Thursday, August 30, 2012


Can I think out loud to you guys for a sec?

I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed.  I can't seem to get on top of my messy house, my to-do list never gets to-done, I've been hoping to start school next Tuesday but don't even have our books or files organized yet, and I have actual paying work that I really need, and want, do give the proper attention to.  And I just ended a sentence in a preposition.  Which usually doesn't bother me, but still.  Also sentence fragments.  Yes.

Then, whenever I start seeing a light at the end of the tunnel, crazy stuff like water shooting out of the detergent dispenser of my washing machine all over the ghetto laundry room happens (true story) and I get all behind again.  And I still haven't even taken Mary's birth certificate application in to the county and the child is over 2 months old.  What the heck?

Let's not even mention the fact that I haven't written an article for Catholic Exchange in over two weeks, okay?  OKAY?!?!?!?


I love this blog and hanging out with you guys and my Prayer 365 (I just made that name up this very second.  Wordsmith!) for the fan page that I just barely started doing and don't want to give up on.  And reviews and giveaways that I've already committed to doing and that I WANT to do.  But apparently there are only 24 hours in a day and there are 5 kids who feel like I'm pretty good at building Geo Trax and I just can't figure out how to do it all.  Ack!

You guys, my first instinct when I'm overwhelmed is to quit everything and move.  You think I'm joking.  So not joking.  Quitting everything and moving is a great way to start over fresh.  And fresh is a place without all these different awesome things calling you in all these different directions.

But maybe I'm getting a little too old for that?  Moving every year just because I need a fresh start?  I thought so.  So here's perhaps what I'll do instead:

1) Only allow myself to blog 3 times per week for now- let's shoot for Monday/Wednesday/Friday

2) Not reply to every comment via email when there's an email address attached.  Even though I love the conversation, that really will save me time during the day.  But know that I read and relish EVERY. SINGLE. COMMENT.  I really, really do.

3) Stick with the Prayer 365, because that's something I need, blog or not.

4) Put myself and my kids on a schedule.
Like "At this exact time you will all be doing this while I do this."  Is that even possible?  One of you tell me you've made that happen and it worked.  Mostly worked is fine.  I'll even accept sort-of worked.  I beg of you!

So there it is.  I'm not quitting and I'm not moving to a new house (pinky promise) but I gotta get this stuff under control, yo.  Fer serious.  And when I do, maybe I'll even be able to write something with a little substance again.  Substance that isn't goo.  Goo like my brain.

The boy and my husband.  Unrelated and a year old, but still so, so good.
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  1. I went through this right before school started...totally sympathize, right down to the paying gigs!

  2. Well, for crying out loud, you truly are a human being! I have about 1/100th of the responsibilities you have and stress over them, wanting to move away and start every six months. Dude, seriously, do whatever it takes to literally get your house in order. We all truly love the humor, sarcasm and insight you bring to the table for us...FOR FREE...and will be eagerly awaiting each bone you throw whenever you've got time to throw it. My great relief is that you aren't quitting and going into hiding because you allow God's light and life to shine through each time you share your story with us. Many thanks and prayers!

  3. We are SO MEANT TO BE BFF (and I know I always say that..) but seriously
    Oh Lawsie. We need to play.. what's halfway between middle of nowhere GA, and middle of nowhere MI?

  4. I wanted to tell you a few weeks ago NOT to respond to every email-linked comment...but I did so like getting them from you...

    Do all of the above, and throw in a big helping of SLACK for yourself. Monday-Wednesday-Friday mostly. Sort of. Yeah, that. Ish.

    I don't know how you do it all anyway. And coming from someone who has been asked that question a kajillion times myself, I know intimately the freak out overwhelm feeling. Breathe. Pray. Look at babies.


  5. I could have written this post every day for the last 2.5 years, since the birth of our sweet little #5. For me, my little boy, #5, is the one that is/was the hardest transition back to normalcy. Only just now have I let myself consider homeschooling and am giving it a chance for this school year. Also, we just moved, and that has only compunded my difficulties; a fresh start was what it looked like, but not so much how it feels now that we are getting settled. Same problems, different locale, kwim?

    A working schedule is the same thing I am struggling with (freaking out about?) at the moment, with school starting for us next Tuesday and no routine going in our home. Also, who decided 24 hours in a day was sufficient!?

    Hang in there, everything will come around.Just keep praying and take it in stride.

  6. I have a three-month-old (and two-year-old) and just realized this week that the baby still needs a birth certificate, ha. Glad I am not the only one who drops the ball on stuff like that. And to everything else you said, Yes, Amen! I'm a new reader... will be praying for you and your family and looking forward to mon/wed/fri posts :)

  7. I think it's officially freak out season for many homeschool moms, me included! A moms only cruise is my current daydream :) I'm impressed that you've even considered getting a birth certificate...I don't even have ones for my 4yr old and 2yr old yet!

  8. Don't move. That would give you way too much blog fodder.

    Yay for boundaries! I only blog when I want to - much saner. :)

  9. You're in survival season. You hate survival season. Everyone hates survival season because it's icky and we don't like it.
    But you'll cut back what needs to be cut back and focus on what needs to be focused on, and one day you'll look around and realize you can breathe again and that you survived survival season.

  10. Give yourself a break! You just had a baby! That warrants at least a 6 week maternity leave if you were working outside the home, and legally you can take up to 12 without getting fired. The kids will live if you're a bit lazy about school. Take a few months to settle into being a family of 7, and get serious after Christmas. Your kids seem pretty smart, as long as they're not spending all day in front of the tv, their brains won't turn to mush :) as for cleaning, I assign two chores per kid. Older girl vacuums and cleans the kitchen, younger girl dusts and cleans the bathrooms, every day, that way if they do a less than great job, who cares? I do clutter control and cooking. Maybe assign one girl the kitchen, one girl the living room and bathroom, Paul and Cecilia picking up toys in the playroom. That takes a little off you. Easy for me to say, I have two kids :) although I did this when I was a single mom, and my daughter was scrubbing the toilet at two, standing on a stool doing dishes at 3, and doing laundry at 5. Her having to help was just a fact of life. She was rather shocked to find that other kids didn't have to do those things!

  11. Number 5 kicked my butt real hard. Just so you know, her older siblings are all honor students now in high school and college, so my lack of homeschooling diligence did them no harm. And she (number 5) is now the sweetest of sweet 12 year olds who really helps me out with 6,7,8,and 9. Accept that schedules are guidelines really, otherwise you will fail every day. The house will always look lived it, try to avoid squalor best you can (like don't let squalor stay more that 3 days in a row). In my experience, lots of little kids + home school + feeding, cleaning etc, = triage on an hourly basis, and the sooner peace is made with that, the better you will feel. Prayers and blessings. You are doing a good job, really you are.

  12. Take all the time you need. It's super hard to keep up with blogging, especially with a new baby and children that need motherin'. My blogging schedule's all over the place and the new baby doesn't even get here until next week. Oh boy. Just know that when you write, we will read. No worries and lots of prayers. And maybe a beer or ten?

  13. You must not get my email with my comments. Here it is:

    Now, I expect regular email replies to my comments. EVERY TIME. Because, you don't have enough to do with FIVE children, including a newborn and a two year old.

    But, as long as we're talking about getting things done around the house....check out my latest blog post about a work co-op. But only when you have the time.

    I feel pressed for time and the effort to get things done, and my kids are grown (OK, they still live with us), I am retired, and I don't have huge time commitments like volunteering, etc. So you have to give yourself a pass on this. Take it from your older sister of the heart: Ease up on yourself.

  14. Didn't anyone tell you my rule for new moms? You get a free pass on housework for 6 months! I know there are some things that MUST happen for your home to remain habitable, but the pass is for VISITORS -- a reminder to lower the expectations, for cryin' out loud, because you just grew and are busy feeding a new human being.

  15. Geez Dweej- you are such a slacker. Why can't you conquer the world with one hand behind your back and a baby on your hip?? Everyone else does. ;)


    I am so with you sister. Your plan sounds good. I'm lucky to blog even three times a week, and I'll tell ya what- I haven't seen a drop in my blog stats at all. Worry not- we'll all still be here even if you don't get here as often as you'd like. I know that I don't expect an email answer to the comments I leave, so don't feel like that's an obligation! We know you read our comments, even if you can't respond. I've never responded to all my commenters- just don't have the time. But of course I read them all, and I guess I just expect my readers know that.

    You are awesome, awesome, awesome. Even when you are crazy behind and feel crazy overwhelmed and just plain...well... crazy. You are crazy awesome. :)

  16. Number 5 was a big transition for us too, and now she's a big helper with numbers 6, 7, 8, 9, & 10.

    And yes, you can get your kids and yourself on a schedule. Mostly. Sorta. When the baby is a little older and you are not hyperventilating about laundry.

    Country Mouse said take it easy and pick it up after Christmas. That is a good idea. If you feel up to it in October, you could even start picking it up around Halloween. Just don't try to start between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, because it will not work. Trust me on that one.

  17. Oh, {BIG HUG} for you Dweej :)
    I totally hear you! I feel exactly the same way! So many good things to do and never enough time to do them! I need to figure out how to dial back my business too.
    The only part I can't relate to is WANTING to move! Ack! My husband is itching to move and do exactly what you guys did. But I like not packing and living in transition mode for months on end... ;) Though, I did really appreciate the fresh start, when we moved 2yrs ago. After unpacking, I was able to keep my house clean for MONTHS! Then clutter creeps in...

    About the schedule, I did have one a while ago and it life really was beautiful! Then I took on a big order, kids got sick of school (mostly b/c I kept just setting books in front of them and saying, "Do it!"), I got pregnant and SUPER tired, then miscarried and I've been struggling to get it all back together since then... I feel like each week is slightly better than the week before. But we're not where we need to be. I know what I need to do to get back there. It starts with going to bed and getting up on time, then starting my day with prayer ( is great!). Also, I think what helped was to set certain activities in stone. Breakfast starts at 9 (yeah, we get a slow start) almost no matter what (and if kids don't have chores done, they don't get breakfast! They only dawdled on chores once...), Lunch is a more flexible time depending on how school goes. Then we pray the Divine Mercy chaplet @ 3. The littles are usually napping at that time, so it makes it easier. I'd like to be stricter about what time we eat lunch, that might help too. That way if the morning gets out of control, I can reign things in and start over in the afternoon.

    Currently, my day looks almost nothing like this. I'm tired, bone tired. So summoning up the will to herd my cats, doesn't happen often. We stick to the basics and get through the day and slowly, little by little, I'm putting the pieces back in place :)

    I'll keep you all in my prayers! God doesn't want you to feel overwhelmed, so He'll give you the tools to figure it out!

  18. I swear I just wrote the same thing yesterday. It must be a fifth child thing, 'cause I don't remember feeling this way with the others. But I could be blocking the bad memories. lol Hang in there, we'll manage!

  19. That picture makes me laugh every time! I need to print it out and frame it.

  20. I am definitely feeling the same way, and I only have 3! I'm panicked and stressed too, because I do NOT want to go back to the hospital and work, I want to make money by staying home and writing, gosh dangit!

  21. I swear I was in the middle of replying with something truly witty but also most supportive.....but I just put my foot in some stray noodles on the floor, and I am pretty sure this is honey all over my keyboard. pretty sure. hoping.
    Also, the hubby is doing the dishes while I peruse a few blogs and I should probably feel pretty guilty about that. I don't. And eldest is looking for some clean underwear. Um...good luck with that my boy.
    So um, yeah...carry on. No need to call. We're all fine here. :)
    (a little prayer is always a good thing though.)

  22. BREATHE!!!! Good luck with the schedule, I have tried that many times and failed. I think we'd flourish on a schedule, too, but I just can't seem to stick with it. We have a very loose one now.

  23. Well, first - breathe.

    Secondly, do not even worry about blogging and replying to comments. If you have to do anything online, do the paid work stuff first. The rest can follow IF you have time. Also, yes, schedule that in. Put a timer on. No exceeding time allowed.

    Thirdly, get the girls to do the laundry. I honestly wish my oldest was old enough to do some housework because lordy, we all know how that gets on top of us and soon, there'll be small people (and big people) walking around nekkid because there were no clean clothes.

    And (see how bossy I get when people ask for advice?) - do the homeschool stuff one thing at a time. One child/ one grade at a time. Do a little every day and it'd get done eventually.


  24. You are definitely on the right track! And so correct to feel overwhelmed. Can the kids help with the chores and housework? Mine all have specific chores every week. Getting them on a schedule is great - but also realizing that some days the exact schedule doesn't work out. If you feel too committed to the schedule and it goes awry for whatever reason, you can have a tendency to then feel even MORE overwhelmed. I think the key is having some flexibility in your mind. I have 5 kids and I also homeschool. I totally get it. However, that being said, mine are now older (I think my youngest is probably the same age as your 2nd daughter). For school - just stick with the basics for now - you can add the extras as you go along. Also, I am a list person. I read somewhere that you should put even teeny-tiny tasks on a list (stuff you KNOW you will get done that day) just to have the experience of crossing things off. Somehow, it makes you feel like you accomplished something just to cross it off the list. Definitely give up the daily blogging and the email responses - you have tiny people and we all get that. This is a season and it will pass....! Hang in there.

  25. Aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh! <-----that is me sympathizing with you. Umm Schedule? Yes! and no. but mostly yes. In fact yes, definitely yes. But don't do what I do and have a brain explosion when things aren't happening at the EXACT times they are supposed to. More like... blocks of time... in a specific order, with a specific purpose for each person, arranged around such things as meals and naptimes. Yes, that sounds pretty good doesn't it? I think I can do that... err...
    (just sympathizing again. really. totally not freaking out right now. At. All.)

  26. sometimes you just have to step away and breathe. re-focus. if it takes a day, 7, month, whatev...just roll with it. Your babies are only little once, everything else will get done (or it won't) and life will go on. personally, schedules really work for me, but everyone is different so just figure out what works best for YOU and don't apologize. God bless and just for the record, this is an overwhelming time of year for lots of Mamas and Papas (and Christmas and end of school), so lots of company! Hang in there. :-)

  27. Schedule shmedule! Sounds like crazy talk to me :) but you will figure it all out. SUPER DWEEJ!

  28. Ok you have got to be the funniest mom of 5~homeschooler~cathlic~goatgiving up kind of gal ever. You can't give up on blogging because you are gifted. But I can guarantee a few'll find you crazy groove with five kids soon, and you won't know how you ever did anything different. Your house will probably always be a little messy, because you live there, oh and so do your kids....(the real mess makers right??) And your to do list will always have items on them. I just became a Mom of 5 August 9th, my kids are ages 8 and under and we homeschool....or do some sort of learning type thing at home. Hang in there.
    Oh and the schedule thing? Yeah we have one, but I like to call it more of a routine. I honestly do try and get certain things started or done at a certain time. But I find if I rely too much on a schedule I get stressed out that we aren't on schedule. So if school starts around 9ish (unless said newborn is screaming) and lunch happens at noonish...well it's all good. If those two are reversed....well we might have problems...


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