“See it how I see it.”

Do you ever get messed up in how you see things? You work, and you work, and you work, but you are never done, and after awhile the sky seems to be falling, you’ve forgotten to take time for fun, and suddenly all of the joy that should be in your heart is snuffed out like a candle on a birthday cake.

Well, that’s been me for…well, since we moved, I guess. I just keep telling myself that if I just make it through this year, things will get better.

I love my children. I enjoy teaching them. I don’t even mind cooking dinner, but there is one part of this whole stay-at-home, home-schooling, blogger-mom gig that causes me very great stress.


Where the school day ends, the house work begins, and with a house of 6 people, that “career” is enough to keep me busy all by itself. Then there’s the whole question of dinner. I’m out of the habit of making realistic dinner plans, so I’ve been pulling that together at the last minute.

Plus, every where I turn, we have another ant invasion. That’s right, our whole neighborhood has the most insane ant problem I have ever seen in my life. There are lines of them, eating-I can’t-figure out what in all of our bathrooms. With the rain, they have come into our home in record numbers.

Basically, around 3 or 4 everyday, I feel so completely burned out and defeated, that what I truly wish to do is get in my car and just drive until I find a restful place to stop.

The other day, in the depths of feeling as melancholy and hopeless as ever…

(I get that some of you have no idea why I would feel that way. Well, I’d take pictures of my house to explain it, but I’m afraid that would cause me to be judged by others of you, so I will be sharing no such pictures at this time.)

My messy house makes me want to cry. It sucks the energy out of me. People think of me as laid back, but I’m totally not. I’m actually a polite, high pressure, control freak that smiles a lot. There I said it.

Today I had 20 or so things on my mind, I was desperate to get out of the kitchen and escape somehow for a minute, and just as I thought I might go sit on the love seat and pout for just a second…Daniel spilled juice all over himself and the kitchen floor. At that EXACT SAME moment, JD knocked over a BOX of vanilla wafers, which at the bottom of the box, was more crumbs than wafers.

Did I mention that I had JUST swept and mopped the floor, not 30 minutes prior to this incident?

Did you also know that JD is so tall–almost freakishly so–that he can reach the kitchen countertops?

Somehow I didn’t manage to find all the crumbs to sweep up, so the floor is wet and crunchy. Daniel, Caleb, and JD are all taking a bath. That sounds nice, except I’m going to have to summon energy from SOMEWHERE to get them all dressed again.

When I say that I want to cry every single day, that is a gross understatement. I actually do cry most days. I have no idea how to catch up on all of the housekeeping, so I’ve taken to keeping one room of my house completely immaculate. I just started this a week ago.

It makes me feel like I have some sort of control over SOMETHING in my life. What room did I choose? The smallest room in the house: the laundry room. I’ve been working so hard on that room this week. It’s all I have time for! The washer and dryer are crud and dust free. The floor is spotless. The shelves are dusted. Nothing is in that room that doesn’t belong there–well, except for those photos that I haven’t hung yet.  But seriously, when?? When will I hang pictures?

So if you can’t find me……that may be where you will find me. NO, not hanging pictures, but cleaning my laundry room, so that I can feel like I’ve got something under control.

Do you think this is an awful lot of whining about house cleaning? It is! The cleanliness level of my house directly affects my mood–even if that should not be so.

Wednesday, as I was laying flat on my face, crying and whining to God in my prayers about how hard it is to teach these boys, never leave the house, and whoa whoa whoa whoa wheaaa wheaaaa wheaaa wheaaa wheaaaa….. I said, “I should just go get those boys right now, and put them back to work. Lord, what in the world should I do?”

“See them how I see them.”

No, don’t worry, friends, I do not hear the audible voice of God, never have, but I promise that he speaks to my heart.

I went to the boys’ window, and looked down at my three biggest boys, on the trampoline. JD toddled along beside me.

There they were. They each sat on a different side of the trampoline, Indian style. They appeared to be having some sort of meeting.

“Oh, right,” I thought, “They are just darling little children. I’m so thankful they have each other.This time on the trampoline together is good for them.”

I need not destroy the magic of their childhood with my own anxiety problems. Yes, I put too many demands upon myself. That’s not their fault. They are just children. 

So I have a goal, a very important goal. I am going to ENJOY the trip to Alabama this year. I’m not pregnant or breastfeeding, so I have that going for me. Yes, I have to fly with four children, but at least this time Alan gets to go with us.

I’m going to try to enjoy the plane ride and visiting the way that the children do, because normally I don’t, and that makes the trip less fun for everyone else.

Is this phase of homeschooling while also taking care of a toddler and a preschooler the hardest thing I have ever done?  YES. Aboslutely YES. I did home school Joshua in K4 and part of Kindergarten. That is  not the same at all as home schooling three different ages. Joshua and Caleb are so big now, that I don’t want to mess this up.

The really sad thing is that I’m letting all of these  pressures that I put on myself steal my joy. Why? I want everything to be perfect, and that is not an achievable goal.

Who likes perfect people anyway?

I’d better go take the boys out of the bathtub, remind myself to see them how God sees them, and try not to rain on everyone’s Christmas. 🙂

I feel like I’m giving my Eeyore-self a pep talk!!

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'”            James 4:6




  • Oh sweet Mama, I hear you. I know exactly what you mean. Abide in Him. Find your true joy and focus on what God wants you to focus on. This is not always easy but it is what He asks us to do.

  • I imagine if you did show pictures of your house it would probably look a lot like mine and pretty much everyone else’s in their more honest moments. Some day, April, your house is going to be exactly as clean as you want it to be and that will be because there are only two people living in it. And that day will be here in the blink of an eye. The description of you lying flat on your face in prayer reminds me of Susannah Wesley with her apron over her head. I know biographers like to say she was practicing the discipline of a personal quiet time while homeschooling her 19 kids and keeping her home up to puritanical standards but I bet her “prayers” sounded exactly like yours and mine, “Oh Lord, help me. What am I going to do? Just please get me through this year, this day.” Oh, and darling, you haven’t lived with ants and other unspeakable insects until you’ve lived in Hawaii. They say we live on a volcano. But no, if they really started to dig I’m pretty sure they’d find this is island is just one gigantic ant hill.

    • You are one of the most encouraging people that I have (not actually) met. Lol! Thank you for that! Are there any books written about this Susannah Wesley?? I would certainly read them. Is she related to John Wesley, because he was amazing. The ants! Ugh. They are in every room of our house with the rainy weather that has come through. I bet Hawaii is much worse. We just have never seen so many ants in our lives! I’ll take them any day over Alabama cockroaches though. Do ya’ll have those in Hawaii? Shudder. shudder. shudder.

      • Susannah was the mother of the famous hymn writers, Charles and John Wesley, and I should make a minor correction to my comment in that although she did have 19 children she wouldn’t have been homeschooling all of them as 9 died in infancy. But 10’s enough for the whole apron over the head bit, I would say (Sandy Dengler wrote a good biography on her since I’m sure you have oodles of time on your hands for a little light research :). Also, while I am not familiar with the Alabama brand of cockroaches, the Hawaiian ones are the size of small mammals. Mark Twain described them as”galloping” which is entirely accurate. You can hear them run.

  • c

    I can totally relate to this post April. I am not homeschooling, and 3 of my kids are at school all day, yet I cannot manage my house either. I keep the organization to one floor of the house. My upstairs and basement make me want to cry too, most days. It frustrates me how it affects my mood, but when you have a household to run disorganization really messes things up! Hang in there, enjoy the holidays with your family! When I get back from a trip home, the change of scenery renews me and I am more focused and motivated to get things together.

    • Thank you! Oh, I had a similar struggle when 2 of mine were at school too. I saw your Facebook picture, with all 5 kids on Santa’s lap, and it was SO PRECIOUS. And that’s what makes all of this worth it!
      I love what you said about the change of scenery and visiting family renewing us. I had not thought of that. That will be WONDERFUL. 🙂 Thank you!

  • April I know how you feel! The cleanliness of my house affects my mood to! But when you work full time and being a mom is a full time job while adding homeschooling to it means you work double full time! Sometimes in the words of Elsa you have to Let it go! It’s hard and makes you want to cringe but I have learned that on the weekdays sort of clean is clean enough! Sure there are piles of toys in the living room but hey it is what it is. I do the deep cleaning on the weekends start the week off right and by Friday I am ready to cry but suck it up and remember that in the grand scheme of things whether or not the toys are put in the appropriate bins with labels ad organized is not important. Hang in there momma! Enjoy your trip to Alabama 🙂

    • There really are only so many hours in the day. Glad to know I’m not the only one who struggles with this. Unfortunately, I have not been spending my weekends doing all that much deep cleaning….maybe tomorrow. 😉

  • Donna Stephens

    Love all of these encouraging comments. Come “home to Alabama” and get refreshed. We are so looking forward to your visit! You can totally take it easy once you get “home to Alabama.” You will have two extra adults at both places so you won’t be outnumbered!
    Could you bring your baby monitors with you so we can keep an eye on the boys from the den? We don’t want to have to make hundreds of trips a day just up to the playroom to check on them!
    Hope the plane trip goes smoothly. Won’t this be Alan’s first time to fly with you and all four boys? Glad he will be there to help. David will be there to pick you up at the airport. Love you all and hurry “home to Alabama!”

  • queenmommyjen

    April this is so sweet! I am crazy about having a clean house, but I know that the people in the house are more important than how it looks!

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