Wednesday, April 28, 2010

doing it all

I'm asked all the time how I "do it all." Reading, homeschooling, knitting, the's just life. Some of you have called me Supermom...but I've noticed that those of you who call me that have never actually been to my house. *grin* A very wise friend of mine told me (because she had been told by a very wise friend of hers) that God gives you grace for wherever you're at - so if you have one kid, you have the grace to cover one kid. And when you have four, suddenly you have the grace for that, and you wonder how you could have ever been overwhelmed with just two.

Well...this is not how I do it all! (keep dreaming!) Chamberlain broke a huge bowl in the pantry the other day, so she is closely monitored around the dishes!

I'm so encouraged by hearing how other moms manage their days. So at the risk of sounding completely self-centered (but it's my blog, so there) I'll share a little about how we do it all.

Here goes. Confession: I rarely cook real meals during the week. We do a lot of easy lunches. We do a lot of easy dinners, too - there's no shame in crackers and cheese and fruit for dinner! I read to the kids during lunch and dinner, and usually eat while I'm putting their meal together. I find that confining them to the table with their mouths (usually) full of food is conducive to better listening!

Vin almost always cooks dinner for us when he gets home from work so I can knit or catch up on business stuff. We both cook on the weekends.

We don't watch tv. The only exception is during football season or the Olympics, and the occasional-but-very-rare (go ahead and laugh) Jeopardy. We do watch movies, though (but we're picky, have you guessed?) and I can usually finish off a hat or two while vegging on the couch.

I read and knit at the same time. Vin got me this really cool book-holder-thingy (mine's a Book Gem) that holds my book up so my hands are free. Occasionally I have to search for it on his side of the bed because he steals it when I'm not using it (he likes to eat ice cream while reading - which is not as productive as knitting, but...I digress).

The kids all have chores. Iree vacuumed the boys room last week! Yeah! They all help with dishes (well, not Chamberlain, see above), cleaning the bathrooms, cleaning the catbox, and all kinds of stuff. Mattie reads out loud to the younger ones while I do my chores, and Iree can even read out loud now, too. So we all take turns.

It's not perfect, and there are days when it feels like we'll never get past breakfast. Some days we spend more time disciplining and bossing than reading. But those are balanced by the other sweet times, like Sunday afternoons when we read eight chapters in one Narnia book, or spend the afternoon making and delivering a meal to a family in need. We've even been known to take the kids to a Tea Party or two, and we can now say that our nine year old knows more about the US Constitution than most of our current Congress (ah, couldn't help it; that one was just too easy to pass up).

It's a very simple life. The kids are worth it. Homeschooling is worth it. Our marriage is worth it. Doing it all together is a beautiful thing.


Julie Riisnaes said...

Really lovely to hear about your home. May God bless you all and continue to help you each day.

Deb - Two Cheeky Monkeys said...

Lovely (and funny post) Shannon.
Being a mum isn't easy (and I only have two!), but it's great when you can have a plan and a routine in place like you do.
Thanks for sharing a little of your life with us. :)

hiddenmanna said...

What a wonderful testimony... thanks for sharing it with us! Carrie

Lucy79 said...

Shannon, you are a supermama!! Everything does NOT get done around here every day either, but we keep on trying :) I love having my kids home and schooling them, but that means I have to run my business to pay for their books and other needs. Keeps me on my toes!

Lizzie's Lovelies said...

Thank you so much for giving us a glimpse into your day! I am glad to know that I am not the only mom in the world who doesn't cook dinner every night (my husband does it most nights!) Your children are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing!!!

Terry said...

fantastic post shannon!

cksilver said...

Lovely post, Shannon, and so fun to get to know more about you! Your pics of your kids make me want to reach out and touch them. So cute! Hope you are having a wonderful Thursday!

JJ said...

Ah, Little Chamberlain. I wonder if she and Alek are working on some sort of dare? He broke a cup from a set that my brother, as a child, bought for my mom for Christmas one year. Anyway. I hear you, Girl. Livin' the similar life...but I seriously need to get one of those book holders.

sammysgrammy said...

Shannon, Vin is a gem. Coming home from work and cooking dinner! One thing to praise the Lord for: this generation of young marrieds pulling together. The gender roles are a little blurred and that's a good thing.
In previous generations (mine), those roles were specific and rigid. The mom's role included care and nurture of children including the big male one. The dad earned the bread, mowed the lawn and fixed the car. And that's was that. Amen.

Alaena said...

Bless Bless! What a good Mommy you are, cheese/cracker/fruit dinners and all! It takes quite a hardy constitution to homeschool, (on top of having a business!) so I have nothing but the admiration for those who can!

Anastasia said...

I've had a bad day today. Thanks for sharing and reminding me that I don't have to be a supermom! :) I've only got one baby girl, and on days like today I just wonder how I can possibly do it. I'm looking forward to more babies and homeschooling! :)