The Sampler – The Mom Who Does It All

sampler-main-180-pix.jpg5 Minutes for Mom brings you exclusive samplings from the best mom blogs in our weekly column, The Sampler, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom contributing editor Shera, from A Frog In My Soup.

As a mom of many children I saw myself perfectly mirrored in the submission I am featuring today! You see, I’m pretty sure that Katie Ebel can relate to my life in many ways … she is the mom of 5 children ages 6 and under.

Katie married her high school sweetheart to navigate the adventures of life with, he’s a Seargent in the Army National Guard, Youth Pastor, and full timer in the corporate world. Katie enjoys learning along with the kids as they homeschool, cloth diapering, trying desperately to grow more than one scrawny tomato plant in her garden, t-ball games and ballet recitals.

You can find her at her blog, Musings of a Mamma of Many (M.o.M) at There she writes about all the happenings that go on for a M.o.M., and the little things that flutter in and out of her mind to keep the inspiration going for running a house of littles. So be sure to grab a cup of coffee and visit her sometime soon!

The Mom Who Does It All

Let’s face it, none of us like to be the haggard mom. She looks like she hasn’t successfully put together an outfit in a decade, juggling more than she can handle, about to sit down in the middle of Target and have a good cry.

How about angry mom? We desperately don’t want to be her. We suck in our breath, so not to blurt out our frustrations, and simultaneously whisper “We’ll talk about it in the car!!” Then calculate the quickest way out without being noticed. We don’t want to be the angry mom who lets it loose at the worst possible moment when all eyes seem to be on her.

I think we’ve all wrinkled our noses at blissfully ignorant mom. She is so absorbed in what she’s doing or who she’s talking to that she seems to have forgotten her children exist. They tear down the aisles, run underfoot, shout and knock things over. Sometimes when we catch ourselves becoming too deeply absorbed in something we quickly turn to take inventory of the children and what they’re doing with sudden panic to not be her.

The mom who does it all… now her we envy. Somehow she must have more time in her day or need less sleep, or have a secret housekeeper, or something! There’s some secret she knows that the rest of us don’t!

I have found that the more children I have the more I am likely to slip into being one of the first three moms. In my desperation to not be them… I’m quickly ushered into being the mom who does it all. After all, if you have so many children and don’t look haggard, angry, or blissfully ignorant.. you are perfect now, aren’t you?

In the transition of being a mom of one to the mom of four, we just kept adjusting as necessary. But number five … sweet, little, happy, round-cheeked number five … who is all sunshine and giggles …. she has thrown a wrench into things.

I cannot keep up with laundry. When did the children last have baths? Is that a moldy apple under there? Pray our visitors are late so I can wipe the eggs off the floor and then calm the hungry baby – was that a car door early!?!????

Two and a half months late for dental cleanings.. maybe I can just skip it and the next appointment can have extra fluoride. I’ve been stepping over the same sticky spot on the kitchen floor for a week, saying I’ll mop when the children sleep.. Only to curl up with a blanket watching Chocolat – nurturing my soul so I can face tomorrow‘s chaos.

How about showing up to a party, and your child removes her shoes to show she’s wearing mismatched socks? That’s the last straw! How does one do it all?

The truth is.. no one does. What is “it all” anyway? I finally understand that “it all” is: the exact combination of weaknesses of the one who is imposing the image of “doing it all” onto you. After all – did you claim to do it all? Because I make it out of the house and back doesn’t mean I do “it all.” So here are my suggestions for how to look like you are the mom who “does it all” without losing your cool!

Decide what is most important to you anyway, and don’t let anyone or anything interfere with that. Any thing, you wonder? Why yes. If reading to your children every day is most important and you can‘t do that and wash the windows…. then don’t let the windows interfere. Don’t let anyone interfere? Well that really doesn’t need any explanation now, does it? The happiest moment of my life was when I realized I didn’t need to be the mom everyone else expected me to be. I needed to be the mom that came from being myself.

Once you can let go of the expectation, you can let go of the stress.

Small routines are what help hold it all together. It’s different for each family. I repeat “put your shoes on the rack!” when we walk in the door, so we know where all of our matching shoes are when we go to walk out the door.

Keep lipstick/lipgloss in your CAR somewhere handy, so you can throw some on before you get out at your destination. To spice it up, eyeliner too. NOT in your purse, which you will sometimes forget. Rub in a little lipstick on your cheeks as you would blush – I learned that one from my mother, she also had 5 children.

Besides the normal diaper bag items, mine also contains these 3 essentials – band aids, a Tide pen, and plastic grocery bag. Believe me, with those extra items you are prepared for almost anything the fates try throwing your way!

Matching shoes, lipstick, and an arsenal in your diaper bag? Who can top that? With that sort of confidence you can be sure to be admired. After all, you do it all don’t you?

~ Written by Katie Ebel of Musings of a Mamma of Many (M.o.M).

If you would like to be considered for The Sampler please review The Sampler Guidelines.

This column is Hosted by Shera. She can be found at A Frog In My Soup


  1. says

    Wow Katie – five under six! And you still have the presence of mind to think about lipstick? Impressive! I love your tips!

    For me, I have decided to let the pressure to entertain go. I just don’t do it very often and if we do have people over, it is informal and my husband does the cooking. The only parties (other than kids b-day parties) that I am throwing are online!

  2. says

    What a great article. Thanks so much for sharing that with us. Sometimes I feel like many of those moms, and I only have one infant!

  3. says

    As a mom of 5 kids under 9 I laughed outloud when you said that the sweet new one had thrown a wrench into things. I, too, have a new sweet, fat, baby (just turned 1), and he has done the same thing. How can just 1 more do that? Oh, well I take it one day at a time and I do let things go to make the memories or just be with the little people I have in my home. Thanks for the reminder and the tips.

  4. says

    I love it Katie!

    What a brilliant look at the impressions we mothers make upon others and how we judge each other. I’m afraid I fall too close to the haggard mom category on any given day. Even though I only have 2 children, and I have a nanny, juggling this crazy work-at-home business and trying to still be a good mom and homemaker stresses me beyond belief.

    I’ve had some readers tell me it seems like Janice and I must ‘have it all together’ since we work at home and run multiple websites… but nothing could be further from reality. I’m a basket case of multi-tasking stress. When you have kids, working at home is tough, just like working out of the house is tough and just like full-time mothering is tough.

    And we can all use some helpful tips on trying to keep it all together. So thank you for your advice.

    I’m going to put a lipstick in my car now (actually for me I need concealer to cover my bags under my eyes even more than I need lipstick)! LOL

  5. says

    Hi Katie! PLEASE, can’t you come up with a better “worst case scenario” than mis matching socks? :) Really, it was not a big deal at all.

    Thank you so much for saying that you watched a movie during nap time. It’s good to know that there are other moms who sometimes do that, too.

  6. says

    I love this article! I gotta tell you I can’t keep it together and I only have 1! My biggest problem is getting my husband to understand that the windows shouldn’t interfere … if you get my drift!

  7. says

    “I realized I didn’t need to be the mom everyone else expected me to be. I needed to be the mom that came from being myself.” Amen, sister!

    I am the oldest of five and my mom always appeared to do it all – She taught us at home, tended a garden, was a model wife, and a good friend. She was a GREAT MOM and she always made us feel like we were a priority! She DID do it all!

    Now, as a homeschooling mommy to six myself (5 boys and 1 girl – all 7yo and under), I TRY to do it all. BUT, I have to remind myself that I am the mom I am because of who I am, not because of who everyone thinks I should be, and I JUST CAN’T “do it all”!! (I have 15 loads of clean laundry waiting to be folded, mostly because it is more important to me to hang with my kids… Well, and I just hate folding laundry!)

    Off to check out Katie’s blog….

  8. says

    I also keep pressed powder in my car, in addition to my lipstick for a quick refresher. I need to grab the Tide pen to keep in the car. In the summer, I also keep an itch stick with me, as the kids and I are prone to getting mosquito bites. Thanks for the reminder that it’s alright to not “do it all” and thanks for keeping it real.

  9. says

    Great job, Katie! I’m sure you were writing this about me because I’ve had many ‘mismatched’ sock moments in my life.

    I knew you could make an impact on the blogosphere! Way to go! You should be so proud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *