Dreaming Big Living Small

Why I don’t get everything done and why that’s ok

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One of the major questions homeschool moms get is… How do you do it all? Well, I’m here to tell you that as both a homeschool mom and small business owner, WE DON’T.  Sometimes kids can make a mess faster than you can clean… even when you live tiny.  I think it happens more when you live tiny because there are fewer places to hide and lock things up and out of the reach of tiny fingers.  Sometimes it’s important to just stop and live in the moment with our kids. 

A few days back our four-year-old was admiring a bookmark I’d made.  It had a sunflower that I’d used my watercolor pencils and paints to make, and he wanted to have it. But so did my older kids. I told them I would teach them how to draw and paint sunflowers. I needed to take a break, so we grabbed our watercolor pencils and got to work. 

Skyler drawing with watercolors
Skyler drawing with watercolors

One thing I’ve learned to make painting easier with kids is to grab a roll of blue painter’s tape and run a strip down each side as well as the top and bottom. This not only helps hold the paper in place as they go, but it gives it a nice clean look when it’s done. To prevent it from tearing the paper when removed, I’ll stick it to my pant leg first and then put it on their paper making it a tad bit less sticky.

My husband had found these watercolor kits for kids on Amazon that come with watercolor pencils, a paintbrush, and a small pad of paper. It was perfect for the kids, and we didn’t have to worry about the fighting over who wanted which color.

Once we got everyone’s paper taped down to the table, grabbed our little cups of water, and a paper towel, we got to work. I taught them how to draw the circle for the center of the flower and color the circle in. I helped our youngest draw the outline of the petals and he was able to color and paint the rest.

One thing I remind my kids of often is my expectations: “Do I expect perfection?”. They know the answer will always be no.  Then I ask them what I do expect, and the answer is always the same “you expect us to do our best”. 

Kaylee's sunflower
Kaylee’s sunflower

While Skyler was getting frustrated with his imperfections, he was so excited that he had painted a perfectly imperfect sunflower in the end. We lifted the tape and paper off the table and taped them to the fridge to let them dry.

Just like I expect my kids to do their best, I try to do my best.  But the one thing I’ve learned is that I just can’t do everything every day.

I pick the most important tasks and focus on those, then let my efforts trickle down into the smaller and less significant tasks. One thing that has stuck with me recently is that relationships with my kids are more important than anything else in the world and that when I work to build them, everything else falls into place naturally.

The simple act of making my children the priority has helped me be closer to them. It also helps the kids. They feel loved and important. While it can feel stressful at times to not get everything else done, I simply remind myself that the “stuff” can’t go with me after this world. But the relationship with my family will continue forever.

What kind of things do your kids love to do with you? How can you work to build a better relationship with those around you without feeling the burnout of “doing everything”?

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Picture of Ashley
Wife to Alex & mother to our four children. I spend my days homeschooling our children and running my candle business. I enjoy getting outside and working in the garden or going hiking and taking photos.

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