Fellow mom and blogger, Maria Smith, poses this question after offering an intimate view of her life as mom, “How do YOU do it?” She explains that she sees moms making forts, getting dirty with the kids, gardening and cooking amazing treats — and explains that she just can’t understand how other moms manage to do it all! I commented on her blog that, I am sure somebody looks at her and feels the same way and shared the post for other moms. I recommend reading the post as I am sure many moms will relate to this feeling — although, I’m not one of them.
I have always been too busy, as a mom, to really consider what other moms are doing might be better than what I’m doing. Before my oldest son was born, I had never touched a baby.. much less held or cared for one. At 22, I married my husband, creating a blended family. By 23, I was running a household with 2 teenage girls, a teenage boy and my irish twins born within 18 months of each other. I didn’t have time to wonder what other moms were doing — I followed my instincts, it’s all I had.
The honest truth is, life has changed so much over the past decade that it’s almost unrecognizable to what it once was. In many ways, my life as a mother has become increasingly easier as my boys age whereas other moms will face never-before-seen struggles as their children enter new life stages — I’ve been here before. I recognize these places, as I have experienced them in younger years with pre-teen and teenage stepchildren. Those children are all grown adults and have left the nest years ago, one by one taking with them a little more of the responsibility I once carried.
I have been through the struggles of a one-income family — moving once a year for the first five years of my marriage, juggling and overdrafting to pay bills, driving an old car that’s only kept alive because my husband was a master mechanic, struggling to feed 7 family members on a tight budget. I’ve been there done that.. it’s over, for now.
In the process, I became a master at turning things around to benefit me in some way. When we couldn’t afford to pay the natural gas bill we simply went without it for the entire summer… opting instead to cook dinners on a 2-burner camp stove, line-drying clothes and taking showers with the backyard hose. Serious fun, right? To my mastermind, that’s how I saw it — a fun experiment. It’s a practiced habit of self-preservation: What can I learn from this?
When my husband died, 3 years ago, I was completely devastated — in many ways, I still very much am. But, I learn from it and I so appreciate what the experience has taught me about life and what’s important and what I really want to offer to my sons while we are still together on planet earth.
I’m running a very customized version of motherhood, here at my house and I’m well aware of that fact. I was shocked, actually, when I learned that someone was looking at the portions of my publicly-shared life and asking, “How does she do it??” Maria told me that she had our adventures in mind while writing the piece, as she probably had several other moms and their strengths in mind.
How do I do it? I go with the flow. I have never had a plan for this and that’s a good thing because my life has been like the wild river flowing free – constant changing, destructive flooding, drying up in drought, and carving deep into my being. That’s not me walking on the water across a stagnant pool… It’s me drenched in mud, sweat and the river of dreams.
10 thoughts on “Moms — How do YOU do it??”
What a great post. What a great response. What a great way of seeing life and marriage and motherhood. I am learning so many things along this blogging journey. Thank you!
I’ve had many people ask how I balance it all. It was tough raising my daughters when they were both born. My family struggled financially but we got through it. Being in tough situations really helped make me stronger and be the person who I am today and always staying humble. All those material things is not important in life and that had helped us learn that us as a family is what’s important. Thanks Candy for sharing your story!
I love your post. I think we’re all trying to do our best. I’m sure going to lean on you for support somedays. I try and think like you but get lost with everything I realize I didn’t do right. 🙂
YES! I only learned to stop worrying about what other moms did a couple of months ago. There will always be a few moms with pristine homes, crafty ideas, and perfectly clean children… and that will never be me. I’m ok with that, because I know that right now, I am doing the very best that I can for my daughter, and in her eyes, I am more than enough. I love your response. You really are doing a wonderful job cultivating memories and experiences with your children, and in your own unique way – which is way better than trying to fit into someone else’s view of parenting. Keep up the good work, mama!
Wow – what a great post! You are right, we just go with the flow – everyone’s situation is different, but we all get through it the best we can! Life has changed for us in the last year big time – my oldest is getting married next month, and I’m homeschooling a 10 year old – life changes constantly, so you have to find what works and carry on!
As Aimee said, what a great post! It’s endearing and encouraging. I often think people look at my life and wonder, “Is that all she does?” But I have to remind myself that even though it may look small or boring to some, it’s big to two very important little people – my sons. That’s what matters. And like you, we just go with the flow of life. You’re doing a great job keeping your family taken care of and together.
I think we’re all just holding on as best we can. Some weeks I have a great week where I’m “on it” and meet all the deadlines and expectations before me. Other weeks, I just relax and remind myself to enjoy what’s going on.
Moms are stronger than we give ourselves credit for.
So many things happened to me in the last 5 years – marriage, baby, new business, one income, house that didn’t sell for much, move to Atlanta, death of my Dad – that when I was going through them I thought I’d never survive.
And I did.
Hallelujah, Joyce! On my journey through womanhood & parenthood, I’ve learned that it’s these times when we feel so weak – like we could just fall to pieces – when we are at our strongest. If we can remember that during those times when we just feel like a tattered flag in the wind – we do ourselves a huge favor!
Don’t we all go through that at some point comparing ourselves to other moms. More Encouragement and less judgement goes so much further.