I get asked several times a day "How do you do it?!?!"
I'm not sure people really want to know or if they're just rephrasing their initial comment "You sure have your hands full."
So, how do you do it... with coffee and a smile. There it is, there's my trick. lol
Okay okay, there's a little more to it. This is how I do it, not the only way to do it.
1) With the help of my husband. I hit the jackpot with this one. He is so willing to step in and relieve me the minute he gets home. I want to be the "perfect" stay at home mom and have the kids clean, smiling, dinner ready, house cleaned, laundry done at 6:31 pm when he walks through the door... but, the reality is, he often comes home to me rushing to not burn dinner, no dinner at all, calling him on the way to pick something up. House a wreck, laundry on the bed (at least it's clean, right?), and at least one kid screaming in time out for hitting his brother. So, I have to swallow my pride and ask him for specific ways to help me. He doesn't always know what I need, bless his heart for trying to anticipate what my needs are. But, I've learned to stop justifying all the things I did that day or feeling bad about my to do list that fell apart at 9:30am... I just give him a dirty hug and say welcome home.
2) I try to stay organized. As previously stated, some days my to do list completely falls apart before it's first check mark. But, I try. I plan my training so well, I decided to take a stab at planning house duties. So far, it's helping. Of course I don't execute it perfectly all the time, but I set goals and try to hit them. Let my clarify, I set reasonable, achievable (on a good day) goals. Meal plan, prep days, grocery lists. Dinner 3 times a week, planned leftovers, planned meals out. Laundry days planned instead of letting it all pile up... If I wait until we need to I just want to curl up in a ball and cry into dirty socks.. and let me tell you, there are a lot of socks, really little ones.. every.where. :)
3) I strive to replace lies with truth. Here are the lies I struggle with:
-You are alone. There is a definite sense of isolation right now. I feel like I do it to myself, and it's happened naturally. I don't have a lot of foster friends that relate to me. I've yet to meet a foster mom training for an ironman... lol So, the truth.. Sure, my life is different, I'm not as social as I once was, but I am not alone. I have an extremely supportive family and amazing friends. Plenty of people willing to jump in my world with me. Again, I have to invite them in, and get specific. People don't know what I need, they don't want to intrude... I'm only alone if I want to be. And the obvious, my Lord is always with me. I am never alone!
-You are doing a bad job, you're slow, you're not a good triathlete, you're a terrible mom. Total failure ... This is my negative nancy point. The state of my home isn't a reflection to my worth as a stay at home mom. The amount of meals I cook doesn't make me a bad or good wife. My marathon time is just a number. So I didn't win, I am improving, and I am doing it! I give my all every day to everything I do... I just don't have more to give in some areas. I am trying to be balanced with it all for my sanity.. not for approval.
4) Striving to know the truth. I believe our truth is the written Word of God. The Bible. I'll be honest, I struggle with studying it, I don't have a desire to learn greek... But, I need to be disciplined and equipped. So, our new bed time routine is electronics off and shut the house down by 9:45. Jake reads a chapter (We are in John now) and we go to bed. It has helped me rest so much better, and helps me wake up feeling refreshed. For me, if it's not on the calendar right now, it's not happening.
5) Knowing and resting in the truth frees me from worry. The Lord knows what He's doing.. I don't know what will happen with fostering, or our family, or today. I do know it will all be okay. I am learning to do my part and let the rest go.
6) Celebrate! We celebrate little things and big things around the Piatt house. I celebrate myself. Some days/weeks really do go according to plan. I hit my goals in all areas, and I celebrate, each little and big check mark. Making it through one meal without someone throwing their milk cup at me, YES! No biting *or attempted biting today, ICE CREAM for everyone! No night mares. Saying please and thank you... Any form of listening or making a good choice is celebrated around here. Reaching a goal. Finishing laundry. Good attitudes. No shoes off in the car. I feel like a really lame cheerleader most days, but it helps. It helps remind me little victories are just as important as big ones. With three two year olds I say NO a lot, it's an age of constant correcting, and it can get me and the kids down really quick. I want to celebrate my kids during this season, even when it's hard.
7) Cry often. I'm not normally a crier.. but, when I feel the need to cry, I let it all out. My Mim always says, "tears are healing." I've grown to agree with that one. Lots of ugly crying going on these days. Some joyful and some overwhelming sorrow tears as well.
8) Stress relief. For me, it's training and racing. I get to accomplish fun goals, work hard, and spend time with my dad. I love training with friends and motivating people to reach their goals.
9) Smile. Really, force a smile, it'll eventually catch on. Laugh often, hug and kiss the ones you love and let it go. In the grand scheme of things it's probably not so bad. I tend to blow things out of proportion. Not everything is a 10 (on the 1-10 crisis scale). I've learned to try and function at around a 4. Smiling, praying for joy, and a change of perspective can really take you a long way. **Some things really are a 10, but that's a post for another day.
10) coffee. coffee. coffee. No, but really.