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How Do Large Family Moms Manage Everything? {4 Moms Q&A}

The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are answering questions again this week!

Here is a question I got on my Smockity Facebook page:

How do you manage yard/garden work and the house work AND homeschool? I can't seem to get it together. If I get the housework done, then school usually suffers. The yard/garden is so consuming, yet I feel like I can't get out there until the school work and house work are in some kind of order, which sometimes means no gardening.

Ah, yes. The age old dilemma of "How can I get it all done?" The short answer is you can't. At least I can't.

The long answer is I focus on what the most immediate need is.

If my house looks awesome, it is probably because we have skipped school that day to dust, scour, scrub, vacuum, mop, sweep, steam clean, wash, fold, and put away everything because we are having a party later that evening.

If we are having the party tomorrow, it would be senseless to do all of the above today because it will only need to be done all over again tomorrow anyway.

Right now, our most immediate needs are

Which means my house isn't looking all that great. But no one is coming over tonight, so we're good.

Since I already know I can't do it all, I focus on the most immediate and then fill in leftover time with secondary needs.

Yesterday, I went down to the hen house to check on the chicks and give them fresh water and food. While I was down there, I gathered eggs and noticed that the kid-built duck pond was low, so I filled it up with water

As I was finishing up, I heard a cry that the neighbor's goats were getting out and headed for the road, so I rounded up the troops and we helped get them where they were supposed to be.

(Email readers may have to click through to see the goat herding video.)

After we all went inside a good hour had passed and I finished printing out, administering, and grading end of the year tests.

I could have fretted that I didn't have time to mop the floor or that we didn't get to go over multiplication flash cards like I had planned because of the goat roundup. Instead, I looked at the grades from the state tests I administered, and I realized that even though we don't have uninterrupted strictly scheduled homeschooling going on during all school hours all the time, my children are learning and achieving and excelling.

And even though we don't have a spotless house all the time, we have clean clothes and dinner on the table and chores done daily.

I can't do it all. I prioritize and try to get to the rest in order of importance.

Now, be sure to check out what questions the rest of The 4 Moms of 35+ Kids are answering:

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  1. Good reminders! Sometimes I wish I COULD do it all. If I didn’t have to sleep, it would be way more convenient. 😉

  2. Exactly! This all made me laugh…’cause it’s how WE operate too!

  3. Wow! You mean, even though you have “all those extra helpers” you still can’t eat off your floors??? *said VERY tongue-in-cheek*

    Thank you for this. I have been having some trying moments the last couple of weeks regarding house/school/garden/outdoor work. And as I was sitting in the ER with my hubby (AGAIN–don’t ask) yesterday, wondering for the five millionth time in the last ten years “WHY GOD? WHY CAN’T WE HAVE ONE NORMAL MOMENT???”…I swear I heard Him say, “Because you just won’t slow down! Simple. Daily. One day at a time.”

    He’s right and so are you. You can’t do it all. Ever. And even though I’m at home Full Time now, I need to remember to prioritize…just like I would have at work. God first, family second, and everything else as it comes.

  4. So true, no one can do it all, all the time. I often have a hard time keeping up with doing some, some of the time, depending on the season of life. But things have a way of balancing out eventually.

  5. Yes, it’s really important to just stick with the priorities and not worry about the other stuff.

    I heard once that “You have time for everything that is important to you.” True. True. True.

    Which is why I’m getting off the computer now and my kitchen floor is not going to be mopped today. :)

  6. I have zero kids and I still can’t get it all done! And I have to say I think it’s pretty awesome that you get anything done with so many kids around.

  7. On the really good days where I do actually “get it all done”, I mentally take a picture, b/c I know the rest of the 28 days of the month will look nothing like that, LOL. And that’s okay!

    Thanks, Connie, for accepting it in your own life and expressing it here so well–it helps me remember, too! I think I will have to print this post and hang it where I can see it!

  8. I love your answer, and it’s exactly true. Can I add something? I think every mom/wife has a pet peeve thing that, if it is done, can make our days just seem nicer and more complete. For some, it’s clean counters or clean bathroom counter or whatever. Mine is a clean dining table/counters. I try to get to that everyday, because it helps me stay in a good mood.

    Also, we should probably know what our husbands likes most. For my husband, its toys/shoes cluttering the front door area and the walkway to our living room. He can tolerate a lot of mess, and never complains, but I have noticed over and over that he stays on the kids about that one area. So I try to make sure the kids pick all that up once or twice a day. Because my sweet husband works hard and his peace of mind counts, too.

    If those two things are done (at our house), things just seem nicer and more “done.” It would obviously be different in every house.


  1. […] visit the other moms of many to read their thoughts and ideas: Smockity Frocks shares how moms of many do (or don’t do) it ALL. Life in a Shoe talks about weaning, big […]

  2. […] Connie at Smockity Frocks answers the age-old question, How do you do it all? […]