A fellow writer and mother recently asked me, "How do you do it all?"
All I could do was cry out, "But I don't do it all!"
Oh yes, I try so very hard, and in some ways (sure) I succeed, but lately I feel like I am failing...
Once I had a goal to write on this blog every week. I never managed to do that, even in the beginning. So my goal became to write every other week... Now I am content to maintain a monthly post.
I started a new blog called A Simple Natural Home. I had hoped to fill it full of recipes for soaps and healthy muffins, cloth diapering tips and gardening advice. Today the blog contains only a few pages of material.
Almost five years ago I started writing a historical fiction novel. People have praised me when I tell them that I am on page 78 of my first draft. But I just want to cry because it took me five years to push that out! And now I have another baby. And now my older son is having problems with authority. Will it take ten, maybe twenty, to complete?
I was so determined to have a winter garden this year. But we got a foot of snow and it sat around for a week killing my broccoli plants. The plants I sat hunched over in autumn picking tiny caterpillars off of. I still have fruit trees to prune, a chicken coop to clean, and a fence to build. But I can't dig my way out of the dishes and laundry.
The baby is constantly pooping again. Or chewing and trying to choke on some random scrap of paper he found on the floor. The older child is constantly climbing onto the desk to turn the TV screen on so he can watch Felix the Cat on Netflix. Or melting down because I said, "Not right now."
I pour my all into my children. I am the mom who reads to their kids, who listens to their stories, and who plays as well as disciplines. I am constantly reading new about positive parenting and early childhood development. Embracing motherhood has become my art. It has replaced much of who I am as a person. And I know that is ok. In fact, I dare to say that is how it should be when you have young kids. Still, my children are so far from perfect. You would think I had it all figured out with all the research I have done, but they have behavior problems galore. We struggle.
I set an alarm and woke up early this morning early. My intention was to get up and finish writing what I was too tried to write last night. But the baby was sleeping at my breast. I tried to get up so very carefully. I let him nurse until my milk let down again. It took three patient tries to get my breast out of his mouth without waking him. Then I eased him off and patted his back until he fell asleep again. Slowly I inched away from him, tucking the pre-warmed blankets around him to fill my void. I rose from the bed and stayed very still. Twice a resumed the lying position. Finally when I thought he was sound asleep a turned to the window and adjusted the blind so that the sun would not come streaming in and wake him. I did so silently. Nevertheless, when I turn back to my baby, his sleep eyes were open wide. I groaned. He smiled.
How am I doing it all you ask?
I am not doing it all! I am just trying very hard to juggle everything. Perhaps my problem is too much ambition. Maybe I need to kick back and relax more. So I try to take time to do nothing. Surely I would do better to do less.
I truly hope that one day I will do better. Not more! But better!
So... How do you do it? How do you do better?
- Roslyn Imrie
- I am a mother, a teacher, and a nature lover. I grew up on a mountain we called Owls' Knob in the Ozarks of Arkansas. The first seven years of my life were spent living in a log cabin, far from a store or streetlight, without electricity or running water and after twenty years of travel, I returned to the abondoned homestead. Now I live on a hill by a small lake and work at a public garden. These are stories about nature written from a women deeply influenced by place.