Follow our family as we journey through life.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Jen over at Conversion Diary is talking about an important season in life, what she calls "Bare Minimum Mode." Catchy title. I am totally not that clever. I call it "surviving."  Most times I don't like to talk about this, but tonight I feel inspired by this post over at my friend Erika's blog. She's honest and real in her post. And I feel like being honest and real.

I don't like to use my blog to lay out how hectic and crazy my life is. Or how much the children are driving me absolutely crazy. I may mention things in passing, but mostly I like to maintain that "Crazy Superwoman with all those kids" image that I have going for me. So many people have criticized my choice to have all these kids that I don't feel like I can express anything remotely negative without getting a huge slap of "I told ya so!"

Truth is, my life is beyond busy, beyond crazy, beyond hectic, and beyond worth it. We race here, we run here, I blink and the baby is almost seven months. And that's just October.

When I was pregnant with Malcolm, I threw up everyday from August to January. Every. Single. Day. We were in survival mode then. We let membership passes expire. Michael didn't travel. Homeschooling was sporadic at best. We stayed home. And guess what? We survived. Meals got made. Friends pitched in to get the boys to activities. The house stayed messy. Laundry was washed when the clothes ran out. I was so sick I don't really remember those months. Would I do it again? You bet your you-know-what I would.

In a couple weeks I am putting my family on voluntary survival mode. We are escaping sports, classes, friends, and events. We are spending time together, minus Michael, seven hundred miles from this chaos. Is it still going to be busy and crazy? Yes. Are the kids still going to drive me nuts? Without a doubt. But what will be different is that we will set a schedule of relaxation instead of obligations. I am choosing to do this on purpose, instead of having to do this because of illness or obligation. Leaving the friends, school work, and house behind, we will be able to focus on just being together. Although being at the farm is beyond wonderful, it will make us appreciate all we have here even more. The crock pot meals, endless schoolwork, and stream of activities will be missed my the end of our visit south. And I will be excited to return to my normal level of surviving.

Having young children is hard. But these years are short even if the days are long. I could make a list of the things I do or don't do when my life is beyond crazy. But that would be listing everything. Because besides the fact that I am not vomiting every day, my life is no less crazy than it was a year ago. It's just a different crazy. Each day calls for it's own set of sacrifices; it doesn't matter if you have one child or five. It all comes down to your personal perspective of how to make it through your day still liking your kids.


Susan said...

Thank you for being real. I agree, it's hard to be honest sometimes because it seems there's always a line of people waiting to slap you if you have anything to talk about except "unicorns and rainbows."

Of course, unicorns don't really exist. And rainbows don't happen without some rain. And sometimes we need the rain as much as we need the rainbow.

Enjoy your "bare minimum" time. It's good to get away from the obligations and imposed craziness sometimes.

Katherine T. Lauer said...

Thank you so, so much for sharing this. Being a couple of steps (kids) behind you, I'm being slapped down hard by God right now, which is how I think of this humbling venture. Just yesterday I was leaving the house with the kids for an obligation and my house was trashed. I complained to Chris that I can't seem to go anywhere unless I leave the house trashed. If I kept the house nice, I wouldn't be able to get anywhere. I hate that.

But I love having my kids, I'm excited about whenever we have #4 and think about that strangely a lot, and I wouldn't trade it. But it's quite hard and I have no model among my own family for this lifestyle.

Erika Ahern said...

Oh, Jessica, I really needed this. I'm so glad you're taking voluntary "bare minimum mode"--those are really such life-savers. I'm contemplating such a mode for Thanksgiving: Can I really take a whole week away from home and the kids' activities? You reminded me that, not only can I... I really must!

Here's to the simple times! Have fun in GA! I still think of the farm as my ideal home. ;)

Conservamom said...

Thank you for sharing. I only have 3 and sometimes I feel like the "crazy mama with 3" we just found out we are pregnant with #4 and I have to say I've been a little nervous to tell some because I don't want to hear the "Aree you crazy?" or "Don't you have enough with 3?"etc.etc. etc..but you know what I wouldn't have my craziness life any other way. What is it they say? "Good moms have dirty ovens,sticky floors and happy kids" :)