are very alike in that regard. I run on Stop or go too… when things get really consuming my husband starts “preparing” for the crash, which is sweet but a little frustrating. I’d like to just keep that speed/commitment level…

  6. And, thank you ever so much for watching MY kids tonight so we can get out. They won’t care if you are on the computer. Nothing new to them.

  7. I get the same way with tunnel vision when I’m working on a project, and I have the dust to prove it.

    Maybe I should get some help around here. I get pretty stressed when the house is a mess.

  8. I have to admit – it is fun to watch you when you are on a mission. You are definately focused. And I agree with P, when you stop, you stop!
    Me – I can’t think about it or it all falls apart. I can say that I have let go a little. I’ve learned its ok to have dishes in the sink over night.

  9. That is so true, we find time for what we want to do, although I still could use an extra gazillion hours in a day, OK maybe not a gazillion, but a few would be nice wouldn’t it? What is twittering, is that like ichatting?

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