The elusive all crops up in conversation with almost any mom:
“How do you get it all done?”
“I don’t know how you do it all!”
“I could never do all that you do.”
I don’t care whether you’re a stay at home wife or mom. Whether you work at home for money or work outside the home. Whether you homeschool or send your children to private school or public school. These are the facts when it comes to doing it all:
1. The focus should be on giving our ALL, not doing it ALL.
Life is not a checklist to be completed. Life is something to be experienced. If I am constantly focused on doing, I will miss the being.
It’s hard. I realize how much I fail at the being when I try to explain the difference in verbs to my children. They get the action verbs: ran, ate, spoke, played, worked. But when I try to describe what it is just to be, they look at me quizzically.
Even now, I have a hard time grappling with the meaning of the sentence: I am. I always want to add a word on the end. I am…..working. I am….teaching. I am….cleaning. I am…..fill in the blank.
Yet, God calls me to give my all. To be. If I simply focus on being ALL He wants me to be, doing it ALL will fall into place on its own.
2. We ALL do ALL that is necessary.
When someone makes the comment about how I do it all, it makes me chuckle. The truth is simple. We all have our “hands full”. Someone once said that we just have our hands full of different things.
My husband doesn’t do much of the homeschooling or the cleaning in our home, but he takes the role of provider seriously. He has worked long hours, multiple jobs, and in stressful conditions to make sure that we have the necessities of life.
I do what I have to do. So do you. You might skip wiping baseboards this week, but your child is clean. You might be behind on the laundry, but your family has clothes to wear. You might be 5 math lessons behind, but your child has read 5 books this week. Perhaps you have run through the drive through a few times, but you played tag at the park with your little one.
As much as we stress over a long to-do list, the necessary things always get accomplished somehow. Maybe the question is: Is it ALL really necessary? And a possible answer: Not ALL the time.
3. My ALL looks different from your ALL.
The old saying, “The grass is greener on the other side of the fence” certainly applies here. Among the people that have told me, “I don’t know how you do it ALL” are retired women who have spent years caring for children and sick loved ones while holding down a full-time job.
Then there are the cashiers who work long hours with low pay who have to go home to cook dinner and clean house before falling into bed to rest up for another long shift.
Ministry wives who help their husband pastor churches and open their home at a moment’s notice to missionaries, visiting preachers and distraught parishioners in need of counseling.
To them, homeschooling seems impossible, but I have never done ALL they have done.
Your ALL might include a special needs child, caring for an aging parent, battling a serious illness, moving multiple times as a military wife, being a single mom or the high expense and workload of a child with food allergies.
So, it all comes full circle. Are we going to be our ALL or do it ALL? As always, our example is Jesus. There were people He didn’t heal, places He didn’t go, ministries He did not engage in. He simply was what He was intended to be. He was Savior. He gave His ALL for us.
And that is ALL He requires of us.