Friday, September 23, 2011

My Greatest Weakness

I have a confession to make.  I'm not perfect.  Nope, not superwoman, not supermom.  In fact, I'm only human. 

My biggest flaw is that I lack the superpower to stretch time.  I do in fact only have 24 hours in the day, without exception.  I even have to waste some of that time sleeping and, upon occasion, going to the bathroom (although that is a speedy process.  Somehow, going to the bathroom is a guaranteed way to start children screaming in the other room or draw them to me.  No privacy for Mom!).

With these ridiculous time constraints, it is a sad fact that I don't get everything done.  With kids (who don't even go off to school to give me a "break" to get more done), homeschooling, taking the kids to dance or soccer or whatever, taking care of the garden, putting up stuff for the winter, taking care of the husband, dishes, laundry, and routine cleaning (oh, and there is that little blog thing I do), each day's to-do list frequently spills over into the next day.  I have to have priorities.

Obviously, the kids come first.  I have to make sure they have clothes and food daily, make sure they get where they need to go, and on top of that I'm legally required to see that they get some sort of education (well, the 6 year old I'm legally required to.  The younger ones are more of a moral obligation at this point). 

Next, I need to take care of the garden and the processing of food.  Funny thing about real food--it rots.  If you don't get to it in time, it goes bad.  It isn't like those McDonald's burgers or Twinkies that will wait for years for you to get around to doing something with them and even then would probably still be okay.  Nope.  With fresh food, you have a matter of days before you are S.O.L. if you haven't done something with it by then.  That makes this time of year super busy for me.  Being in Michigan, the growing season is almost completely over.  I have maybe another month before the fresh food is gone.  Completely gone.  Well, unless I do something drastic like set up a garden with some grow lights and space heater in the garage or something (which I'm actually considering).  So right now, for the next few weeks, I am swamped, constantly trying to defeat the evil hunger monsters, or at least poor-quality-food-we-had-to-buy-at-the-store monsters.  Yesterday, I put up 7 more quarts of pears and need to go back to the "pear place" as my son calls it today to see if more have dropped.  I also put up 7 quarts of tomatoes, possibly the last tomatoes I'll get to can (plain, anyway) for the year.  I didn't get around to the apple-tomato salsa I wanted to make or the ground cherry jam I needed to do.  Those got bumped onto today's to-do list as well (silly soccer practice seriously cut into my canning time!). 

So now what I had been planning for the day, getting the house cleaned up and get caught up on folding laundry, got pushed back again.  That's been happening a lot lately.  Unlike the kids and the fresh food I need to see about storing, clutter keeps.  Unfortunately.  No matter how much I stall on doing it, it is always there waiting.  Not only that, but it gets worse.  With three little ones, boy does it get worse!  Even in the winter, when I have far more time to clean, I can clean one room, start working in another, go back to the first room to put something away, and discover that it looks like I never did it in the first place!

Some of the other moms at my son's soccer practice were discussing how they, without there gardens and with much older children that don't puke toys everywhere, were thinking about getting a cleaning service to come in once a week or so, to do all those little things that they don't get around to.  I wish I had that option.  Life would be much less frustrating and downright depressing if I had a little help like that.  They were talking about what a great deal it would be for them to do this and it's "only" about $60 a time they come out.  I deflated when I heard that.  There is no way I could justify that in my budget.  Sometimes it sucks being thrifty.

Well, like I said, the kids and the food won't keep, but the messes will, so I guess I'll just keep plugging away and get things done when I can.  Winter will be here to let me catch up soon enough.  I guess.


  1. so true, so true, lol! same at my house, only we are in Spring so my to-do-list is a little different. Recently we were given a huge box of apples and I was planning on making apple sauce with them, but they didn't keep. :(

  2. You are quite the inspiration. All you can do is do what you can and try not to stress about the rest. May you be blessed with peace and strength.


  3. Hang in there! I just laugh when I hear people talk like that---even if I had the money, I don't think I'd have a housekeeper (okay okay maybe if I lived in a mansion, haha, just dreamin right?)

  4. I know this wouldn't work for you right now, but I seem to remember you saying you might be moving before the next growing season. If you do, you might want to consider offering a room to a student learning child development in return for a certain number of hours of housework and/or childcare each month. I did this when I turned eighteen, and lived with a wonderful family for six months at no cost while I finished high school. I was nanny to their three year old and helped out with housework and yard work.

    Also consider WWOOF, a community of volunteers who want to learn organic farming. Homesteads are allowed in the program, even small ones, and the volunteer will come and stay with you for a few days to two weeks and help/learn. Most of the volunteers are more than happy to crash on a couch during their stay.

  5. Those ideas would be great if we had the room, but we don't and we just signed a lease for another year here, so it will be quite a while before they might.