“How do you do it?”

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 3, 2009

This being a very common question asked of this mom of six kiddos, I often wonder why people even have to ask. Can’t they see that I’m a saint, and my kids are always well-behaved and even tempered. We do not yell or raise our voices in the slightest. Any of us. Ever. My floors sparkle and the laundry is always clean, folded and hung up. I make all meals to perfection, and even Noah looks forward to the chicken cacciatore I make every Saturday night.

Wait… What? You don’t believe me?

Okay, okay. Here’s the truth…

I very rarely leave my house with all of my kiddos in tow, and when I do I’ve been known to leave a certain blondie at the checkout counter as we make our way across town – without him. My kiddos dumped a whole bag of cheerios in the pantry today – and every single cheerio is still on the floor. We have clean clothes, but they are all piled in a giant heap, in the middle of the loft, at the top of the stairs. I spent lots of time with the kiddos today, and I tried not to yell at them, but they can be just. so. darn. frustrating. And, I didn’t cook tonight – Ray went out and got tacos for dinner.

If you are anything like me, you wear many hats – wife, mother, friend, teacher, blogger, and more – but balancing those many roles can sometimes be quite challenging. Is it possible to do it all without losing your sanity?

I know that everyone has a different way of doing it, but since I am so often asked, I thought I would share some of the secrets that I’ve discovered to maintain my sanity, while filling my many roles. Maybe some of them will help you, too!

*How many of you feel like you need help, simply because you can’t do it on your own? I know I can’t do it on my own. Put your trust in the Lord and start your day talking to Him. He will help you get through one day at a time, if you trust in Him for strength.

*Learn to say NO and know when to say it. I have always been a people-pleaser so I know how difficult it is to feel like you are letting someone down. It can be torture for someone like me to say no, but it has been a key element to saving my sanity!

*Spend quality time with your spouse, without the kids. My husband and I try to have regular date nights – We leave the kiddos with a trusted friend, or family member, and spend the evening together. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to spend quality time together – Wait until the kiddos go to bed, turn off the TV and computers, and play a game or enjoy a glass of wine and just talk.

*Go with the flow. Some families are very scheduled and organized. Ours – not so much. In our family it is super important to make sure that our school work is done in an orderly fashion, but with so many little ones, short attention spans, and lots of testoterone, I must be very careful with how we make it through the day. Every day looks different, and you know what? That’s okay. Really.

*Don’t sweat the small stuff – the laundry can go unfolded yet another day (or until my kiddos can fold it and put it away themselves, for that matter), and the licorice just before dinner won’t kill the kiddos. It’s the big stuff that matters. So, teach them how to be obedient, respectful and helpful. Make sure that your kids learn how to love God and others, simply by watching you. Spend time together, as a family, cultivating those relationships. This is the stuff that really matters.

*Knowing that the Lord doesn’t give us more than we can handle, often holds me back from asking for help from others. I need to remind myself that God puts people in our lives for a reason, and that it’s okay to lean on others. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ever.

*Cherish this time while your kiddos are young. It’s a lot of work being a mommy, but enjoy your children. Remember that “the days may seem long, but the years are short!” Thanks for that one, Mom!

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{ 36 comments… read them below or add one }

Stam House January 4, 2009 at 2:31 am

Great post Christine!
Thanks for sharing and knowing that I\m not alone with clean laundry everywhere etc….
And the tips are great!

have a wonderful Lord’s Day!


Ellen C. January 4, 2009 at 7:48 am

I’m a new stay at home mom with my 4 month old son and I really enjoyed reading this awesome post.


sewmelody January 4, 2009 at 8:54 am

Fantastic post! I am so with you on this one. Being good at this job takes a great deal of faith…And humility! It’s a crazy journey…messy, unpredictable, and Beautiful!!


Misty January 4, 2009 at 10:37 am

and another really great post…


Kristin January 4, 2009 at 1:05 pm

I always wondered how you do it. Well now we all know your secret. Just go with the flow!


The Consumer Queen January 4, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Ahh Christine I am so glad I am not alone. I would be scared if someone walked in my house. But hey at least the kids are healthy and happy!


Stephanie January 4, 2009 at 2:07 pm

“Don’t sweat the small stuff” has always been one of my favorite rules. It keeps things a little bit saner no matter how crazy things get.


Marcy January 4, 2009 at 2:17 pm

I love this post! It is just what I needed to hear actually.

Have a great week! :-)


To Think is to Create January 4, 2009 at 2:19 pm

Great post–I’d say knowing when to say no is the hardest thing to do sometimes, understanding that saying no actually *helps* them. :)


Mindy January 4, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Beautiful post. I could learn a lot from you. Oh wait…I already have. :)


Kristy January 4, 2009 at 2:23 pm

What a really really great post!


A Cowboy's Wife January 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm

I love the “don’t sweat the small stuff”. I used to freak when my little ones would spill water…I learned quickly to let it go…. :)


Tara January 4, 2009 at 2:27 pm

I can SO relate to this. People tell me I must be Supermom all the time, and I am so not in any way, shape, or form. Nice to know I’m not the only one.


ChristiS January 4, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Christine, I so needed to read this RIGHT NOW. The house is a wreck, laundry needs to be put away, and I’m sitting here suffering with a kidney stone and feeling guilty! Thank you, and I pray God’s blessings upon you!!


Holley V January 4, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I hear you! Excellent advice!


Michelle January 4, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Well Written post.I’m trying not to sweat the small stuff.


* TONYA * January 4, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Great post Christine. Nice to know you are normal afterall :)


Adventures In Babywearing January 4, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Christine, this was really great!



Scott January 4, 2009 at 5:22 pm

What?! The image of perfection is now shattered. :-)


Days like These! January 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Loved this post!

Hey, you’re PERFECT in my eyes ;)


Kristina January 4, 2009 at 6:28 pm

As a mom of 2, who often feels overwhelmed, I’m always intrigued by how moms of many kids do it. Thanks for this great post.


Amanda January 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm

What I think is that even having 2 kids is a lot of work, I know that having 6 is more challenging. What I have learned is that as each child is born you learn to deal with how to handle each child. You know your children the best therefore you know what you can and can’t do with them. You as a mother also know how much you can handle at once. I know I would never go alone to a reasturant by myself, but I would go to the grocery store with both kids.

As a mother you have learned what you can do alone and when you do need help. I know that even I have said “I don’t know how Christine does it with 6″ but really, your the one who has learned to it.

I personally think you have done an amazing job with your kids.

From seeing first hand you have the sweetest, cutest and spunky-ist group of kiddos and I have only met 3 of them. I still can’t get over how Sam, Julia and the twins took off. I still laugh at how they were all holding hangs and acticing like monkeys. it’s times like that when you let them be kids.

Thanks for your post Christine, there are many things I have learned to jsut let go of. Some days are so easy and others I feel like I am going to cry. but in the end you loe your children with more than words cna say and somehow we seem to amke it all work.


Classy Mommy January 4, 2009 at 6:46 pm

what a wonderful post. i especially like the tips about being flexible – that is crucial in my life even with only 2 kiddies. schedules are helpful but you’ve got to go with the flow b/c nothing goes as expected! i think you are inspiring and a supermom.


Terra Jones January 4, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Thank you so much for this! I have 2 under 2 and there are days where I ask myself how I do it. My mom was in town this weekend (I’m an only child) and she said I amaze her, she had no idea how I did it ‘all’ so effortlessly (What?!?! lol)


Mel @ A Box of Chocolates January 4, 2009 at 8:17 pm

I often get asked this too, and I never know what to say. I am working on the saying No more often. I enjoyed seeing how you make it all work!


Mama Bub January 4, 2009 at 9:10 pm

This is great advice for everyone. I have one child and no paying job, but frequently feel overwhelmed. Thanks for putting it into perspective.


Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting January 4, 2009 at 9:21 pm

As another mother to six, I hear you loud and clear! lol

Fabulous post. Even with six myself, I wonder how others do it, what methods they may have that differ from mine. It helps to know you’re not alone :)


Shannon January 5, 2009 at 8:43 am

Great post – thanks for the words of wisdom!


The Rose Four January 5, 2009 at 11:23 am

THANK YOU! It was so nice to see that you go through the same things that I do!!! :)


Ali January 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm

Very good post Christine! My hubby always tells me that in a 100 years no one will care that my house was spotless or not. What matters is the legacy of Godliness that we leave behind with our children when we die.

My God Given Mission Field
Mission Field Designs


Jen January 5, 2009 at 3:53 pm

What an encouraging post Christine! Thank you! I am a part-time working mom of two, soon to be three kids all who will be three and under. I am overwhelmed right now and it scares me to think about adding another little one to already crazy mix. This post was so encouraging. I am not sure how I will do it, but you are right God never gives us anything we can’t handle. I must rest in his promises. Thank you! I am so impressed, six kids.:)


Amanda January 5, 2009 at 4:11 pm

LOL! That was a great post. Its my first time to your blog and I’m really enjoying it.


ray January 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm

I love you, my sweet!



Cindy C. January 5, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Great post! The home school community is the only place that I’ve ever heard…you only have 4 children? lol You’re right, it goes SO fast. My oldest is 19 and it just doesn’t seem possible.


Granny Two Shoes January 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm

Interesting blog, thank you for sharing this


Jessica January 8, 2009 at 12:17 pm

What great advice. I love your blog, thanks!!!


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