Keeping It Together
Jaxon & Vegas
A lot has changed over the past few months. We had 2 additions to our family last October. Identical twin boys! Making us a family of 7.
Here’s a little sum up of my life now. I live off grid with my husband and 5 kiddos, work 4 days a week teaching music both privately and in a public school, I homeschool my 2 oldest daughters (6 and 8 years old), while trying to teach my 3 year old not to be a rude human being (haha), oogle and lose sleep over my 6 month old babies, manage the household, being mid-remodeling, etc. So, how do I manage to keep it together with all this to up hold on the daily? Well, here are 5 tips on how I do it. (Even when I think I’m failing.) I thought I’d pass this along because no matter what life entails, there are struggles and overwhelm of one kind or another. If I can muddle through maybe I can help one other person do the same.
I often hear, “I don’t know how you do it” and “you have your hands full.” This is true. (Though it could be worse.) So how do I do it? Here is my anecdotal How-To on Keeping it Together.
Living off grid is hard. Having kids is hard. Homeschooling is hard. Having twins? ….yes it’s hard too. Luckily, my personality craves challenge. Especially when that challenge has rewards that would otherwise be unobtainable and perhaps unforeseen.
1. Have your “reward” in the forefront of your mind.
Why do we live off grid if it’s so hard? Well, we want to live more freely, we like our space and run of the land without close neighbors. We are able to spend more time at home with our family instead of the normal 9-5 because we don’t have a mortgage, or utility bills. So it is well worth the hard.
Homeschooling and working? It is tricky. However, having my own music business allows me to make a schedule to be present for my family during the the day and aid others in realizing their musical potential in the evenings (and let’s face it, income is a must). But I LOVE doing both. My kids get ME. I will not always have them near to teach, talk to and snuggle with, so spending this precious time with them is priceless. When my kids say they love homeschooling and I hear my daughter read knowing I taught her, my heart beams. Even while having the wee ones to take care of, they get to listen and learn while being held, feed or changed. I am lucky too, that my husband works from home and can spend time with the kiddos while I’m out. Doing something I love and am passionate about outside of the home is greatly fulfilling. When a student plays a song beautifully and skillfully, their pride is mine as well. It is worth every hardship that being home and away from home brings.
My husband and I work as a team, albeit an exhausted team. I am very thankful to have a husband who is knowledgeable and caring for us all. Even when our time together is spent non-stop with kiddos voices filling the air… our arms, and our bed at times. But as a wife, I give my support and love. That means biting my tongue …a lot, because a lack of sleep doesn’t generally lend itself to the best immediate reaction.
2. Know WHY you are doing it.
Keeping it together amid all this is very important to me. It can get rough at times. Those of you who know me may have heard a rant or two. But if I remember WHY I am doing all I do, it is because I want to make positive effects on those I love in all circles of my life. That includes myself. Because if I’m doing well, I can be a better me to everyone I am around.
3. Focus. On. The. Positive.
In addition, I keep my focus on the positives, not the negatives, because there will always be both (and yes sometimes I have to force myself). ….especially first thing in the morning.
4. Do what you can and let that be ok.
I do what I can with the energy I have. I haven’t had a full night’s sleep for months. So sometimes it’s cereal for dinner, or leaving the house a mess for one more day, or having the kids play with the babies so I can make a good meal and clean. I know that stressing myself about not being, or doing enough has no reward and makes me less then pleasant when it comes right down to it. I am not perfect and that’s ok.
5. Does it make you happy in the long run?
Finally, decide if it’s worth the hard and ultimately brings you more happiness in the long run. My personal experiences shared here drive me to persist when I am “too” tired or don’t “feel” like it. I have accomplished most of my goals thus far thanks to this last one. I know that even when it’s hard, persevering allows me to fully realize my own potential. Off grid living, homeschooling, teaching music, and keeping it together definitely brings me joy and happiness in the long run.
I hope this gives you some encouragement to:
Keep it up,
Let it go,
or Go for it!!
Keep it together!
Thanks for reading.