Saturday, September 22, 2012

these days

these days i feel old. and tired. (is that a) smudged eye-make up, b) a black eye or c) exhaustion?)

these days feel urgent. frenetic. all year i've assured myself it'll ease once we have the baby/get to 6 weeks PP/ get to 3 months/move north/return home/go back north. maybe this is just how it is from now, with 5 kiddos? 

these days i feel more irritated than peaceful. quicker with sharp words than with warm smiles. more condemning than encouraging. 

these days i really feel on the back foot. always playing catch up. the laundry, the vacuuming, the 2 year old's attitude...

these days i feel so many demands. relentless demands. my children, husband, home, business. a friend commented that i should make more dolls to avoid the "pinning problem" because demand is outgrowing the supply. she is so right, and i know it. but there it is again...the demand.

these days i wonder what has to go - the homeschooling? Tiny Eyes? (just the thought makes me want to stamp my foot and clutch these things tighter!

these days i long to understand how to have a heart like Mary's in this madly-paced Martha's life - but Lord, there is! who will do the work if I don't? dishes don't do themselves!

these days are so precious, and so fleeting. i don't want to miss this season in looking forward to the next. after all, it is every season that makes up a year.

how are you doing these days, friends?
do you get some of this, or is it just me?
thank you for reading... x

my sweet alabaster ginger-bear x

images taken by Ty, 6 years


  1. a) gorgeous photos! b) my guy's a ginger too! c) I have just come through a long bout of what you've just described - but it's still so hard to stop myself from looking ahead all the time... I hope that spending summer in the north helps some x

  2. That last photo is ADORABLE! Both of you look gorgeous!

    You're not alone - I'm hearing you!! Yes I feel like there is literally not enough hours in the day to get everything done. It's a legendary effort doing it all + homeschooling!

    I do think your hobbies/passions are so important for your spirit... and the other stuff (housework etc) will ALWAYS keep coming at ya whether you do those things you want to do or not!

    It's a mission! So exhausting at times. I do think it will get easier. And I think it has a bit over here. Arlo now isn't attached to me for most of the day (and night). Those times when he hangs out looking around the place are getting stretched out a bit, as are his sleeps.. Yay! It's a case of good days and hard days/times here. we are working hard though!

    My standards have dropped massively and for now I'm embracing my house the way it is - and I just tell everyone that if they come over IT WILL be a mess! I really cannot work out how people manage a home properly with loads of kids. It's chaos over here!

    5 is def a handful! It's worth it though... I recon.

  3. I only have two and exhaustion is my regular visitor... I don't know how anyone can cope with five, let alone everything else you have on the go!

    I am not a regular reader / commenter, but I have read enough to think you are AMAZING, and doing a fantastic job with those kiddies! Well done you... Mums like you inspire me!

  4. Oh course I get this! (and I don't have five kiddos) Take it easy on yourself. I don't have any answers - except maybe can you find the budget to get a housekeeper - just having someone come for an hour or two every couple of days, make a dent in the laundry, get a meal on, do a little bit of cleaning might make all the difference. Take heart that you are not alone. And prioritise sleeeeeeep as much as you can. I know, I know - easier said than done.

  5. I hear ya! This year is the first time in nearly 7 that I haven't felt like I wanted to be a stay at home mum, feelings that shocked and hurt me. It just seems like all I do is fight fires, cleaning, washing, dinner making, exercise etc, ETC! I only have two kids too!

    Super mums do exist, they are the ones that keeping on going! Life is hectic, with one or more kids - arrrgh the pressure that we put on ourselves! Be kind to yourself and let those demands fly by the wayside, it's all small stuff after all right? (trying hard to remind myself of that everyday at the moment)

    oh no that friend was me! Only trying to point out that maybe those pinners would love to buy one if there was one to buy, not just out to steal your ideas :)

  6. You are beautiful Dee, these are my whispered words to you 'take 2 steps backwards into His presence and wait there until your heart is calm and your soul sings peace' then step forward again strengthened for the journey. 2 steps and wait. xxx you are doing great xxxx

  7. I know. I do too.
    Three kids (6,5,3) and it all keeps on going.
    I heard someone saying that routine makes us tired.
    But routine is so needed in this time.
    Difficult thing to change.

    I have great respect for you, and please keep on making
    your lovely dolls, don't stop that.

    I thought about how much time there will be left if i close my Etsy-shop, close my blog, shut down my suitcase.
    But it's the only thing which is really mine!
    And it gives peace and energy in some kind of a way.

    Looking forward and think there will be 'better' times is what we do too much, it's here and now, if you
    accept that it will give some peace in the end.

    Hold on, keep calm and best wishes, xx

    oh and yes, take your hours of sleep!

  8. Firstly, how gorgeous is Sawyer?! So, so sweet.
    Secondly, I totally get you. I am feeling this EXACT way right now. Exact. It seems like I could have written your exact words (though you string them together in such a lovely way!) because they spell out my feelings too. I have been wondering: What is the solution? I think the only thing is more time with Him. More meaningful prayer, just me and Him in the mornings. I think the rest of it comes in accepting that 'this' is what's normal and then getting the grace to make it work.
    PS: Have you read Loving The Little Years? (It's tagline is 'Motherhood in the Trenches' and I think that's awesome.) It's excellent. Let me know if you haven't and I'll send you my copy.

  9. Oh Dee, you still look amazing to me! Please don't let go of your creative dreams and your homeschooling journey. You are doing a great job even if it doesn't feel like it at the moment!
    Try to look after yourself and if that means a slightly messier house then so be it!

  10. Wow this could so totally have been ME saying these things! Every word rings true with me too, especially the "quicker with sharp words than with warm smiles. more condemning than encouraging" part.... man this sucks huh? Such a fleeting time in our lives and in our children's lives yet so hard to grasp all that I can from every moment and make the most of it and them while they are little and needing me - but what about those dishes/laundry etc etc??
    May you know God's peace once again and I pray He fills you with strength and energy for each day. From what I can see and read you are an INCREDIBLE mum and an inspiration to me xxx

  11. I'm a home school mom of four girl. One is now in college. When the girls were small, I came to a time when I was very overwhelmed. I was tired all of the time and I never felt like I had any "me" time.

    After being grumpy and irritable for many months, I came up with an idea that was so awesome. I hired a pre-teen who lived near us to be a mother's helper. She was a sweet, gentle girl. I wasn't about to hire anyone who would make me feel like I had to babysit them! She wasn't old enough to babysit and her mom thought this would be good experience for her. I think I had her two or three days a week for anywhere from three to six hours. She played with the kids while I had time to do other things. Because she was young, I didn't want to have her responsible for the baby, so I took care of the baby while she kept my busy pre-schoolers occupied. I would sometime have activities for them so she'd have something to start with. After a while she started making her own craft ideas or activities. She was with me for a few years. It allowed me to keep my sanity and even work a bit on my home business to bring in extra funds.

    Looking back, I see that even one day of this a week would have given me a great break. Two or three was golden! She grew into the world's best babysitter and was able to watch the kids when hubby and I went out. She knew the home routine better than any other babysitter could have. I cried when she grew up enough to go to college.

    The cost of doing this was far cheaper than therapy!I stayed nearby and supervised everything for the first week or two, but once I discovered how responsible she was, I was free to do the things I wanted and I was only a shout away if she needed anything.

    This is just an idea, but I'm noticing that one of the biggest frustrations for young moms is not having enough time to themselves.

    Please think long and hard before you even consider giving up homeschooling. Now that three of my girls are teens, I can see the beautiful results of the time I've put into my family. My girls are so definite in their morals, beliefs, and personalities that they don't follow the crowd. They are thriving as the people that God made them to be. I see lots of folks that roll their eyes when they talk about their teens. Not me. They are delightful girls. Wishing you all the best!

    ***Sorry if this is long, but hindsight is, as they say, 20-20. :)

  12. hello Dee!!! I'm a mama of 5 too, and I can understand how it feels in these days, it used to hapen. when you want to do your thinghs but all home and kids needs your attention.
    I wish I could runaway and take a big breath!!!
    but thanks God we realize that everything calms down , just do all the things step by step, and looking our lovely babies to take new energy to go on.
    and your work , those beautiful dolls, I´m sure you enjoy doing it, so don´t worry so much!!
    maybe it´s the price of being 5 times blessed!!! :)

  13. Oh you are totally singing my song right now, I only have four kids, but I am also feeling a bit lost in the haze of homeschooling, being a 'good' mother , supportive and fun wife (Hmmmmmm so slipping in this area) , house cleaner, amazing meal cooker (yeah right !) , maintaining property and vegetable gardens , keeping up with family , blogger , trying to create a business (hmm just a pipedream) and somehow find this 'time to myself' that EVERYONE keeps insisting is a good idea (and in essence I agree, but where is this supposed to fit in). And then you sit for a couple of spare seconds to do a spot of blog brosing only to read about how relaxed and smily other mothers are (although I have learnt from experience how valuable blogs are for highlighting these times, but still....) anyway I want to thank you, because I sit here and think I am the only one that finds myself in this dismal chaotic spinning to fast without control space I call my life and find myself sinking further becuse of it, and I just read your blog and felt somewhat warmed knowing that perhaps I am not alone in this crazy motherhood ride.

  14. First and foremost you are a beautiful mama and you accomplish so much in your life. This has been a huge year of change for you and the family, it's not surprising that its a bit overwhelming at times. I have found this year pretty challenging too, physically and spiritually. I'm still finding my way, and some days just scraping by and leaning on the knowledge that my hope is in Him.

    Bless ya heaps lovely lady, hope that God will show you some ways to lighten the load and ease the journey xx

  15. Thinking of you Dee! You know I only have one, and I don't know how you do 5!! I don't have anymore advice than the mama's who have already commented, but I would say don't let deeconstruction/tiny eyes go completely ~ you need something that is for you. Love to you! x

  16. yep. totally get it. Have been thinking lately about 'the quiet and simple life', 'living in peace with everyone', 'being gentle for the Lord is near'..... and remembering that it's all about Him -- not the homeschooling, the housework, the self-imposed standards that I am not reaching -- it's about worship. Am I worshipful in this season?
    "Do not be anxious (Dear Dee) about anything (housework, homeschooling, copy-cats, and hard seasons) but in everything (times of noise, times of quiet, times of discipline and times of struggle) by prayer and petition, with thanks (so much thanks because what we have and who we are in Him is a gift so precious) make your requests known (Father, please help....) and the peace of God (oh sweet and precious peace) which passes all understanding (yep, cause the season is still the same) will guard your heart (so keep thinking on truth) in Christ (precious and sweet Christ).
    L x

  17. I sometimes feel like this post and I don't have any kids! I don't know the answer but you're amazing and I can comment on craft and copycats.

    Making more dolls won't stop the pinning problem - it's not supply vs demand it's people not understanding that it's not cool to copy. Make the dolls because they make you happy (and they're rad) not to try and stop other people's actions.

    In all the madness the 10 minutes here or there to simply make something good really can't be underestimated.

  18. Yes, I do absolutely get it! And I only have three kids. Sometimes life can feel so consuming, with little time left for what you need to do stay sane. Then when you do have the time you feel so exhausted that all motivation flies out the window. I know it will get easier in a physical sense as kids get older, as I'm sure it will for you. But it all takes time doesn't it, and sometimes it can be hard to think outside the reality that is now. Hang in there Dee, and know that you aren't alone xo

  19. Sawyer is sooo smoochable Dee, I am just so excited you said yes to coming down. I can't wait to have you guys under my roof and time with you all. I am hoping its not going to add to your anxiousness though but it can be a relaxing and enjoyable time :)
    I am hearing you though..... yawn, snap, yawn, frown, sob, yawn xx

  20. Love you. Love your words, your heart, your honesty. I actually breathed a sigh of relief reading this that you are human after all. Take each day as it comes and it might be that you'll need to shed some layers of responsibility. You'll know which ones. I personally say house work. (Do you remember on that movie I made you watch "this way of life" the mess that family lived in? I remember coming away from that movie thinking what is the point of all this cleaning I do? Those 5 kids, that family were so happy, unconventional but happy.) And there is nothing wrong with sandwiches for dinner on rough days. Eat them on a blanket, tell them it's a picnic and they will think you are a star! Also loved Ann V's words. Mind if I steal that link for my blog? Love you guys and praying for you, that he will provide the strength and grace you guys need to get through each day. x

  21. Yep, I get this. Five living children here, and yes five and six have tipped us over the edge into total crazy. My baby is 2 now,my eldest is 16 you might think that makes life easier, but 16 year olds need almost as much in a different way to 2 year olds. I know I need to live in the moment, but I just don't dare take my eye off the ball for one second, there is just too much to do.

  22. I think we all feel that way at some time or another, at least I do

  23. Dee, I get you. So many times I have thought your thoughts and felt your feelings but I too don't know what to do, what to give up, what to cut back on etc etc. I am nearly 8 weeks out on having number six and I am anxious over not having the time or the space just to be pregnant. Does that make sense! I too have thought about the homeschooling thing and would my life be so much simpler if they were (they being 4 out of 5) in school.. That thought scares me silly and certainly doesn't sit very well at all. I have days when I feel like the kids learning is going no where but when your five year old uses words like 'pasture' in a conversation, I am reminding that it is going places. I especially hold to to the fact that if I am doing what God has asked me to do, to the very best I can then he will do the rest! Man am I hanging on to that for dear life!! I pray that you will find peace and rest in where you are now! God Bless you and your sweet family. Enjoy your time up North (do you think you will be back, it sounds beautiful) xxx

  24. Totally hear you my friend. Particularly on the two year olds attitude and the horrible pace life is taking right now. I just want it all to slow down! So desperate for some time for myself, to just be. xx

  25. I hear you on this. With only three I feel this way too. Life seems to be so busy and I just want it to slow.down.
    I don't have any answers.. but like you, I don't want to miss a moment.
    take care

  26. Oh Dee, I for one think you are an incredible woman and mother. It is okay to cut yourself some slack and pull back on things that overwhelm you...housework for one can wait.
    I too go through periods where it all feels tough, I think every mother does but just know that it's a season like any and that it will eventually ease into a new one.

  27. What a relief to know that none of us are alone in this journey of motherhood! I love Ann's words, and love knowing that God makes a message from our mess xxx

  28. Just read your post and all the lovely, encouraging and idea filled comments too. I don't have much to add - only to echo everyone's words. I am in awe how you do it all and don't feel exhausted. You're human and it's okay. I reckon the idea of a 'mother's help' might be a great idea.

    All the very best and hope you feel stronger in due course x

    P.S. I'm not feeling very on top of my game and have 3 children (one at school - though the fall out stress & anxiety from her is a lot to deal with at times).

    All will be well x Go gently on yourself

  29. Oh, Dee, you just wrote my thoughts out word for word!! I've been feeling a little anxious lately expecting number 5 and still completely overwhelmed with four. We need grace to make it! Every. day. And I too have thought about putting my oldest in school and it breaks my heart, but I'm just that desperate sometimes. The only peace I find is in the thought that God doesn't expect me to be everything to my family--I can't be everything to them--only HE can. I do my best and commit it to Him and He'll take care of the rest. He wants to share this burden of child raising and home making with us. I guess I have to learn sometimes to let go of some of the unreal expectations I place on myself and lean more heavily on Him.

    You are an AMAZING mother and a beautiful, creative soul!!!



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