There's always a list five miles long and growing, either in the form of three haphazardly scribbled notes on my kitchen counter or a buzzy, distracting mental list in the back of my mind. Which must be why my brain short circuits a few times a day. I feel like my phone when it blinks annoyingly at me and tells me I'm running low on storage space. Join the club, buddy.
There are those incredibly sweet people out there who think I'm super mom or ask how in the world I "get it all done?" Yes, I raise four babies, I make all their food from scratch most of the time, I take them out for little adventures and field trips or to eat lunch as a family, I run this blog, I work occasionally from home (I'm a writer by profession), I'm building up to relaunch my Etsy shop where I sell handmade jewelry, I'm decorating and managing a new-to-us home (much larger than I'm used to and a lot more upkeep *happy sigh*) and all the other odds and ends that come with family life (doctor appointments times four, vet visits for pets, home maintenance, yard work, etc.). I'm nearly constantly in motion from the time I get up to the time I go to bed, and I determine how many glasses of wine to drink each night by how fast my left eye is twitching at day's end. More twitches equal more wine.
Right now, the
~ I Don'ts ~
*I don't always brush my teeth before I go to bed.
*I don't always clean the kitchen at the end of the day. Many, many times I turn off the kitchen lights and pronounce the day is done. When the babies are sleeping and one of my favorite TV shows is on the DVR and my husband and I are both tired, I leave the dishes where they are, I turn away from the dirty counter tops, I don't pull the laundry out of the dryer and we retreat to our living room and relax.
*I don't spend all my spare time running errands and, instead, order a million things on Amazon. We even get ziploc bags and toothpaste on there. Cuts down on time spent in the grocery store.
*I don't change clothes when I wake up sometimes. On more occasions than I care to admit, I put on a fresh t-shirt to sleep in at night then add yoga pants or workout shorts in the morning and wear that all day. There's a sick satisfaction in the evening when I go to shower and drop my clothes in the dirty laundry, knowing they've been used to their fullest and deserve a good wash. Ha.
*I don't diet. I just don't. (Though I try to eat more of exactly what I feed the kids since I make sure they have a balanced meal plan.)
*I don't take the kids with us every where we go. We try to get them outside of the house at least twice a week and sometimes going for a walk has to count. The husband and I are very strategic when we do plan outings to help it go smoothly and ensure the babies get the most out of it. Occasionally they come with us to Costco or Kroger or for lunch with grandparents, and we are becoming more brave about attending family and friend events, but those are also kept to a limit.
*I don't drink coffee. At all. I love the smell of freshly brewed coffee but don't like the flavor, plus it makes my stomach hurt. While I have a fully-stocked Keurig for my hot teas and for family to enjoy coffee, I drink Coke most mornings. One Coke a day and that's it.
*I don't worry about laundry stains. It's a weird thing, but it just doesn't bother me. Stains happen, especially on the quad's clothes. So I spray them with organic stain remover when I get around to it and just hope for the best. Oddly enough, the majority of them wash clean without a problem—even bright red berries smashed into a onesie.
*I don't rely on always having people around to help me. I know that I can make it through an entire day on my own with all four kids and I can do that however long I need to. I can load them all into the car myself and run drive-through errands or go get a Coke or something if I start to get stir crazy and need to leave the house. That said, I'm blessed to have a very supportive family and super-involved grandparents for the quads that come around willingly—especially on and off during the week when the husband is working and barely sees the babies before bed. And we found a wonderful nanny that we now have two mornings a week.
*I don't beat myself up when I feel like I didn't get it all done. Recently, I've begun working out again. I had grand aspirations to work out three times a week and thought that was fairly attainable. It's harder than I thought and some days I'm so tired and sore just from handling the kids that I can't even think about it. But I let it go because it's all a process and every effort counts - even when the effort was nothing but good intentions!
*I don't (or try not to) work until I drop. There's no point in running myself into the ground day after day after day. I want to be a good mother to my kids and be involved in what they're doing on the daily and I don't want to get so caught up in remedial tasks like laundry and dishes that I wear myself out and become oblivious to the little things I enjoy so much. Some days this is easier said than done!
*I don't wear makeup every day. Thought I can't imagine this is much of a surprise after my confession about how long I wear a t-shirt! If we're going somewhere, then I do put in a little effort, but many times a hat will do me.
*I don't deep clean my house. Granted it's a new house for us and there's still dust in places from the repair work we had done prior to moving in, but I do maintenance cleaning. Eventually we'll hire a maid service to come once a month and when that happens, I'll smile a big fat happy grin.
*I don't usually go to bed early. The evenings are my time to spend how I choose! A late errand, working on a deadline, dinner with the husband at home, catching up on our TV shows or renting a movie, running out for frozen coconut yogurt (my newest obsession) or whatever. When we sleep trained our kids, we put them on our schedule. So they don't wake up at 6am! My alarm clock goes off at 7:15am and then I'm up and running.
*I don't wash my hair everyday. Since it's thick and curly, I can get away with washing it two or three times a week at most.
*I don't hesitate to feed my kids Chick-Fil-A. It's the one fast food restaurant that I feel provides somewhat healthy and otherwise respectably prepared food and we eat it about once to even twice a week. Generally, Chick-Fil-A runs are reserved for when we (me with the husband or my nanny) have taken the kids out somewhere in the morning and are barely getting back in time for lunch. This saves me time and effort once we're home, food is ready to serve!
So there's you an honest list of I don'ts. What don't you do?
P.S. All photos taken by yours truly at a recent indoor play ground outing with the quads.
P.P.S My Stella & Dot online jewelry trunk show ends at 11:59pm CST Sunday, Aug. 18 and so does my Stella & Dot giveaway! Click here to shop online and here to enter my giveaway.