One of the most common comments I get about being a mother to twins (3 x over now) is, “I just don’t know how you do it!” My cliche, though honest, answer used to be, “Only by the grace of God.” I say “honest” because God has blessed me abundantly more than I deserve throughout my pregnancies and to the point where we are now. I say “cliche” because it seems like that’s what every Christian says when going through a unique or rough situation. I say “used to be” because I believe some people out there are genuinely curious as to the ins and outs of our daily lives and wonder if I have lots of extra hands around to help or if I just stick my kids in front of the TV all day or if I ever just hide in a room away from the chaos and cry. And, I’d like to be a little more open about my life and my household from now on.
So, to answer the question, “how do you do it?” I would first need to know what “it” you’re referring to. To most categories of “it,” I’d probably have to say, “I don’t.” I don’t keep the dishes washed, the laundry put away, or the toys off the floor. I usually don’t even mop or remove crayon from the walls; those are major tasks no matter if I accomplish them every day or once a week…err, month. I don’t keep my brows tweezed or my legs shaved. My husband and I don’t go on regular dates. I don’t usually have to worry about wrangling 6 children in the grocery store; my husband and I take turns going to the store and the kids also rotate so that they each have equal opportunities to get out of the house. We don’t go on vacations. I’m certainly not physically fit. Did I cover everything? I’m not saying I don’t want to do any of the above-mentioned things or that I have a grudge against anyone who does. I have to choose what’s most important to me during this temporary season of my life. I choose my kids. Discipling my children IS my priority right now.
As far as keeping my sanity, since I feel like that is the true question at hand, the honest answer is God. Or Jesus. Or the Holy Spirit. God the Father created me and my children and my circumstances. As long as I am living my life according to His will, my sanity will stay in-tact. Jesus Christ (God as man) sacrificed His life so that I could be in a relationship with God and follow His will despite my brokenness. Because I believe He lived to die for me, and I ask for His forgiveness, and I desire to follow Him, my sanity will stay in-tact. The Holy Spirit, God in me, guides my steps by slowly and quietly revealing His will and by going ahead of me to place people in my life who encourage or challenge me. When I received salvation, my body became a temple; filled with the Spirit, my sanity will stay in-tact. I absolutely know how I do it. God. Jesus. Holy Spirit.
All that said, I do believe God has granted us a level of sanity that doesn’t quit or give in. I had a nice little cry each time I found out I was pregnant; I told God, “I don’t want to do this, but Thy will be done.” Josh and I disagree on things, just like every other couple; we could not resolve any disagreements we have without Christ at the center of our marriage. (We know because we tried that before.) Our kids are very well behaved most of the time, but they are sinners just like the rest of us. They make mistakes. We correct them. We make mistakes. We apologize. When we need rest, God gives us rest. In writing, it seems simple. In reality, we face doubt, paranoia, impatience, fear, and laziness every day. Thankfully, life does come with an instruction manual: the living, breathing Word of God.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Philippians 4:9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Joshua 1:5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
Joshua 1:9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Matthew 28:19-20 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”