Friday, August 3, 2012

How do you do it all?

I get asked this question a lot.  I hesitate to answer because if I do, it imply's I do, do it all.  Guess What? I don't!!! Not even close! In fact, I have multiple breakdowns.  Just ask my husband, or even my best friend Britney.  I am on a 3 month break down cycle.  I call her, vent, cry, explode, and then 10 minutes later I reset, and all is great with life again.

So why do I get asked this question? I don't know.  I suppose I am perceived differently than what my life is really like.  Or, I am just a really positive person and don't spew out negativity or drama therefore it looks like I have it all together?

Don't get me wrong, I do, do alot.  So I will answer this question, "how do you do what you do?"  Well, there is a list of reasons, which I will elaborate on some of them.

  • First and foremost because of the good Lord is how I accomplish what I do.  He has blessed me with different gifts which really really help when raising three young kids while maintaining a marriage, career and a home business
  • An amazing, supportive, helpful husband
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Flexible job
  • well behaved kids
  • iPhone
  • time management 
  • lists, lists, lists! 
  • patience (last on the list for a reason)
So there it is.  There are all my secrets. Thanks, have a good night!

Ha, just kidding.  Ok, where to start?
I believe I was made to have twins.  I love it, every single chaotic second.  In fact, if I had the financial means, I would welcome more kids into this family. Even another set of twins! I feel that God has blessed me with the mental capacity to handle my life.  I have always loved the saying 
"God only gives you what you can handle".  
And it is so true.  Do you know how many times I repeated that to myself when I was pregnant with the twins? I thought there was NO way I could do it.  I worried constantly about everything! One recurring worry was
What if I am making dinner, and one of the twins is crying and I go get them, and the other twin goes up the stairs and I can't stop them and Lyla goes in the kitchen and pulls a pot of boiling water down on her and scolds her face?
Once the twins became mobile, guess what I thought of? Gates! Ha! Funny how when you seem so desperate you so easily miss the obvious answer.

So now here I am with 1 year old twins and a 3 year old and the biggest list known to man kind, while maintaining a smile on my face.  Only God could give me the skills to do that! One of the biggest gifts I have is organization.  The only reason I say that is because that is what everyone tells me, though I have never believed it.  You should see my car, it is disgusting.  Crap every where, cheerios and lollipops in places that I can't even get too.  It's bad. My hall closet? You have to keep one foot in to hold the stuff that falls out when you open the door.  My Yarn Therapy corner? A small choatic mess. 

Laundry? There are no words to describe how bad it is.
teaching Lyla early how to do her own laundry!!!!!!!!

So when people go on and on about how organized I am, I just smile and nod.  But my BFF made sense of my contradiction the other day. She said you are "mentally organized". Bingo! Yes, that IS it!! I can take a big sloppy pile of a mess, and effectively prioritize, organize, and get it done.  That is how I am able to manage the family, my career at DivCo, my home business Yarn Therapy, volunteer projects, time with friends, time with family, etc. etc.  I do it all well on paper.  Actually, on my iPhone.
Speaking of my iPhone, couldn't do it without it.  Live by it.  Some of the apps that really help me run my life:

  • Priorities
  • Google Sync
  • Calendar
  • Dropbox
  • Pages for Facebook

I put every single appointment, birthday party, commitment into my out calendar.  I use Google Sync to link up with my outlook at work.  So there it all is.  Work and Play, all in one calendar.  Some like to keep it separate, but for me, putting it all in one place works best. Ain't nothing slippin through the cracks!!
I use dropbox to auto sync up all the photos I take on my iPhone, iPad and Nikon camera.  I like that they all go into one place.  I often post a photos on twitter, instagram, facebook, blog, text, email, etsy and only having to go to one folder makes that easy.  Photo organization and archiving is a whole other topic that I really want to write about, learn more and get input on. Blog coming soon.
Priorities is my newest most favorite app.  It allows me to put all of my to dos into organized lists, have sub lists, you can set it to have reminders (a must!!!) and my favorite, once it becomes a priority according to the parameters you set it will put it in a special priority list.  I love this.  One of my secrets of being mentally organized is to get every little thought and task onto paper or screen as soon as it hits your mind.  Prioritize and organize.  And then, only pay attention to what is coming up.  Deal with one task at a time instead of looking at the whole picture.  When you look at the whole picture, it is so easy to get overwhelmed and shut down.
Lyla's birthday is coming up, and I have a lot to do for it! Her party has it's own special list.  Each related tasks has a date that it will become a priority.  I don't worry about it or even think about it, until it shows up on my priority list.  It has made party planning much less stressful. The moments that would normally be taken up with when I am going to do this or that are now available for more important worries like what's for dinner tonight?
It costs 2.99, the most expensive app I have ever paid for but I think it is worth it.

I have lots of little tips and tricks to keep things organized, would love to share with anyone who asks!

My husband is pretty incredible. Can't say enough about him.  I truly feel like he is my partner in life.  We do this together, make decisions together and communicate very well.  Do we have the perfect marriage? Of course not! He drives me nuts.  Have him eat a bowl of cereal in front of me and I am liable to have one of my 3 month melt downs.
I couldn't do it without him though. He is helpful, supportive, funny, smart, and very handsome :)  If we are having a rough day and I am feeling aggravated, I just watch him with the kids.  That fixes it!
He is in school finishing his masters degree, works a full time demanding job in the health insurance business, and balances his family remarkably well.
I am able to do my crochet business in the evenings, because he is very hands on with the kids and the housework.  He definitely does a fair share of housework, for a guy! I am very grateful for that.  My personality makes me want to do it all.... dishes, laundry, cook, clean, bath the kids and put them to bed all on my own.  That obviously isn't possible and isn't going to happen.  I tried.  Didn't work.  Had a meltdown. That is when Tim took on more housework. He even goes grocery shopping when I can't get to it.  Keeper? Yes, I think so!

I love my family.  I can't say enough about my mom and mother in law. Without them.... can't even put into words. They are so helpful with watching the kids when we have an event to go too, or need a date night.  Sending all three kids to either house is a little too much to ask, so we will split them up between their "Nana's". When I was pregnant, I thought that once I had the twins I would never leave my house again.  Being stuck at home is such a fear of mine, I need to go..go..go.  I really thought that was over for me.  Not true when you got these two ladies in your life.
My mom and my siblings are my best friends.  They are always there for me, even if it is just to talk on the phone. They understand me more than anyone else. Oh how I love my family!  I have ALOT of family and was going to attempt to find a photo with all of them.  I don't think I have that much space on this post.  We will leave that for a "photo album" blog day!
mom and sister jacqui

sister rachel, sean, liv and me

I love my friends. I don't get to see them as much as I would like since we all have young kids. But when we do get together, it is worth the wait.  Love those girls.
I have a group of friends through the local moms of multiples club also.  Talk about a life saver! I have made some great friendships, connected with people I could relate too, and always have activities to take the kids too. There is such  a sense of community when you spend time with mom's who have similar family dynamics.  
I have one friend that I work with that comes over on the nights that Tim is in school.  She helps us with dinner, and putting the kids to bed.  She has been coming over for "nanny night" ever since I was pregnant with the twins.  So grateful for her!!!
Laura and Liv

I work for an exceptionally flexible company.  I have worked on my schedule since I had the twins trying to figure out what would work best for everyone.  I didn't want to take time away from my family more than I needed too, but I also didn't want to slack in my job.  I am very committed to what I do.  I love to work.  I had to figure out a way to make it work.  At first I tried working 4 days a week in the office, and 1 day at home.  That only worked for a few months.  I tried doing my normal schedule, 8-5, but that proved very difficult. It was 6:30 before I got home, so we were eating a little too much fast food.  Then I tried an earlier schedule that allowed me to leave in time to get the kids, actually spend some time with them, then start dinner.  Like a real dinner! That is the schedule I am still on, and I love it! What other company would allow me to experiment with my schedule when I play such a vital role in running the place? Love my job!

Patience....uh, working on this one.  The latest deal I am trying to have patience with is my house.  I don't require my house to be very clean, but I do want it to be picked up and tidy.  This is a nearly impossible goal to reach.  I try, and then I cry. I get so frustrated because I am constantly going behind everyone and picking up.  If I miss just one day, the house has completely been taken over with stuff and we reach the point of no return.  When the house is not in order, I get a claustrophobic feeling.  I am trying desperately to work through this.  I keep telling myself this is a phase of life, it won't always be like this.  Our biggest problem is that we have grown out of our house.  We are hoping to build a new house next spring.  But we all know that more room just comes with more mess.  Maybe I will have my ideal "pinterest" house that is nicely organized some day.

So as you can see, I don't "do it all".  It is the people in my life that do it all.  So a huge thank you to all of them! Next question?


  1. Love they quote at the end "if you think my hands are full, you should see my heart"... and I have to disagree with you on something. "God only gives you as much as you can handle" I disagree because I think He gives us more than we can handle sometimes. He does this so He can grow us by pushing us past our limits and allowing us to strengthen our mind, body, and spirit. Mainly, though, I think He gives us more than we can handle so we will rely on Him, and become dependent on Him to get us through tough, challenging situations. KaBoom!! There it is!!

  2. V remember when you asked me this question? YOu made my week! lol I feel like my hands aare sooo full that I can't do enough. It was really nice to have another BUSY Mom make me feel accomplished, thanks :) And I definitely want to do a piece with your quote!!! just trying to find the time to get it out of my head and in my hands :)

  3. Michael, very true. Though I don't think God has given me more than I can handle because I am quite comfortable. You definitely have a different perspective since you have been given more, plus some! YOU need to WRITE about it! You really could inspire others.

    Rachael, glad we have each other to motivate one another!