Linen Napkins

I made a goal to blog every day in November, knowing that it would never happen, and I managed to post ten whole posts!  That’s amazing considering my life.  I wrote this post a week ago and never got around to posting it. 

I have been scheming to make more free time in our lives and have experimented with so many ideas and schedules over the years but it always comes down to one thing.


I need help. My life is the equivalent of about sixteen full time jobs.  I wish I was exaggerating.

Last summer, in desperation, I hired a full time cook for a few months.  I had dreams that my whole house would be perfectly clean, we would sit and eat lovely meals at the table with linen napkins and I would have all kinds of free time to homeschool my children, practice my violin and go for walks every day but that didn’t happen.  I was still behind.

This girl was fabulous but all she did, for eight hours a day was cook and clean the kitchen. That’s it. And we weren’t even having fancy meals. Maybe she cleaned my bathrooms once a week. I don’t think I could do it with two or three full time helpers. Ok, maybe three would do it.  Or four.


When I was in Guatemala I had a full time housekeeper, a cook and a gardener and I still didn’t have time to do what I needed to do.

Yesterday morning I worked in the kitchen for two hours, I had a neighbor girl wash dishes for two hours in the afternoon and I was still up till 1:00 in the morning cooking and washing dishes. If I’m not in the kitchen at least six hours a day we get even further behind than we already are.

Without this horrendeous diet we are on I still wouldn’t be able to stay afloat. I used to try to figure out if there aren’t enough hours in the day or if my standards were too high.

Of course I am trying to live above my means like everyone else. It’s too much to ask that I have happy, healthy, educated children, a clean house, and an hour of free time for myself every day.  To open a book and actually read it. Or to take a shower once in a while. Definitely too much to ask but I can’t help wanting it.

So what is a mother to do?

Stop pretending she can do it all herself and get help of course. If you can enlist friends or family great. Even better if you can hire it out.

If none of those are options…

We’ll just have to figure something out.


One thought on “Linen Napkins

  1. Dearwyn

    I feel like we all need help in our very complicated and busy lives. Enlisting the help of family and friends however is not always very practical because everyone is busy. Family and friends need help also. And if you can’t afford to hire someone to help with the extra work then the only option seems to be to pare things down to where we aren’t as over scheduled and as over “consumer-ed” so we don’t have so much need for help. Free time is only an unobtainable dream to so many in the world. Sports, music lessons, dance lessons, classes, nice clothing, wonderful diets, technology, pets, books to read, vacations, shoes, cars, bikes, exercise clothing, and a million other things that we classify as being necessary simply are unobtainable to millions of people on our planet. I wonder if maybe we should just choose fewer activities and “needs”. Could it possibly be frustrating to us because maybe 1st world “needs” conflict with many 1st world abilities to “deal” with SO. MUCH. TIME. CONSUMING. STUFF.
    I know I “want it all”-but maybe the wanting is actually my problem. It can deprive me of sleep, health, actual time with those I love, and in the longer run, happiness. And isn’t happiness what we’re seeking? I’m just wondering because “we’ll just have to figure something out”.

    This is all I can figure out at this moment.


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