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Monday, February 5, 2018

How do you DO it?

I received a message from a fellow adoptive mama and friend, M, last week. She has 3 children and is thinking about adopting again. I think four kids is that daunting number where you cross the threshold into crazy land.
2 kids is smart.
3 is average.
But when you have that 4th child it's as if your suddenly and unknowingly invited all the judgment about how crazy you are to have so many children. And literally people say things like

You know they have a cure for that now! 
It's important you live your life for yourself and not through children. 
You can't save them all, you know! 

I've heard all of these and more. Thus the word crazy in the blog title.

But still this life with a big ol' family is a life we've purposefully and excitedly chosen. Yes it's also a life of sacrifice, and we are totally okay with it. Gosh I think I'm a wee bit defensive right now!

Anywho... back to my friend, M. She messaged me and said...
I feel like God is calling us to adopt again. My husband, while he is now in a place where he thinks God might call us to adopt again *someday*… has big concerns about adding another one to the family. He feels like"how in the world could we add more chaos to our lives?" I completely understand where he's coming from, but then I see mamas like you, with many more children than we have, and I guess my question is:
How in the world do you DO it?
How do you juggle all of the school drop off's and appointments and homework and physical therapies and sports? How do you make sure each kid is individually loved on and getting everything they need to fill their love tank? How do you do ALL of it, and make sure the house stays clean and food is on the table 3 times a day? I consider myself to be pretty organized, but there are definitely many days where I go to bed exhausted. And a tiny voice of doubt starts to whisper, "Mama, you can't handle a fourth." But my heart answers back "We can make room for one more. We can do it." I would love to learn from your wisdom as you navigate life with many beautiful Littles every day.
I re[lied to M and we discussed. Mostly I tried to convey how actually I don't do it. I go to bed exhausted and fall short regularly. The house is clean-ish on its best days, and I pray everyday that I'm adequately filling up their love tanks but I really don't know if I am. But 8 kids later, really none of these thoughts are different from when we only had our first 2 children. Or 6 years after that when we had our 4th child and entered crazy land. Or 5 years after that when we started our adoption journey adding on #s 5 and 6. Or even 10 months ago when we brought home #8. Some things remain consistent. Adding a new family member, no matter how you do it is tough. New babies are tough. Adoption is tough. Readjusting family roles to newness is tough. And having 1 or 8 kids that stays the same. Being a mama and responsible for the people who mean the most in the world to you is tough. The worry is always there. The stress. The not knowing if you're doing it right or enough of it. The falling short and the learning and trying to do better... that's always there.

But I will say... and maybe this is the whole point of this series... that I have gotten better at the practicalities of it all. That actual how to do the responsibilities of being a mom and house manager day in and day out without going insane... well on most days that is. The juggling schedules and meal planning and paying for lots with little. The band concert that falls on someone's birthday, and how to simultaneously be in 2 places at once. How to brush, floss, wash and moisturize for many every single night. That stuff I've gotten way better at with time (and so many failures) and practice.

Soooo, all that being said, I'm starting a series of blog posts borrowing M's words, called "How in the world do you DO it?" where I'll share how I do it, or maybe even what we've tried that didn't work. Specifically how I attempt to manage our large busy family and all that encompasses. Things like
Meal planning.
Juggling schedules.
Doctor appointments.
Teens and makeup/shaving.
Sleep overs.
Big family cars.
Date nights.
Whatever you want to know! Really!
And I hope hope HOPE that you will share how YOU do it too, lots of kiddos or not, cause like I said, I fall short plenty, and no 1 way works for all families and mamas. And I DO hope you'll share your experiences on what has worked (and not worked) for you as mama's.

So as I'm writing up the first post regarding one of M's specific concerns. But in the mean time, could you chime in with what you're struggling with? What you'd like to hear about how other mama's just like you deal with issues? Maybe it's something little... or big. What is going round and round in your head right now leaving you to wonder if there's another way? Please chime in with a topic(s) you'd like me to discuss and something you'd like to hear from other mamas too. Let's come together and help each other, from one mama to another, be the best women, mamas and wives we can be.


  1. We just entered into the land of crazy 6 weeks ago. I think my struggles are with discipline, especially while nursing. I feel like I never have time to discipline properly and the kids just aren't listening. Our lives are in upheaval at the moment with a new baby and needing to move (trying to find a house in a VERY expensive area on a tight budget). Our stress levels are high. I feel like we can handle daily life for the most part, but its the unexpected extras that come up that are hard to deal with. How can we prepare for those unexpected times of stress?

    1. I get it! From the time we went from 1 to 4 - we moved 4 times! Moving and kids are such a tough combo. We're adopting #5 and just bought a new house from a lovely 85 year old woman and it's an old farmhouse - so its a MAJOR renovation - sometimes I think we should just knock it down and start from scratch . . . but no . . . My mantra these days is 'patiences and kindness' - cause it just seems with everything on my plate I can get SO anxious about my time . . . and when one of my kiddos asks for another, or more of, or something they can get themselves . . . patience and kindness . . . at least things seem to run more smoothly in general if I can keep that in mind . . . ALSO I have become a master list maker . . . which clears my mind . . . I portion large tasks over multiple days depending on my time . . . I try to make sure the most important items on the list get done . . . and remind myself which ones can wait . . . The best thing about the lists is my mind relaxes a bit cause when I start thinking of everything that has to get done I just think . . . ok it's on the list . . . so it'll get done . . . don't think of it now . . . go to the next item on the list :)

  2. Oh my gosh I just wrote you a long response and it seems to disappear!

    1. that happens to me too! And it TICKS me off! And is usually almost always user error when it happens to me!

  3. Nancy and any one else out there who had adopted an older child . . . I know each adoption is so different because each child's needs and personality is so different because this is our 5th . . . but if you have any ideas or guidance on how to prepare I WOULD LOVE some!


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