Inadequate 24 Hours A Day


I told my husband the other day that on my bad days, I feel like mothering is a stint in being inadequate 24 hours a day.  I can’t meet everyone’s needs; there is no way that  I, as one single faulty human being, can fully meet the needs of the other four people in my immediate family (not to mention extended family and other obligations!)


Have you ever felt like that?  I have gone through periods of that in my mothering where I have felt more strongly like that than others, and I am sure you have too. 


I am constantly encouraging mothers in this really short season of mothering and especially for my homeschooling mothers to do the best they can to slow down, to not wear so many hats and to simplify things.


But even in doing all these things, you probably still are not going to be able to “do it all”.  Doing it all is a fallacy.


I can set priorities.

I can recognize that everyone in the family has needs, and I can see who desperately has to have their needs met first or right away and then work down the list.  I can’t meet everyone’s needs at the exact same moment.

I can enlist help – my spouse, my extended family, my neighbors, my intimate friends.

I can help my children learn and take on more responsibility as they grow.

I can set aside time to nurture myself so I can be centered and calm. 

I can allow other people to also nurture me.


When we homeschool, I do think we so set that as a priority and give up other things in terms of time and energy…more about that in another post.   It is more important than ever when we parent, and especially when we homeschool, to find the best ways to  simplify, prioritize, delegate, and to allow the family to work as a team.


If I can work from this space:

Time and space in the rhythm of the day to allow for connections, and yes, to allow for when challenges occur.

Time and space in the rhythm of the school year to make up any work that didn’t go as smoothly as I originally thought.

Time and space for when life intervenes.

Less hats, less obligations because right now parenting smaller children and homeschooling is the priority.

Doing our best to plan ahead so we have the financial resources available to homeschool and parent. 

A laid-back attitude to know that this is how mothering rolls.

A good sense of humor to address the needs of children in multiple ages.

Our family works as a team, and the children have ways to contribute as well.

To remember to have fun!  This season of mothering is really small.  Fun actually is a priority!!


…than life flows more abundantly and more freely, and I can feel free to know life is life, no one can be perfect, and that family life has its ups and downs, its connection and fun.


Many blessings,

4 thoughts on “Inadequate 24 Hours A Day

  1. Thank you, Carrie, I really needed to hear this today. I find that the most challenging part of parenting is meeting everyone’s needs. And of course, everyone has different needs for afternoon sleeps or getting to basketball training on time or having extra time to sort out a problem or practise reading. Sometimes I feel like a failure for not being able to do all this. Your post today reminds me that it is impossible for me to do this. Sometimes the best I can do is to do whatever this particular moment requires of me – apply a bandaid, leave the dishes to read a story, or just go to bed early!

  2. Boy do I know this one well:). We have a phrase for it in the psych biz, about tolerating being the “useless other”. I think the tolerating part, in the grace-filled ways you describe them, is *the* deepest spiritual practice. Here’s to ALL being on that path:)>.

  3. Carrie, I love how you are willing to express yourself even when things seem less than perfect! I have had the same feelings many days. “I can’t meet everyone’s needs” has been a running theme in my life lately. While I don’t want anyone else to feel that way, it is nice to know I’m not the only one with that feeling! The suggestions of remembering the season of mothering is short and to slow down are wonderful. I look at my oldest daughter and oldest son now and see how fast the years are going by. Thank you for your honesty and tips! Your blog helps me so much! Love, Jenna

  4. Carrie, you have no idea how this just puts things more into perspective. I have been recently thinking of how many a time I get disappointed because things didnt go the way I had planned and realise that I have been seeking too many things. So letting go and letting myself be guided is what I am working on.

    Thanks for this

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