Mar 31 11
by cara
at 11:19 AM
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What I DON’T Do So I CAN Do What I DO Do

I totally copied the title of this blog post from This Adventure because it made me smile (and inspired this whole post)….

One of the problems with blogs is that they often give the appearance that you live a perfect life.  Sometimes blogs are deceptive in that it can appear that you are some kind of Super Mom with a spotless, beautifully decorated house, perfectly behaved genius children, a wonderfully romantic marriage, gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table.  You may appear to be put together at all times and still have time to craft and volunteer.  I try to keep things REAL around here, sharing some of our struggles right along with some of the projects I’m proud of.  I hope that I’ve done a decent job with that.  But I still get asked frequently how I “do it all.”  The answer?  I DON’T!  Not even close.  I also hear lots comments like “where do you find the time to do that?” or “I WISH I had time to do that!”  So I started thinking about the things I DO make time for, and the things that I don’t spend much time on (some of these need more attention-like date nights with my husband, others I’m perfectly happy keeping on the backburner-like scrapbooking).

What I DON’T Do:

1. Get 8 hours of sleep a night-I always try to get to bed early, since The Littlest Apple is an early riser and I started getting up even earlier (see below), but it never quite happens.  The Littlest Apple goes to bed around 8:30, I relax for a bit, take a bath, and next thing i know, it’s 11pm!

2.  Homeschool-The Littlest Apple goes to preschool 2 1/2 days a week.  I love to do some learning activities at home with The Littlest Apple, but I really admire all of you moms who do this all day every day!!

3.  Scrapbook–I’ve bought supplies before, but never quite got started

4.  Sew or knit–Okay, I’ve hand-sewn a few quilts and I sewed the curtains for the Dress Up Storage Bin and Puppet Theater, but this isn’t something I spend much (any) time on.

5.  Crank out weekly DIY projects–my cute wreaths and other crafts are few and far between, and any big project (painting, a room makeover, building a bed) takes MONTHS to finish.

6.  Watch TV during the day-I relish the quiet when The Littlest Apple is at school, but really, books and the interwebs can be just as much of a time sucker.

7.  Work out at the gym every day-We got a membership to the YMCA recently, but I’m still a little intimidated by the gym workout.  Also, I have to drive all the way over there!  I would like to go more though.

8.  Have regular girls night outs-I honestly can’t remember the last time we did this.  Local ladies: we need to get together!!

9.  Have regular date nights with my husband-definitely need to work on this!!

10.  Have regular playdates-With The Littlest Apple in school 2 1/2 days a week, at the  grandparents one day, and visiting the other grandparents another day after school, we’ve really only got ONE free day.  And lately we’ve just enjoyed relaxing at home.  BUT I miss seeing our friends more regularly!!

11.  Spend hours every day cleaning my houseCLEAN in 2011 is about manageable cleaning for people like me who hate to clean.  You’ve seen my oven, right?

12.  Talk on the phone– I HATE talking on the phone.  If you are a friend of mine IRL, you know this about me.

13.  Wash, dry and style my hair every day-My hair is frequently in a pony tail, but I usually try to look relatively put together otherwise.  Those cute and colorful necklaces and/or big dangly earrings I’ve got on are supposed to be distracting you from my greasy hair.  Is it working?

What I DO Do:

1.  Get up at 5:30 so I can squeeze in devotion time before my early bird gets up-read my bible (following the one year plan), S.O.A.P. Journal, prayers

2.  Cook dinner 5 nights a week

3.  Read lots of books

4.  Volunteer as Room Mom for my son’s preschool class (and Auction Basket Coordinator)

5.  Workout at home 3-4 days a week (in a good week)- need to increase this or join my husband at the gym on the other days

6.  Spend time reading and commenting on blogs–one of the best ways to build a blog following (and also a BIG time sucker if you don’t limit yourself!)

7.  Work on The Picky Apple (the blog, not the husband)–at least an hour a day, even on non-posting days

8.  Participate in church related activities several days a week.  Right now, I’m in a wonderful moms group, finishing up the Alpha Course, and getting ready to start leading a small group with a friend.  (I NEVER would have imagined doing ANY of this a year ago!)

9.  Take naps occasionally when The Littlest Apple takes his–I’ve always loved naps, but afternoons (12-2) are HARD for me now that I’m getting up earlier.

10.  Take a bubble bath most nights–usually with a good book.  A great way to relax at the end of the day!

We all have the same amount of time each day.  How you spend it is up to you!!

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From motherhood

  1. You do a great job on “keeping it real.” I think that you made a good list of things you do and don’t do. Personally, I have scaled back on my church involvement. I also have cut back on volunteer leadership roles at the school, although I still volunteer and help out. I just didn’t want to be “in charge” of anything. This has given me more time for gardening and part-time work. Thanks for your perspective of “what you don’t do so you can do what you do do.” (Try to say that 10 times fast!)

  2. Cassie permalink

    I can say we have alot in common. For your don’t do list, mine are 1,2, 4, 7,8,9,10, 12 & 13. So you are not alone! Lol. 🙂

  3. Anonymous permalink


    Thanks! As far as church involvement goes….I know at some point I probably will scale back, but I’m still in that “baby Christian” phase of being super eager to get involved and soak up as much as I can. I’ve never really done any of this stuff before so it’s all still new and exciting right now. I am planning to scale back my volunteering at school next year-remind me I said that in August when they’re passing around the Room Mom signup sheet! Ha!

  4. Anonymous permalink

    Wow Cassie! Your DON’T list looks really similar to mine!

  5. Cassie permalink

    Lol, I know right. As far as the DO list, I need to try some of yours. Lol. Especially the waking up early one so I have some time to myself in the morning before my little ones wake up. 🙂

  6. Kara Fleck permalink

    Love this, Cara! Whenever people ask me how I “do it all” I always answer that the list of things I don’t do is miles long 😉

    thanks for your honesty! Always nice to know there are other mere mortal mothers out there 🙂

  7. Anonymous permalink


    Yup, mere mortal mother right here!

    I’d definitely be curious to hear your “Don’t Do” list….you are one of those moms that I’m in awe of with your homeschooling, knitting, multi-blog blogging. 😉

  8. Christie Kirby permalink

    Hey, Cara. I think you have a great blog! I started one of my own recently ( – I think I’ll steal your idea for a post. Thanks!

  9. Kara Fleck permalink

    Aw, thanks 🙂 But, I assure you, the list is long of what I don’t do.

    I’m not the best housekeeper (a big Spring Clean and then a pre-holiday deep clean help me fake it the rest of the year LOL) and the majority of the real cooking in our house is done by my husband. And, as for homeschooling? I borrow a lot of help and lesson plan ideas from others who have older kids and have already been there/done that.

    Other things I don’t do (that perhaps I should) – have a regular standing date night with my husband, volunteer, exercise (unless walking counts), get much time alone to myself, and spend more time with my girlfriends.

    And, sewing. My nine year old is already past me in the sewing area. I make mostly tangles and frustration 😉

    PS – every time I think of “clean ALL the things!” I think of you and giggle a little bit about how we have that in common 🙂

  10. Anonymous permalink

    Hey Christie! Thanks for your comment today. It’s so cool to see that you have a blog too. I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever, so it will be neat to have another way besides FB to see what you’ve been up to! Hope you’re doing well!

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