The question I’ve gotten pretty often is, “how do you do it?” What they mean is how do I balance everything when I have a husband, 4 kids, full time job, and graduate school. Sometimes my answer is “I really don’t know.” Other times my answer is “I didn’t give myself an option.”
I always knew that I wanted a family with our own house. I knew I wanted to be a CPA one day. Since I started having kids while I was still in college, this is the only way that I can reach my long term goals. (I already have my family, I’m already working in my career, and I’m in school so that I can become a CPA.)
It may not be the easiest path since some people would choose to finish school first, then get married, then have kids, etc. But this is how my life looks now. Of course it’s busy, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I’m not perfect, not by a long shot. But apparently, I look like I have it all together to the people that ask me that, when I definitely don’t feel like I do.
There is rarely a time when I don’t have toys in rooms they don’t belong in, dirty dishes, both clean and dirty laundry somewhere, grass that needs cutting, etc.
But I want to (one day) have it all together. So, some areas I am making progress in are:
I prepare things ahead of time, or try to anyway. I am NOT an early morning person, so if I can prepare more the night before, it really helps me in the morning. For example, having lunch boxes ready the night before and having dishes and coffee cups clean and ready the night before definitely helps
I don’t always do it, but I do like to either lay out the clothes I want to wear or decide in my head what to wear before I go to bed. That saves me time in deciding what to wear, finding where it is, and trying on different things until I like my outfit. Also a good idea with the kids clothes. I have been doing small tasks the night before for a while now and I haven’t once regretted it the next morning. 📝
Smile more. Seriously, the more you smile, the happier you actually are. And the happier you are, the more you smile. It’s a good cycle. People tell me all the time I’m always smiling, and that it makes them happy. I’m not bragging about myself, but this is a way of making other people’s day a little brighter, which makes the world a better place, just by simply smiling.
Am I always having a great day? Of course not, but I can find something to be thankful for or to be happy about everyday. Someone said, “there’s something to be thankful about everyday. And if you’re not having a good day, be thankful that everyday is not like that one.” 🙂
Make to-do lists. Several if you need to. Make a weekend to-do list. I always list things in my head that I’ll do when the weekend comes around. Guess what? The weekend comes and goes and I never thought about those things again until Monday morning. I have to-do lists both at home and at work. They help you stay on top of things and it also makes you feel good to cross things OFF your list (even if you add it after it’s completed just to cross it off right away). I even have a nightly to-do list that stays on the fridge: 1 load of dishes, 1 load of laundry, sweep the kitchen. I don’t succeed at this everyday, but it’s a reminder of what I want to get done. Also, if I do a little bit here and there, those things won’t be so piled up. 👍🏼
Put things away right then. Also having one designated spot (or two) for things helps. It’s taken me a long time, but I have started the habit of putting things only in certain places when I’m done with them. For example, when I get home, I don’t just set my purse and coat anywhere. I go put my purse in the same spot every night so I can find it, and go put my coat away. We have one drawer that the keys always go in. So if we go to look for keys, they are either in that drawer or in my purse (in the same pocket of my purse every time).
Shoes. The same way with shoes. When my kids takes off their shoes, they are supposed to go in their designated shoe boxes (each child has one of those square fabric bins). Since I have to remind my kids so often, it keeps me accountable to do it, too.
Mail! Mail is a big one, too. After a while of struggling with it, I have decided mail either goes in my bills folder or in the trash. We’re not going to read those magazines or use coupons for stores we don’t visit. Mail gets put away right when it comes in. (Note: I don’t think I’ve ever folded and put away laundry right after it gets out of the dryer. So I don’t apply that one here. 😆) 👚👕
Pray more and worry less. There are a million things in my life that I could spend time worrying about. But I choose to pray about them instead. God tells us many times not to worry and not to be afraid. He knows what He’s talking about because He is much bigger than us and our worries, yet He still cares about us and our needs.
Phil. 4:6-7 says, “Do not worry. Learn to pray about everything. Give thanks to God as you ask Him for what you need. The peace of God is much greater than the human mind can understand. This peace will keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
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