How I “Do It All” With A Bajillion Kids

by | Feb 21, 2018 | MOTHERHOOD

I don’t know how you do it!

Kudos to you!

How do you do it all?

I hear this all the time from friends and random strangers alike.  My typical response is a smile and admission that I have no choice so, I just do.

Just between you and me though, want to know my actual secret for maintaining an organized and balanced life?



Wanna boost your budget?  Master meal planning?  Clear the clutter?  Finally create a system that WORKS without losing your mind!  Mama, your time is NOW.


I don’t.

I imagine that when people ask how I do “it all,” they’re wondering if I’m some kinda domestic superhero—cooking, cleaning, homeschooling, and serving my husband delicious sandwiches all day.

To which I would gracefully reply, nope.  (Although I do make a mean sandwich.)

While I’m far from perfect–if I can be honest here–I often catch myself trying to be.

Do I have trouble managing my expectations? OH yes.

Do I compare myself to others?  Absolutely.

It’s easy to feel that I’m not doing or being enough when it seems like every other mom has:

  • a perfectly decorated and spotless house
  • a perfect homeschool routine that all of her kids love
  • a perfectly easy, healthy, dirt-cheap meal plan
  • the best craft ideas
  • the most stylish and minimalistic wardrobe
  • a thriving side hustle or two
  • time to workout everyday
  • a totally chill disposition



You may have heard the expression:  Comparison is the thief of joy. I would venture to say that comparison [in itself] is an objective and useful tool.

When I’m shopping for a new car, for instance, I will compare at least two different models in order to make the best selection.

However, comparison through the lens of perfectionism produces envy–the ultimate thief of joy.


1.  Envy is a joy-killer.

Notice how you feel after scrolling through your social media feeds each day. Inspired?  Drained?

I can only speak for myself, but I sometimes find it tricky not to size up my life next to photos of amazing vacations, fun moments with happy, well-rounded kids, and romantic date nights.

If you have ever completed a project from one of your Pinterest boards, I’m already impressed by you.  I know that social media envy comes from comparing my every-day to another’s highlight reel.  However, all envy needs is an inch.


2.  Envy is a moment-stealer.

I can almost guarantee that my mother did not freak out about doing all the things with and for us, and I turned out alright, except for the occasional twitchy eye.

Kidding aside–when I worry about how my mothering stacks up against that of my friends, Creative Mom, Fun Mom, Hot Mom, and Mom Boss–I miss out on precious time bonding with my kids and enjoying them for who they are.


3.  Envy is a soul-sucker.

When I compare my life (my kids, my parenting, my husband, my house, my body) to that of someone else’s, I’m focused on what I think I lack.  Nothing drains me faster than negativity, and I can’t fill my husband, kids, and community from an empty cup.   Instead of trying to do it all, or have it all–my goal is to live my best life. How can I do that?




Before you are a mother, or a wife, or whatever role you play, you are a person with a soul.  The best way to drain your soul is to barrel your way through each day, all work and no rest.  Even if you are in a season of life when you are not able to get as much physical rest as you would want (or need–mamas of newborns, I’m looking at you), you can take a breath or several throughout each day to recharge a little, and to re-focus.


1.  Plug into the original Source of all power.

God sees everything, and He cares about the intimate (and mundane) details of our daily lives.  When I lean into God for daily guidance, the day may not go exactly as I planned, but there is never a dull day.


2.  Make gratitude a daily practice.

I don’t do this every day, but I sleep a little better when I take a minute to thank God for who He is, and how He has shown up in my life today.

When I am thankful for my husband and children, for who they are right now.  The most joyful people I know are thankful for absolutely every good thing in their lives.

Joy does not mean I am always going to be happy, but when I am focused on how blessed I am, it is difficult to stay unhappy for long.  [In this case, I’m referring to situational unhappiness, not clinical depression or a mood disorder.]


3.  Grace, grace, and more grace.

There are no perfect people, and there are certainly no perfect mothers.

When I mess up, I’m tempted to sweep my mistakes under the rug.  It is hard to humble myself and ask for forgiveness.  Thankfully, God grants me a fresh start every time I screw up.

My plans for the day more-often-than-not get sacked by preteen hormones, toddler tantrums, and full moons (astronomically speaking, not anatomically speaking… for the most part.)

When that happens, instead of following my inclination to push harder, I try to ease off the gas and do something fun, like a dance party or a movie night.

When I faced the liberating truth that I can only control myself, stressing about everything outside of my tiny sphere of influence seemed like a waste of time and energy.


4.  Don’t go it alone.

I tried to do motherhood on my own for way too long.  I let my pride and insecurities draw me away from community.

I realized my life was given to me to pour into others, and to be poured into as well.  It really, truly does take a village.

Friends are meant to provide perspective, support, and accountability.  Plus, it’s much less crazy more fun to talk to others than it is to talk to myself.


5.  Cliché as it may sound, be present.

Yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is not a promise.  My kids will likely not remember how messy the house was, or how often I was punctual for appointments, or how many times I messed things up or got them right.  They will cherish the moments we spent together, enjoying each other.

They will remember the dance parties, the game nights, playing chase around the house, baking cookies, and decorating our tree with our janky ornaments all on the upper half so the toddlers didn’t take them off and eat them.

They will remember the times I slowed down enough to really see them, and allowed them to see me.

So, that, mis amigos, is how I do it all with four kids.  Four kids, not a bajillion. If I can do it, I am here to tell you that–so can you.


I would LOVE to hear YOUR pro tips on managing your sanity with multiple kids, and/or a crazy busy schedule.  Leave a comment!



  1. Sheilani E

    Thank you Kat. What a blessing to read this today.

    • Kat Charles

      So happy you were blessed. Thanks for reading!

  2. Tiffanie Hubbard

    I love this Kat!You are amazing and such a good Mom. I love you cousin!!!

    • Kat Charles

      Hey Tiff, thank you for reading! Takes one to know one. I love you too cuz 🙂

  3. Marya

    Very wise words to parent intentionally! No one can do it all.

    • Kat Charles

      Thank you for reading! We truly need a village.

  4. Amy @ Orison Orchards

    I have eight kids and I always get that exact same response from people. I tell them if they were a fly on my wall they would see the true Saunders clan. It’s so essential for us moms to all just be real, so we aren’t comparing ourselves to edited versions of everyone else. Your tips are great!

    • Kat Charles

      Hi Amy,

      You are so right. If only we understood that we are not that different. Thanks for reading!

  5. Bailey

    Yes to all of this! My mom (10 children) always asked who she was competing with or “behind.” It was such a freeing and life-giving perspective.

    • Kat Charles


      Great question! What a difference a tiny shift in perspective can make.

  6. Sunni

    Love this post! My sanity is provided by my group of friends. We get together at least once a month and talk about everything openly. It’s so helpful to have other moms to talk to!

    • Kat Charles

      Sunni, we SO need a village, and it sounds like you have an amazing one! I don’t know what I would do without my mom friends.

  7. Megan Rowsey

    We need more real life posts like this and less filtered instagram images that make us feel less than. Do your best and forget the rest!

    • Kat Charles

      Hey Megan! Glad you enjoyed this post. I feel so strongly that we should encourage one another where we can. We need a village, and this world can be so lonely. Thank you for reading!

  8. Helene

    You sound like super mom! I’m glad to hear you found ways to keep yourself calm and balanced!

    • Kat Charles

      Hi Helene! Believe me when I say that I am a work in progress. Just want to share what I am learning. Thank you for reading, and for your kind words!

  9. Chelsea

    Being present is HUGE. It can totally change your outlook on things when you are able to live in the moment and enjoy what you have!

  10. Cassandra

    Social media makes every person look perfect. It is good to remember we all have our struggles. I agree, gratitude is the healer of so many problems.

  11. Sarah

    Yes,yes, a thousand times yes! I’ve been working on becoming more contented lately and it isn’t always easy. But recently I have found that when I get to thinking about all I don’t have, I quickly remember what, and WHO, all I do have. Wonderful post!

    • Kat Charles

      Sarah, sounds like you have discovered the secret of contentment. Thank you for reading!

  12. Marcie

    I live by the mantra “comparison is the thief of joy.” I’ve also learned to be kind to myself. It helps a lot!

  13. Jersey Girl Cooks

    What a great post! So honest and real. I have two kids that are old enough to do almost everything on their own and I still don’t have a clean house!

  14. Evelyn, PathofPresence

    Thanks for this inspiring post to remind us that we are never alone, we don’t need to go at it alone, and being present to the moment is truly the only moment that we have. Bless you mama of a bajillion. You are amazing! ?


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Meet Kat

Hey there!  I'm Kat, homeschooling mom of four.  I'm on a journey to design a life I don't want to hide in the bathroom from.  Sound good to you?  Hope you'll join me!

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