I get asked this question a lot: “How do you keep it all together?” Perhaps people ask me because I have 6 kids and if I chose to have 6 then I must have felt like I could handle them and stay on top of everything else too. Right?
The truth is that I almost always went into a new pregnancy wondering how on earth I would manage with one more or even two more (after having twins second I always wondered if I was having twins again). It was always a stretching process to add another child to our family. I knew it would be but I also knew that God had promised to be my strength when I relied on Him and so I did.
I didn’t set out to have a large family. I was a planner, an organizer and very much liked to be in control and a family of 8 never crossed my mind. But I found that when you have a child on your heart, and your husband is in the same place, another child is always a gift. Always.
Back to keeping it all together.
I don’t think that it’s possible. To keep it all together. It seems to me that any togetherness is a perceived condition. Children don’t allow for it.
Please don’t get me wrong. I am NOT saying that you cannot keep your house neat or that you cannot be organized or that you cannot have a great plan. What I am saying is that keeping it all together implies that you are completely in control and everything goes your way. It doesn’t. Hardly ever.
Kids are ever changing and raising them is incredibly demanding. A mother needs mounds of grace for her children and even more for herself. The dreams and plans you have of having it all together are sure to get interrupted by dealing with heart issues, sick kids, sleepless nights that lead to tired days, a daily battle inside of how much time you spend cleaning up and how much time you spend playing with kids, and I haven’t even gotten to distractions or tangents (like wanting to redo your daughters room. Right. Now!). Did I mention doctors appointments and planning meals and running errands?
The only way I know of how to keep it all together is by not allowing it to wreck you when it all falls apart. I’ve spent many moments crying over spilled milk and clothes all over the floor that I just put away. I’ve had heart palpitations over people coming over at a moments notice and when my kids melt down in a store. But I think my time is better spent on learning to be okay with the things that happen outside of my plans rather than trying so hard to keep anything outside of them from happening. Know what I mean?
I hope this is freeing for you in some way. I have spent years trying to keep it all together. If we can learn to hold it all loosely and focus on what’s important than I believe we will live lives that are capable of more joy, more grace and even more fun. And that’s what I want for my family and for you too.