I’m no Martha Stewart…

I had a melt down today and lost it with my kids. I yelled and lectured and yelled and lectured. It is not something that happens very often but I had let things build up to the point that I just exploded. I admitted something to myself. I am a working mother. There. I said it. And I can’t do it all, all of the time.

I am blessed to be able to work from home but it is still a job. I didn’t start my blog with the intention of it becoming a business. But when it started to morph into that, I was okay with it because lets face it, with 3 layoffs in 2 years our household could use the income (albeit small). But I am still coming to terms with the fact that because of the added time put towards the blog, I have to cut out some of the other stuff. Like cleaning….

My house use to be so clean. Seriously clean. I was very proud of how sanitized everything was. It wasn’t just picked up, it was SPOTLESS. I probably had a little too much pride about that. But oh how the mighty have fallen.

I also looked at my sons end of year report card and realized we didn’t turn in the last two months worth of reading calenders.  And I can’t remember if we turned in his homework packet on Monday….. He did read and he did do his homework. I just stink at reminding him to turn it in I guess.

We had a special family meeting tonight where we talked about us needing to work together.  I apologized for getting so upset earlier. And we decided together that the boys needed more chores. My husband (who does the dishes more than I do anyway) said he would do the dishes…. all the time. Forever. I about died. I hate dishes more than anything in the world! He already does quite a bit of cleaning around the house but he also said he would (wait for it….) fold all the laundry.

I must have been really scarey when I freaked out earlier :P

I am new to this working thing. I am used to being able to focus 100% of my time on my kids and house. So I am still trying to figure it out. I just barely admitting that I HAVE A JOB. Admitting it is the first step, right? So I want all of you who work from home, out of the home, part time, or full time to tell me HOW YOU DO IT? How did you let go of the fact that you could no longer do all you want to do? I would love to still be able to actually do it all. The cleaning, the bread baking, the volunteering at the school, yard work, etc….AND the blogging.

But I can’t.


Any advice?  (and remember, be nice)




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  1. says

    Stacy, I know I can’t be the only one who can fully empathize and commiserate with you. I used to work full time out of the home, then I was a full time Mom and homemaker and now that I blog full time, I can honestly say that blogging full time makes it harder for me to stay on top of house stuff than when I worked out of the home. It’s weird. I’m still trying to get a good routine and rhythm down to balance all my priorities and responsibilities. A friend told me just today that I need to have my family help out more. While this I knew, it is something else entirely to implement. She said, “Put your Mom foot down!” And I’ve been trying to but it’s ineffective apparently. I think it’s because of a few things (in my case): I don’t like repeating myself over and over and over which seems I have to do before my kids start to even think about doing what I asked them to; and just as the realization of “I can’t do it all myself” is a hard pill for me to swallow, probably also is “I have to do more chores?!?!” is hard for my kids. I can only hope it just takes getting used to and it may require a few melt downs on the way (I’ve had a few) to get the point across. :) I’m sure you’ll have better success transitioning than I have had :) And when you’ve figured it out, I’ll be expecting a “How-to” post from you :)

  2. says

    I’ve worked outside the home all my adult life, so leaving your home when it’s time to go to work is just that. You leave, no matter how undone things at home are.

    Once I became home based, that changed. It was really hard to sit and work while chaos existed around me and continued to grow.

    Today? I work 2 jobs from home (blogging and the dayjob) and the most important part is… when it’s work time, you work.

    Designating work hours does help. It adds balance to an otherwise very full schedule. Let’s face it, blogging is NEVER done so you have to be ok with some things not getting done and moving on when the clock says so. It’s the same with housework. You just have to leave things for another day or until evening or whatever.

    The beauty of self employment is you can juggle the schedule so you can attend those sports events with the kids and then do your blogging after you return home or once the kiddos are in bed if need be.

    Self employment is a wonderful thing, but it does take extreme discipline which isn’t always easy. Artists tend to like to fly by the seat of their pants (hand raised) so it’s hard to fit into a box at times. But dividing your day into sections truly allows you to touch base with everything… even if it doesn’t all get done that day.

    There’s always tomorrow. :)


  3. says

    I hired a house cleaner twice a month. It’s the best $150 I spend a month. I can focus on my work and my husband and it’s a huge relief off my back. If I have to cut out fun things in the budget I do so I can pay the cleaner and I can breathe easier.

  4. says

    I think the best advice I can give (having been in your situation!) is to learn to say no. I still have a hard time with it but you need to make a list of the things that are most important to you and say no to everything else. When I was working my oldest was really struggling with her reading at school and I had no idea. When I found out I was crushed. I’d been saying yes, yes, yes, to clients, and no to making sure my daughter got the appropriate amount of help with her homework. You’ll figure it out, and you have a great family to support you!

  5. says

    I’m typing this comment underneath mounds of yarn for a project, dirty laundry, cookie crumbs and dirty dishes.

    In other words, I feel your pain.

    You’re entitled to a melt-down every once in a while… and I think it’s great that your family is willing to pitch in and help! Don’t beat yourself up, you are probably doing a lot better than a lot of other people out there. And of course, there are plenty of people that can relate and sympathize. :)

  6. says

    It’s funny because people ask me how I have time to do it all and honestly, I have no idea. Wife, Homemaker, Kids, Full time school, blog (super small in the blog world) and everything else life has to offer. I think you just find a routine. A friend suggested last night doing a 20 mi nute house cleaning session with her hubby every night before they settle down for the evening. They play music and pick up everything they can in that 20 minute session, sounds like something that would work so I’m going to give it a shot. OH!!!! BUT, since your hubby is offering to do the dishes….maybe you can figure out how to get him to do the laundry too :) And let me know how you did it so I can start working on my hubby. Good luck! You’re fabulous.

  7. Leslie says

    I spent a few months in the last year as a SAHM. My house looked awesome….as awesome as our rental could look. It was clean. I had fresh baked cookies every week. Now I’m back to working full time, and the house does suffer a bit. My daughter is only three, so I’m trying to teach her to keep her toys contained to her room unless she is actively playing with them outside of her room. We typically have a once-over each night before she goes to bed where toys make their way back to her room. I’ve had to learn that I cannot be so obsessive about the cleanliness anymore because the quality of the time I spend with my family will suffer. I allow myself 2 cleaning-freak-outs a week. On the weekend, I allow myself to do the turn-the-furniture-upside-down cleaning bit where I seriously get down and dirty, er clean before I shower on Saturday morning. After I shower, no heavy cleaning allowed. Family time from there on out. During these hard-core cleaning sprees, my husband typically plays with my daughter and keeps out of my hair. I clean hard and then I’m done. Because I’m limiting myself to these two hard-cleaning times, I pick up as I go. Things that are not being used get put away. Counters are cleaned several times throughout the day (can’t keep that stupid cat off the counter!) and dishes are done as I go. At the end of the night, I make sure things are picked up so I can stumble through the house sleepily without getting frustrated or hurt. We have a very small house so it isn’t too hard to keep picked up. One room gets to be a disaster – the office. We don’t use internet at home right now, so we don’t spend much time in there anyway, so it acts as a holding room for projects, donation items, etc. and where my daughter sleeps in her toddler bed if we have company that needs to use the queen we have in her bed. One day, I hope to get it in order, but until then, I just breathe deeply until I pass. :)

  8. says

    Every mother/wife has been there. Whether you work out of the house, work from home,, are a full time mommy…whatever. We all try to do “it all”, and it’s impossible. We’re people-pleasers by nature, and most of us have a hard time saying no. And then there’s the mommy guilt. I work full time as an engineer, and I’m blogging. So you can imagine how clean my house is. I’m going to get a cleaning service as soon as we move (damn short sale).

    It seems to me like you aren’t making any me time. I know, you don’t have any time left over. But it has to be done. Pencil in 30 minutes a day for yourself. Even if it’s just extra time in the bathroom after your shower. Yoga help me a lot.

    Please keep your head up and stay strong. Not to stress you out more, but you have tons of women looking up to you every day. Take care of yourself, and you’ll be a better mom/wife.

    OMG, just call me the kettle…

  9. says

    THANK YOU for being so real!! And remember, Martha Stewart didn’t have a perfect life either…her marriage didn’t survive her career and let’s not forget that little stint in prison. It is so hard to balance everything in life. I struggle every day trying to figure it out. My husband and I have had several small businesses that we’ve run out of our home. I have never been just a stay at home mom, although I’ve always gotten to stay home. It’s been a constant back and forth in keeping priorities aligned. And I find that priorities shift. If I spend mounds of time on business stuff for a couple of days, I try to step back for a couple more and focus on family. And trust me…I have my fair share of melt downs too. My kids can attest to that! It’s so hard to compare ourselves in what appears to be so beautiful in internet-land. But, I am completely guilty of arranging my photos away from the mess! Hang in there…you’re doing an amazing job!!!

  10. says

    Oh how I love you for this post! I work full-time outside the house, then I do the rest of life in a few short hours a day and on weekends. No matter how perfect I want to be, I am not. I am getting better at being OK with that. Asking the hubby and kids is really hard for those of us who wish we were perfect…but it does help. I don’t like to ask for help but after enough of those kinds of meltdowns I have started to get past that. What I do instead is ask for help in small doses at designated times. I don’t ask when their favorite show is on – although DVR helps! lol I ask for 3-10 minutes at a time. Or I ask dear hubby to set aside an afternoon on a weekend to help me with a few specific projects – then I make a list of those projects and make sure the stuff is handy so he can just get to work and do it. I also borrow teenagers in the family – they don’t mind doing labor for a day in exchange for a trip to the ice rink or whatever fun stuff – or food! I do the list for them too – most of the time they get it done so much faster than if I hovered telling them every step. And even the 3-year-old is capable of racing us for 3 minutes to see who can pick up toys the fastest and his sister can help him change the linens on their bed and put their clothes away. And honestly, 90% of the time if the house is a mess then its only us that is seeing it. And I’ve weeded out the people who care if things aren’t up to their standard – that’s their problem not mine. The days of the kids being around making a mess will be short compared to the years alone once they are gone and so I have to sit down and play and make a mess and take a walk while we still can – in a few short years they will be teenagers and won’t want to spend that time with me and I’ll have plenty of time to redecorate and scrub grout and look back on the fun times when they were little and wanted me…

  11. says

    My mom has this complex. And I’m going to tell it to you. MARTHA STEWART ISN’T MARTHA STEWART. She has an entire TEAM of people working at her home, on her show, putting together her “dinner parties”. She has an unending supply of old barn wood to make her crap with. She has unlimited resources due to sponsors, or because of her absurd wealth. She’s a good face for the company, she has the “relief society president” voice and presence so she looks like she does everything. If Martha Stewart had to do everything herself she’d be a disaster.
    Her company has some good ideas, but it’s that, her entire company, not one person. Another time I was watching a special on Oprah about how clean your house has to be. Oprah said most people wash their sheets once a week. But she “prefers them washed every two days”. OF COURSE SHE DOES. She doesn’t have to wash them. Her maid does. Or someone on her team does. I’d prefer a lot of things if I had an entire team to do them for me.
    Anywhoo, my two cents, not even martha is martha! Something to remember!

  12. says

    I still haven’t come to the realization that I can’t do it all, all of the time. And I don’t even have kids yet.

    I’ll hit bottom eventually, I know. And I’ll probably have to come to this post and read it again and all of the comments.

    • says

      I feel like I want to clarify: I feel like I should be able to do it all, all the time, and I can’t, and it makes me so so so so angry, so I keep trying. And trying, and trying, and trying.

  13. says

    Cut yourself some slack, Stacy. There’s not a mother alive who hasn’t lost her cool with her kids at one time or another. You have the added stress of working from home, which is a difficult thing for kids to really grasp. Listen, if you were working in an office and your kids showed up, causing all sorts of distractions, you wouldn’t be beating yourself up for getting cross with them. So realize it’s only natural that sometimes the stress seeps through, and your kids will get over it (probably faster than you will).

    As for juggling it all.. it’s ALWAYS hard. But if you’re holding yourself to a high standard with your blogging job, shouldn’t you give yourself permission to let it slide at home a bit? You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to do what’s basically two full-time jobs: blogging professionally, and keeping a spotless house (especially with four little boys!).

    Try adopting a few new routines that keep the worst messes at bay (think: “Big Chunk Cleaning”), and get the whole family to take 15 minutes each evening to pick up after themselves. Then remember that what your kids need is a mom, not a maid. You’ve got the good mom part down, so just keep reminding yourself of that fact!

  14. Tammy says

    First and foremost, GOOD for you!!! You can’t do it all ~ even if you want to!! You’re HUMAN. You will have good and bad days!

    the best advice I ever got when I started a home-based business in addition to my full-time job is SET “OFFICE” HOURS. Period.

    You can not work on your blog 24/7.
    You need to set hours when you WILL work on the blog and the rest of the time you can divide as you see fit ~ God and family first! THEN chores ~ those dust bunnies will multiply quickly, but who cares!
    your kids will only be little once and when they get bigger, they won’t want you hugging them, snuggling with them, etc. ~ enjoy that time NOW.
    Dust bunnies be darned!

    Here are few tips/tricks to keep up with the housework.
    Have your youngest child be responsible for emptying the waste paper baskets in the bedrooms and bathrooms, oldest person can then be responsible for dumping the heavier kitchen trash…together they can take it out to the trash can outside.
    The last person using the sink at night to brush their teeth gets to use a paper towel and a little bit of pumpy hand soap to wipe out the sink…no more toothpaste blobs or whiskers in the mornings! yay ~
    children can set the table. So what if nothing matches!
    they CAN pour their own cereal while you pack lunches, etc.
    on the weekend (or whenever you do your shopping), make up single serving baggies of any and everything that can be made ahead. Put all those cute little snack sized baggies in a plastic shoe box (dollar store) right in the fridge another right in the cupboard next to your lunch bags, etc. ~ being able to grab and go is awesome and a huge time saver!
    Make LOTS of sandwiches (a couple of loaves of bread worth) and FREEZE them! PBJ, ham, turkey, bologna all with cheese, even ~ works great! (just don’t put the condiments on!

    FREEZER cook~
    when you make dinner, make 2 and freeze 1! or on a weekend day, make 4 of something and freeze 3!
    brown several POUNDS of hamburger overnight in your crockpot ~ I just throw in the usual garlic and onions I would normally brown it with ~ in the morning, skim off the nasty looking fat blob that always forms, chunk it up with a potato masher or wooden spoon. Put 2 cups in zipper bags, squeeze out as much air as possible. Press the heel of your hand into the center so it’s thinnest there (makes for quicker defrosting in the microwave later when you want to use it). When you want tacos, spaghetti sauce, etc., your ground meat is already browned! HUGE time saver!!

    You’re doing great ~ if a little hollering is all it took to get your family more on board the helping train, I say good for you! Well worth it ~ even though you obviously feel bad about it!


  15. says

    First of all, you are human and we all lose it now and then. Dont feel bad. Second, no you can’t do it all and shouldnt try. Sounds like you have a great loving and supportive husband, which is awesome! Having the kids and everyone help out is a wonderful idea. We all do housework in our house. That’s how it should be since we all make a mess. We all dirty laundry and dishes so we all help out. My advice is to rewind and relax. Get a babysitter and have date night often. Get out of the house with the kids on weekends and evenings, go to parks or hiking or out for ice cream or wherever but just get out and go have fun. In 10 years you aren’t going to remember a dirty house or neglected laundry but you will remember the memories you made with your kids!

  16. says

    This is such a hard topic for most moms. I worked outside the home and then realized that my kids were growing up right in front of me and I was missing it. Now I work from home and I am with them more. But here is the deal – when I was out ot the house they did more, they cooked dinner and did dishes (my kids are in their teens) and they did their own laundry. Now that I am home, I am still working but they think they don’t have to help out lit they did before. It’s good to give your kids some responsibilities. When my mom worked I got paid an allowance to make casseroles and freeze them. That way my mom could pull one out in the morning and let it defrost so I could put it in the oven after school. Dinner was ready when she got home. I think it is good for the family to work together and your family sounds like they are doing that. Good Job!

  17. MeganM. says

    Just remember even Martha Stewart had some rough times. So it’s probably a good thing you aren’t like her. ;)

  18. Ruth says

    Thank you for being brave enough to blog about that! I am a SAHM and I feel the same way some weeks and I certainly don’t have deadlines or posts that need to be out at a certain time. Sometimes there are just not enough hours in the week. It’s OK to relax a little and not be the supermom you think everyone expects!

  19. Tracy Lynn says

    <3 & hugs to you for your boldness & honesty, being able to do it all is a MYTH! something suffers and its usually momma. Worst part…? we allow it. Mothering/Wifedom is the ultimate balancing act, Those that "seem " like they can do it all have help, plain & simple. I have been both a mother who works outside the home, and a a stay at home mom who works from home. No matter what its a balancing act, and what is a priority changes daily ( sometimes by the hour) . 2 things come to mind, DO take time for yourself , daily, even if its a 15 minute book/magazine read, when the household is in bed and hubs is snoring beside you, or as someone else said extra tub time… for the days we can really cut loose , well those are truly appreciated!!. Secondly say no, its really ok to not even explain why… . I have a pat answer when I must say no, " I am so very sorry, but my schedule does not allow this right now", its the truth, even if all that is on your schedule is a 5 minute tea break. Take care of your self momma, Much <3

  20. says

    I love reading your posts :) we are SO on the same page….I had a VERYYYY similar freak out 2 weeks ago…it was a Friday night, I had spent the entire day packing up our house to get ready to move, as well as managing a BRAND SPANKIN NEW blog (and i’m sure you know just how much comes with starting a new blog…its like a new baby…super high maintenance) not to mention my volunteer position at my daughters school…and a million things all at once. I looked around, my house was a mess, my kids were fighting over a blanket of all things…and I just absolutely lost it. I felt like I had been walked all over…that all of the hard work I did was for not. That no good deed I did went noticed, but the minute I forgot something, or fell behind on a household task (I am terrible with keeping up on laundry…) I got berated! I felt like my family was ganging up on me and I was nothing more than a respect-less pack mule. I had martyred myself in to just pushing through it all with the “if I don’t do it, no one else will…” then I did the dumb thing of looking around me at other moms… “she goes to the gym every day! if she can..why can’t i?!” or “She always has time to stay at practices and birthday parties…I can’t get my kids settled and back out the door again fast enough so I can run errands in peace….” and I started to lose value in the things I was actually good at. It took me talking to a friend of mine (the everyday at the gym girl) and it was crazy to find out that she has those exact same feelings of lacking she felt bad that she didn’t cook much, and constantly felt disorganized. The lesson I had to learn from it is that You can do ANYTHING but you can’t do EVERYTHING. Not all at once at least. I just can’t be a perfectly lean and toned, well dressed and put together, fashionista with a spotless house, happy healthy well dressed and well behaved kids that eat organic home cooked meals while we discuss life lessons over a civil dinner who runs a successful business and the best blog around…………………….Nobody can…and if they give off the appearance that they do, I can assure you there is a lot more help in the background than you think. The key to sanity with all of this, you can’t compare yourself to anyone else. You have a super successful blog and you are really talented…not only are you talented, your well spoken and you have great intentions. You made the right move to start…you came to the terms that you really are a working mom now…and with that means that you have to have a list of priorities…yes your family is the most important, but don’t sacrifice your own dreams and make a martyr of yourself just so you can have the cleanest house on the block and kids that have you waiting on them hand and foot. They will appreciate you for allowing them to learn basic life skills of self sufficiency…and most importantly, they will respect you for following your dreams. It might not come out right away…and I’m positive you will get a lot of “but johnny never has to do chores and his mom makes cookies every afternoon from scratch!” ya well…Jimmy’s mom also has a housekeeper and spends most of her day shopping and lunching…..When I had my little rant, we laid out some guidelines: my “office hours” are just as important as any other working person…just because I do it from home doesn’t mean the time shouldn’t be respected as such. I would make a schedule for your self… “Mom is at work from 8-2…unless there is an emergency, these hours are to be respected” Make a list of what each family member expects to be done around the house to feel comfortable…what you used to think was important might not even be noticed by anyone else and is a pain to you so you can just stop doing it. Once the list is completed, divvy out the tasks. hold everyone responsible for their specific tasks. Make sure you remind your family that they are all on the same team…sometimes you have to take that “its us against the world” approach for them to realize that working together will help them achieve everyone’s goals of happiness and comfort. Adding some basic organizational tools like calendars, loose schedules, charts and menus will help you at least put some things on auto pilot but there will be days when you collapse in to an unmade bed in a dirty t shirt with unwashed hair at the end of the day and think “ugh I’m a disaster” when that happens…sometimes you have to recount all of the good you do “I have a successful blog…I run a successful business…I am a good mom, even though we had cereal for dinner…Today I did ____ and that is awesome because I did it” and then you go to bed and wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. Its not easy, but its fulfilling and it makes you happy. Keep up the good work. and the very very very best advice I was ever given is this: “The reason people have problems with insecurity is because they are comparing their behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel” Keep your head up momma…your doin a great job :)

  21. says

    I don’t think anyone can “do it all”. I’m the RS pres. at church, and sometimes people say, “How do you do it all?” I answer, “I don’t, my house is a mess.” It’s true! I just can’t do it all, and I have quit trying to do it all. This may sound horrible, but I quit volunteering at school. I cut back on the things that are “luxuries” time-wise. And I STILL can’t do it all. I have a friend who seems to always do it all. She was the head of the PTA, in addition to her church duties. She also volunteered to be the “on-site” representative for the school. But her secret was that she simplified in other areas of life. In some ways I think that would be too boring for me. So I would rather sacrifice some things (like having a spotless house), so that I can do those other little extras that make life more meaningful.

  22. Tara says

    they did experiments with rat mothers some of whom were very attentive mothers (grooming their babies often) and some of whom were inattentive (mostly ignoring their babies except to feed them). when they took the attentive mothers (who had previously raised attentive babies) and exposed them to “stress” (the scent of predators & scarcity of food), those highly attentive mothers became completely inattentive mothers. yah.

  23. says

    I work full time outside of the house, I have two kids 4 and 2 and a house to take care of and I blog. I totally feel your pain but what has worked for me is timing my self. I get to work from home one day of the week so what I do is before starting work I throw a load of laundry in the washwer, and do laundry throw out the day. Nothing gets folded. Than I take my one hour lunch and I set the time on my stove. I give myself an hour to fold clothe, sweep and mop the house. Clean the kitchen and throw dirty dishes in the dish washer. My husband who also works from home in that one our is in charge of washing the bathrooms (because I hate washing bathrooms) and picking up the toys. I do not stop to check e-mail or comments on the blog during that hour is house work. At night after the kids go to bed, my husband will pick up toys again or somethings we have the kids help him pick up the toys. While I clean the kitchen one more time before going to bed.

  24. says

    I work full-time outside of the house. I’m gone from about 7 am – 6 pm every day so I’m 100% with you on not having enough time for everything! This morning when I walked into the kitchen (I hadn’t had a chance to put my shoes on yet) and realized me feet were sticking to the floor. I was grossed out. Then I started thinking about everything I needed to accomplish just so we can go camping this weekend and cleaning the floor didn’t make the list. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to cleaning it and it’s driving me nuts. I wish there was some miracle answer on how to keep it all together … work, family and housework.

  25. says

    I work full-time, 40 hours a week, as a Marketing Director for a company that is 45 minutes from my house. Luckily I DO get to work from home 2 days per week, but I’m working, not doing housework. I’m a TOTAL OCD person with cleaning. My house has to be spotless. It got harder when I had child #3 for sure. I vacuum the main floor every night and mop it twice a week. I just make myself do it. My 11 year old is now in charge of the dishwasher (loading and unloading) and also vacuuming the upstairs twice a week. I do the basement which is carpeted once a week. Typically I do that on Wednesday before I sit down to work for the day and on my “cleaning day”, sunday. I thoroughly clean everything else on Sundays – bathroom scrubbing, washing kitchen cabinets, counters, dusting, washing windows, etc. My hubby helps out with laundry and he is in charge of mowing and outside work. It takes some time to get into a rhythm and figure out what works for you. I try to make all the beds in the morning, but I get up at 5:30 and leave at 7 and have to get three kids ready… not the easiest of tasks so I don’t totally beat myself up if I’m unable to do so. Bedding gets washed once a week on Sundays. With a full house likes ours it really does take teamwork. My younger kids now the drill and if they make a mess they automatically pick it up when done playing. I just drilled that into them. They aren’t perfect and some days they forget, but for the most part they clean up really well after themselves.

  26. Marie says

    Since I haven’t been blessed with children yet, I can’t give you any advice in that area. All I can say is, no one can do it all. No one should be expected to. My mom was a stay-at-home mom during most of my growing up years, and all of us kids still had daily and weekly chores we were expected to do. The way my Mama said it was, the home belonged to all of us, so all of us were responsible for keeping it clean. As for me, I’m a stay-at-home housewife with no kids, and my house gets messy, my dishes go undone sometimes, and Mt. Laundry gets higher than it ever should sometimes. That’s just the way it goes.
    Hang in there! You are a great mom, and you are great at your job. I know you’ll find your balance. :)

  27. says

    Wow, there’s tons of great comments on here from people who are in your shoes. I’m at the point right now where I don’t have to work. Very blessed I know. But job or no job we can fill our time with “stuff”. I think your explosion did just what it needed to do. 1. Let out a little stress. 2. Let the others in the house know that they need to step it up a little. I’m sure your family is great, don’t get me wrong, but often mom’s like things done right, or even just don’t realize that they’re taking on more than they have to. No matter if it’s a calling at church, a job, the PTO, or helping a neighbor, we need to realize our limits, accept them and above all …. learn to delegate! Good Luck!

  28. Mary Lou says

    You are so precious, but you have a common mom-affliction; you try to do it all. I have 2 grown children and I am a retired elementary school counselor, so I have been in the trenches. I returned to work the day each child turned 8 weeks old. I taught parenting classes in my counselor position and the most requested was “Raising Responsible Children”. Here are some thoughts:

    1. It is your son’s homework, not yours. It is your job to check up on him and keep him on track. It is his job to turn in his reading calendars and his homework, not yours. Students are typically given assignments that are age appropriate, so he is probably capable of remembering to do what is necessary. I don’t mean to sound unkind or judgemental, but if he has come to believe that you assume the responsibility for getting the work turned in, he won’t see it as his job.
    2. If a child can walk, he can help. Studies have shown that infants understand language at a much earlier age than once believed. So, once a child is mobile and understanding language, they can hand you a toy. You all clap and say “Yay”!
    3. Kids love to do “grown up” stuff. Just look at how many toys are mini replicas of adult “tools” – vacuum cleaners, pots, pans, brooms, rakes, stoves, workbenches. Let ’em do it before they think it isn’t fun anymore! Even a 5 yr old can do laundry. After one of my seminars, a mom came to tell me that her 5 yr old started doing his own laundry and begged her to let him do hers! He cried about going to his dad’s for the weekend because he was afraid she would do the laundry while he was gone! If you are interested, I’d love to share how I teach that.

    I tell ya, we all want to be the best moms we can be, but sometimes we make that about us; it isn’t. It is about allowing our kids to learn how to do things that really matter, and giving them the gift of pride that they feel when they do something they may have thought they were “too little” to do. That is where real confidence comes from. Another thing that is hard to do – not expecting perfection. If we do, they become discouraged and lose enthusiasm. It is tough to strike the balance between teaching them to do an acceptable job, and having standards that are unreasonably high.

    I know you are a great mom; your beauty as a person and as a mom shines through your blog. Blessings, and good luck! :)

  29. says

    I am with you girl! My mom has ALWAYS told me (before the blog) that the housework will ALWAYS be there, but your children will grow up and move out. Spend the extra time with kids, and housework will have to wait. I struggle big time with this, because I like to have a clean house. But letting go, and living in a not so perfect home has made all the difference in the world!

    Hugs to you, and just know, you are not the only one having meltdown with the kiddos. Promise! ;)

    You do an amazing job, and THANK YOU for all you do for us readers!!

  30. says

    Haha! We just had to have one of those family meetings too! It’s a struggle for sure and we have found that if every family member just steps up even a little bit, then my load is so much lighter. Not to mention everyone is happier, because as the saying goes, if mama ain’t happy, then no one is happy!!!

  31. Pam the Goatherd says

    Oh, how I have been there! And I’m still there, even though my children are all grown up and out on their own! I guess the primary thing I learned is that life goes on even if your house is not spotlessly clean. Living life with your family is much more important than a house so clean you can eat off the floor! Making house cleaning a family event can go a long way toward making it a bit more palatable for everyone. Schedule a specific time for cleaning, break down the job into smaller tasks that each family member can handle, and then go at it together.
    I used to write the different tasks/chores on slips of paper that went into a “chore basket”. When it was chore time everyone had to take a slip out of the basket and do that thing. If anyone wanted to trade chores they could, but EVERYONE had to do something. It might take a little extra time at first while you show your kids how to do new tasks, but eventually they’ll know how to do everything and will be able to do it without help.
    One very important thing to remember is that if someone doesn’t do their job properly it is crucial that you kindly tell them how to do it better, then have them do it over so that you and they both know that they can do it well. Kids WILL try to con you into letting them off the hook by repeatedly doing a bad job at something. They might complain about all the work they are responsible for, but when they get to college or move out on their own they will thank you profusely because they will know how to take care of themselves while all their roommates won’t have a clue.
    There is so much more I could tell you, but I have to get off the computer and go fold the laundry, milk the goats, make some cheese, take the cat to the vet, hay and water the goats, wash dishes, fix dinner………. (all my helpers grew up and left me at home to do my own chores!)

  32. says

    My husband who has many years in leadership/public speaking always tells people this and it’s so true. Schedule your time, or someone else will schedule it for you. Also, he has delved extensively into the pitfalls of multi-tasking. The adult attention span is 25 minutes. If you aren’t done with something in 25 minutes, take a break, do something else and then come back to it with a fresh mind. The scariest/craziest study he came across found that people who tackled their to-do list one item at a time vs. the person who multi-tasked it, they both got it done in approximately the same amount of time, but the person who multi-tasked suffered a 10 point IQ drop by the end of the day. No wonder mom brain turns to complete mush by dinner time! So, my advice is schedule everything you can (things will always come up, but minimize it if possible) and tackle one thing at a time. Good luck!

  33. Sandy says

    Your new favorite word is going to have to be “NO”. I have found over the years that some people think you have more time when you work from home instead of actually punching a time clock. Be prepared….there will be people who do not like the word “NO”. To bad……………….

  34. Christy says

    I’m a SAHM and have 3 kids under 6 years old. Which isn’t too bad until you throw in that 1 of my children has special needs and about 8 doctors/therapists and my other 2 have school things going on, we have the needs of the church to look after too. My humble advice is that we’re all there (sometimes I feel like the QUEEN of there!) and that I use the cozi.com calendar app on my phone and computer and have a HUGE calendar in my kitchen. I have to write it down or I’ll forget. Post-it’s don’t count bc they get lost in daily life (by that I mean a child who will not be named has recently learned to write, will snatch every scrap piece of paper and write on it!) lol. I’m sure this advice won’t solve everything but hopefully help jump start the thinking process I see what works for your family. Take care!

  35. says

    I always worked full time outside the home, but I never expected to do it all. When children came along, I learned to survive on less sleep. I always expected the kids to pitch in and help. Obviously the job depended on their age. As they grew older, they were given pocket money to do the jobs, but that meant the jobs HAD to be done properly. When they were in their teens they did all their own washing and ironing, as well as some housework. One child took over all the cooking at about 15, but he was paid accordingly… he was good at it and he enjoyed it. His mates had part time jobs at the time. Sounds like I did nothing.. not quite!!! If I had 5 minutes, I fitted a job into the 5 minutes. I learnt to prioritise… do what’s important. A spotless house doesn’t necessarily mean a happy house (not meaning you). Oh and meltdowns… the kids coped when I had one. It got my message across, even if not in the best way. When the kids were in their teens, I started a small business from home on top of my full time work. This work was creative and was never finished, so sometimes hard to know when to stop, but the kids were old enough to understand. Our family life has never been perfect (whose is), but my adult kids look back on their upbringing and have no major complaints. Funnily enough, now that I’m retired and spend my days blogging, sewing and gardening, I actually do less around the house than when I was working. When I was working I was organised… now I don’t have to be. Be kind to yourself!!!

  36. Sheri says

    Hang in there, some days are tougher than others. Your children know how much you love them and that’s what it all comes down to in the end. Don’t be so hard on yourself, in a day the kids won’t even remember why or if mom was upset :) That’s the great thing about kids, they live in the moment.

  37. Ashlyn says

    My heavens, girl, you sound like me! I was a stay at home mom for 5+ years. Then went full time. Then we decided to homeschool our boys. So now I’m a homeschool teacher, mother, wife, house cleaner and part-time worker. I love my job ,working with individuals with disabilities, and would never want to quit completely. So, I went to overnights so I can be there for my girls at work and for my boys and hubby at home during the day. I am constantly struggling with balance. Every time it seems like we have it figured out, someone starts slacking, someone else (usually me) picks up the slack and wears themselves out and eventually blow their top. It’s an endless cycle of craziness! I look forward to reading all the advice you get because I need it too!! :)

  38. Annie Wetherbee says

    I am a newbee to blogging and all of the discussions from all of you fabulous bloggers make me question my sanity……
    that said, I don’t believe we (us girls) were ever meant to do it all. Families are like teams, and it sounds like you are a member of one of the best (just saying), and all team members have to contribute. Your hubster sounds like a champ to me!!
    I am 56, raised 4 kids who are all grown and on their own. I worked full time at our family heating and cooling company, which in reality is a 24/7 job……not many people are happy when they are too hot or too cold. I digress. I was very strict and as the kids got older, I gave them more and more responsibility for themselves and some to benefit the family. 3 out of the 4 have thanked me repeatedly for teaching them how to clean, eat properly, use their manners….on & on. We had one “wayward” child (I am trying to be nice) who never accepted instruction well. He (16) and his girlfriend (15) had a baby….long story short, my husband and I have raised him since infancy and we were finally able to adopt him after 5 long years. I have learned that a spotless house is not what our grown kids have good memories of……it is all of the time that I spent with them, which included teaching them how to pick up and to clean, to eat properly, to use good manners and just parenting them as God had called me to do.
    While the 4 kids were growing up, the day in and day out nonsense we went through, it seemed like time crawled. Now, being older and somewhat wiser, I know that our time with our families is short……enjoy every second that you have.
    Your blogging brings happiness to many of us and is no small job! Your happiness is important also, and we all deserve an occasional melt down! Thanks for all you do!

    • Annie Wetherbee says

      I forgot to say that our 5th child is 13 years old now….and I love him more than I can express…but it isn’t easy!

  39. says

    I used to feel the same way and I often do still. There were two things that really helped me. I looked at a website called flylady.net and started her baby steps. I didn’t follow them religiously and it took time, but I started to change my habits and it has made a big difference for me. I also started including my kids in the clean up process. They were typical kids about wanting to clean, but we were consistent and I threw in a few fun cleaning games (I guest posted about it here: http://www.askannamoseley.com/2012/04/8-fantastic-tips-for-cleaning-up-with.html) and they have gotten consistently good at doing at least one chore (almost) daily. Sometimes, they are big chores and sometimes they are very small, but having even one extra thing done makes a big difference for me. Just remember to be nice to yourself and as the Fly Lady says, “Quit the stinkin’ thinkin’.” Thing positive about yourself and remind yourself all the time how awesome you are. Because we all know how awesome you are! Good luck, it takes time, but you can do it. Baby steps, baby steps.

  40. says

    Stacey, first, all the above commenters are right. Martha Stewart doesn’t do her own stuff, she has staff, and a lot of them. How old is the son you blame yourself for not being sure his stuff gets turned in at school? We’ve all lost it, I have many times, and my kids learned if I swore, they were in deep trouble. They’re now 28 (out of the house) and 26 with autism, in the house. My hubs and I are both physically disabled. I’ve always been really responsible (kinda like you sound) so being told at 50 by an MD I could work no more, get on Social Security Disability was devastating. Still is and it’s been years. I recently spent 9 days in the hospital, came home too soon really, I’m exceptionally weak with steroid myopathy and can do even less than usual, which issn’t much. If you’ve read my blog you know I’m not likely to be a regular poster. I physically can’t. My son is scared and reacts in anger. Now this is a 26 y.o., 210 lb. man with emotional developmental in some ways of a 12 y.o. I lost it. What I ended up doing was writing 3 columns of everything that has to be done every week in the house. We have a housekeeper who comes in every 2 wks. (best we can afford) and she doesn’t do everything when she comes. but sonny doesn’t ever have to clean the shower for example. We sat around the table, I read the list of what had to be done. I took what I might be able to do, hubs took more than his fair share and sonny took some voluntarily, I think out of fear of what he’d get stuck with. He is the only one with recreation scheduled in. He is the only one who’ll be paid if he does his work. He doesn’t drive so that’s more for us and I’m limited, couldn’t drive at all after the hospital for a while and it was an asthma, bronchitis admission. Don’t feel you have to do it all. Not humanly possible. Think what your garden will save you $$. It’s been a process but I’ve let a lot go–too much, hence the family meeting assigning work you expect with young kids. Get Buttoned Up has great chore charts and more. Hang in sweet friend. OOOhhhh, I just proofed this and it sounds so not what I intended. I just wanted to give an example of we’re dealt what we’re dealt in life, each different according to God’s will. If we let Him, He’ll get each of us through whatever we’ve got. <3

  41. says

    ((((((hugs))))))) I know this was probably a hard post to write. I, too, am struggling hardcore with this same issue. I work P/T away from home, but feel terribly guilty about it. My husband lost his job in February, and I realize this job is a blessing, but I still feel terribly guilty. DH has done a TON more housework, but our house is by no means in good shape. Every single day…I just feel overwhelmed. And I feel like everything I do just gets undone before it’s even “done.” So, I’m with you. How do you do it? And how do you do it when the things you do let go are the things that relax you…And will life ever feel balanced again? And will I ever feel rested again?

  42. Mrs.P says

    Oh wow… talk about timing. I had the same meltdown today. In a way…. my kids are just infants, so I didn’t have anyone to release the stress to – I just sat and cried. I started my own business out of my home a few years ago, and we had our child 9 months ago. This wasn’t my first breakdown, I have a had a few where, like you – I just. can’t. do it all – all the time. I look at my computer from across the room, knowing what I have to do to get my work done but cannot do it because she needs my attention. Today’s breakdown was the realization that my business will have to close – it’s incredibly defeating. and depressing. The amount of work put in to it. The amount of work that would ever have to go in to starting up again. I don’t know if last year, I would have understood the depth of the feelings in your moment. But I absolutely understand the depth of your moment now – I wish I had any advice for you. I hope that you are able to find your own way to make it work. Unfortunately for me, I think my ship has sunk!

  43. says

    Martha Stewart has a staff. Their J-O-B is to make her L-O-O-K like she does it all.

    Know your limits. Enjoy your family. Do what you want…because you can. and know when to say ‘mercy’.

  44. says

    I started school full time this past year and it has been difficult trying to keep up. The house has often been messy and that added to my stress. There were the promises made….they all meant well at the time. I will have to read the responses because this is a seriously overwhelming issue in my home.

  45. Joy says

    Thank heaven you are no Martha! We already have one of those. By the same token, she’s no Stacy! You have you to offer and you come with a different skill set as well as your imagination. Just keep being the best Stacy you can be and we’ll keep getting great ideas that only Stacy can give us….besides, we aleady feel a lot more comfortable having Stacy teach us than a face on a television program.

  46. says

    I’m going to ask a question that I don’t think anyone has asked in the comments thus far.

    The Question: Do you HAVE TO work/blog? I know you said it helps since your husband has had a few layoffs in a short period of time, but it doesn’t sound like you depend on it to pay the bills (perhaps its just spending or vacation money, etc?…I have no idea of course, I’m just asking as I think it helps put blogging into perspective).

    I think many of us find blogging fulfilling. You get to show off your projects and hard work, vent frustrations and share ideas, etc. And to get paid for it as well, how wonderful! BUT, if you do not have to have the income then it really should be treated as a hobby, no? Worthwhile, not to be abandoned, as it adds value to your life, but not a priority over relationships and responsibilities. I’m not saying you put the blog first either, I just wanted to pose the question. I’ve had to quit jobs (even ones from home) in the past to prioritize family. I think you can keep doing what you’re doing, your kids can help, etc. but sometimes we have to step away from the computer and slow down on projects and the gratification they bring. Hope this makes sense and does not sound condemning, as I am trying to encourage you (all of us moms) to focus on the season of motherhood, blog less, blog later, blog never, if necessary. Only you really know how much time you spend doing what, just be honest with yourself.

  47. Annie Hayes says

    Hey Stacy- Wow I know your shoes…… I work outside the house full time, have 3 kids ranging from 14 to 3 years old, consign my furniture/creation at a store and am president of our local youth sports association and run from sporting event to sporting event. Part of me said give up the furniture gig but the other part says I love doing it and is my “me time” even if it is out in the garage. I have learned to say NO- you will learn that- it is a constant thing you have to keep reminding yourself of though. A few years ago I was spreading myself too thin and wasn’t giving anything the amount of time I needed to so I cut back- way back. I now volunteer for one organization, help out occasionally at school not every week. I have started incorporating the kids in “mom’s garage work for the store”- one of my daughters love to sand, the other one is making some of her own things for the store and even my little 3 year old is helping out with staining or doing the first coat of paint- the smiles on their face and sense of accomplishment is so cool especially when they see that something they helped make sold at the store!! As a mother of teenagers- they grow so fast and before you know it they will be gone but the blog world his here to stay, the organizations will always need a volunteer, so for now make the most of the time you have with your kids!!

  48. says

    I haven’t scrubbed my house for weeks. My bathroom was so gross I traded my significant other an hour massage to clean my bathroom. It was sooooo worth it!

  49. says

    Even Martha Stewart is not Martha Stewart! For she has a CREW of people to help her do it all! So be patient with yourself and learn to overlook the mess a little. You have been working in your garden right now so your house slips a little. That’s just the way it goes. And vise-versa. I work around 50 hours a week outside the home and I am the housekeeper, gardener and dog walker. My boyfriend does most of the cooking so I am grateful for that. But he never did a dish in his life so you are lucky there ;) I started something called 52 Messes on my blog where I tackle one mess a week. I am looking at messes more like projects now, “When I get to that I’ll…” instead of something I have to take care of on the spot. It seems to be helping. I used to work from home (miss that) and found that setting regular work hours was essential. So for the most part, unless there was a special project going on, I would work from 9-7 taking a nice break in the afternoon for lunch and to walk the dogs. That way I didn’t feel like I was always working!

  50. says

    I think it’s important to remember Martha Stewart has a staff – a big one! I think the answer to “doing it all” is different for everyone. For me, it was letting go and learning how to be ok with a house that was less-than-spotless and meals that are, how shall I put it? Unusual combinations. And finally, it’s ok to have a schedule that’s not like everyone else’s. I stopped working outside of the home and now work at home, in addition to homeschooling, going back to school myself (full-time) and blogging. I think you just have to find your own routine – one that works best for you and your family. P.S. The occasional melt-down is ok, too.

  51. says

    Don’t forget…Martha has an entire company filled with employees that help her look good. They come up with awesomely amazing projects, and she gets to put her name on them. Her personal assistant keeps her organized and on schedule. Her housekeepers keep her home(s) in perfect condition. Her gardeners help her with all of her gardens, and she gets all of the credit.

    Let’s face it…even Martha Stewart isn’t Martha Stewart.

  52. brenda says

    believe it or not even if you were not doing this extra job, you would have eventually had a meltdown AND you would have gotten to the stage in life where you could no longer keep all those balls in the air. Hormones and birthdays dictate these events PLUS the biggy is that crazy imperfect human state of being dictates that.
    keep up the good work and enjoy the journey

  53. Jenn says

    I have to say you are really lucky to have a husband who is willing to be so supportive! Dishes and laundry (I admit I actually really enjoy doing both of these-it’s cleaning the bathrooms I could do without!) I have been “working” from home for almost 6 years and it has taken me until recently to just go with whatever comes my way. Somedays my house is sparkling it is so clean,most days it’s a bit messy and sometimes it is a disaster! It can still be overwhelming at times but I would rather be playing outside, playing a board game or reading with my kids then cleaning my house. If the house is extremely messy then I recruit everyone’s help just before bedtime. I set a timer for 10 minutes and we all race around the house picking up as many things as we can and putting them in the correct spot. Good luck! I know you can do it-you can do anything!

  54. Clara says

    Having worked as a “working mom” for 9 years, I can relate to the strain, time, & energy it takes out of you every day! I started working only part-time because I felt that little extra income would help out. It was, I thought, for a good cause. However, it turned out to become full-time work. Little did I realized that I began rationalizing that we HAD to have that extra income & health insurance. So often it is easy to lose sight of what is REALLY most important – providing a safe-haven, a place of refuge for those special little spirits the Lord has entrusted to our care. Our first priority as mothers is our family. When we become working mothers, inside or outside the home, we actually take on TWO full-time jobs, & so often one or the other begins to suffer. Work & projects can be a good thing, but too often end up taking priority, and our children end up taking the brunt of our frustrations because we literally can’t handle it all! It’s hard to find that balance. I found that while I was working, I had to let some things go that I otherwise would have had time for. Sometimes we have to take a step back and honestly evaluate where we are headed & if that’s the direction we want to continue. If not, what adjustments are necessary. When I finally quit working, I came to realize that I really didn’t have to work after all. I came to realize that work & projects can ALWAYS be there – way into our old ages if we choose, but those little ones won’t be. They are in our homes for a very short time! I also found that we have a tendency to lose patience with our children because we expect them to understand & behave according to OUR ADULT level of understanding and experience – not their child level & experience. They are just learning. But hang in there. We are all in the learning process! That is part of this life’s experience. Children can be forgiving – often much more quickly than adults – especially if you always let them know that you love them and are trying! That is key. There are times when we don’t have a choice, & the mother has to work – a spouse’s death, unemployment, injury, etc. So everyone’s situations may differ, and each couple needs to decide what will work best for them and their family. Including the Lord in those conversations & decisions is especially important. So you, your supportive hubby & children are doing well, Stacy. Just keep hanging in there & trying to do what you feel is right for you and your family! At the end of the day, as you trust in the Lord & his help, it will all turn out okay. We love you!

  55. Lisa says

    I know it is so frustrating not keeping everything the way it used to be – PERFECT! Believe me, I was once the same way.I couldn’t leave the house before I vacuumed. It was crazy! I didn’t realize how bad until my now 21 year old son was in preschool. The teacher called me in so I could see all that he was learning. The poor kid was running around the play kitchen putting all the pots,pans dishes etc away. Then, to my complete horror…started frantically vacuuming! That was it! I saw what I looked like to my 3 year old. Since then 2 more kids have joined the mix making a total of 5. I can’t do it all but I realized that day that my idea of keeping a perfect house and raising perfect kids that turned everything in on time was impossible. Just do the best you can,make lists and use post it notes (I even stick them on the dashboard so I can run errands in order). And never forget change is good!!

  56. says

    Well Stacy, I have a full time job (8AM to 6PM), I’m an Electrical Energy analist and advisor. And I have a blog too!! Sometimes I feel I spent to little time with the hubs, so I try to balance it… Let’s say… 2 hours for cooking and DIYing and 2 hours for the hubs. Try to limit yourself and place a time limit…
    But I still try to spend more time with the hubs that on the blog…
    And I can’t imagine while having children (I still don’t)…
    I hope it helps…

    oh! forgot to mention… the hubs also does must of the dishes and laundry… I try to do it as well, but sometimes he sees me very tired and he offers to do it… i wake up at 5.15 to workout the P90X routine I decided to start, so imagine my day… 515 workout, 8-6 job at the office, 7-9 cooking dinner and lunch for next day, and 9-11 time with the hubs and watching a movie or so…

  57. Sandra says

    Throw away all the magazines and self help books that say you can do it all, cause girlfriend you can’t. No one can. And although I’m sure your husband is a lovely man, stop feeling guilty when he pitches in around the house. It’s his house and his kids too so why shouldn’t he do more than just the occasional chore? If you’re working and he’s not then he should be running the house with you “helping out!” I know that’s really hard for us women to accept but this isn’t the 1950’s, times have changed and we need to as well! Don’t look at it as you being something less, see it as giving your husband a chance to really be an equal partner.

  58. says

    It looks like we could start a support network here. I work out of the home, own my own business, manage 2 blogs and have 2 kids. I would say how do you do it with 4 kids?! I would love to have a big family, but they kick my butt all the time. In fact weekly, inevitably there is a “kids win” moment where I am over run with temper tantrums and kid stuff. I simply make sure both kids are safe and put myself in a timeout.

    It sounds like you have a pretty supportive husband whose willing to chip in which makes a huge difference. There are times when the cleaning gets to him and we have to agree on what HAS to get done and what would be nice to get done. It’s important to make that list for your life too. What do you HAVE to do…and be realistic. You don’t HAVE to clean the floors every other day. It may sounds gross, but we make sure the floors and bathrooms get cleaned once a month, beyond that if we do what we can when we have time. The same is true for other aspects of life! First and foremost the first hour after everyone is home from work is family time. No one is on the computer, watching tv, etc. We all go outside together, or play a game. It’s my way to make sure we don’t let life pass us by without enjoying a little bit from each day.

    Working out of the home has it’s perks, but I also miss out on almost 10 hours of time with my kids each day. Unfortunately most of my work time happens after 8 PM when all the kids are in bed. Find small victories or break down the work so you can do small pieces throughout the day.

    Most of all I would say, hold your head up. You are doing the best you can with the tools and resources that you have! Try not to get down on yourself for being real.