My Secrets to Managing Everything

My Secrets to Managing Everything

How Do I Manage To Do Everything? 

I get asked this all the time! The question is usually phrased like this, "You have four kids, work full time, have a side hustle, grow a garden, raise animals, and cook at home. How do you do it all?". My normal quick response is, "I just do it." But that response doesn't help anyone who might want to know my "secret," which is another thing I'm often asked, "What is your secret?" So here are my secrets to managing it all.

It's not that hard, I promise! Once you learn the basic knowledge and the simple ways to do things in these three areas, Home, Garden, & Kitchen, you'll find it easy. I know you think I'm crazy. But it will make more sense once we break down a couple of beginning steps. Then you will better understand why the Cottagecore lifestyle is for me.  


My Secrets To Managing Everything

Secret 1: Stop Trying To Do It All

 This step applies if you are a parent, spouse, or by yourself. The advice is still the same. 

My Children Help: 

  • First, I'm not doing all of it by myself. I couldn't. It's unfair to my family or me to try to be a super mom. My whole family is involved with different aspects of the homestead. Each of my children has age-appropriate chores. They have to feed one designated animal and do one duty inside the house each day. Bonus work past that equals bonus pay. 

Children Standing in front of Cottagecore Garden

  • They are a physical part of the homestead that gives and takes away. They take care of the animals, and those animals provide food for them. They help with the garden and receive one of their favorite snacks. They do chores inside the house because they contribute to the mess.
  • They learn that they have value and purpose in our family. When we all work together, the work gets done faster, and then we all get more time to focus on what we want. 

 Planning Together: 

  • My husband and I split up the homesteading areas between ourselves. There are different areas and aspects that each one of us is just naturally better at. We always discuss decisions and plans with each other too. I'm just better at remembering all the details than he is! 

 Teaching My Children Life Skills:

  • My oldest daughter and I take turns cooking supper, making enough for leftovers, so we don't have to worry about cooking lunch. Of course, sometimes it doesn't work out that way, but that's okay. The younger ones are slowly learning to cook and bake too. 

Child holding a basket of Chanterelle mushrooms

Stir-fry sweet peas and Chantrelle mushrooms

Family Helps With The Family Business: 

  • When we go to craft markets, farmer's markets and festivals, my kids and my father are there helping with set up and customer service. It's a family affair in which we all participate.     
       Girl selling handmade candles       Girl selling house plants
Wildwood Wonder farmers market tent

Suppose you don't have children or a spouse to help and break up the everyday tasks. Can you let one of the things go? Or your secret could be scheduling them throughout the week to help spread the workload each day. 

Does this all go smoothly and perfectly all the time? Noooooooooo. 

This leads us to the next step. 

Secret 2: Let Go of Perfect 

I admit that this one is tough. I am naturally a perfectionist, and it has taken me years to loosen that mindset. You feel the pressure to be the best no matter what area it is in your life. What will people think of you or your family? Someone doesn't believe what you did is good enough? What if you are on a different level than someone who might be doing the same thing?

"Being Perfect" can show up as many things: 

  • The way your house looks.
  • Trying to be a super mom. 
  • The way you and your family look when you go out. 
  • What do other people think about you? 
  • Are your kids involved in what is popular right now? 
  • If everyone else is going, we have to too.
  • Do I look good on Social Media?
  • Requiring that the kids do all the chores perfectly

 That last one is my struggle currently. My kids are old enough to do their chores properly, but their perfection will differ from mine. I have to keep reminding myself of that. The goal isn't perfection. The goal is for everyone to participate as a whole family unit, learning to help and complete a task. 


Your Current Season In Life:

I also have to remind myself that three of my kids are 10, 9, and 8, and expecting a clean house all the time is a battle I will not win. But, I ask them to clean up after themselves, lifting the burden off me. This messy age is just a season of life that will not last forever. 

Even though we all know deep down that no one is perfect, and it is a fantasy we will never achieve, we still dwell on it. It adds extra stress and worries to our lives, taking away from the simple joy of just living. 

I'm not saying go to Walmart in your pajamas. I am suggesting you take one thing you stress over being perfect at and see if you can take it off your "perfect" plate. You will be surprised that your life will become simpler once you start doing this. A simpler life also means time to slow down. 

Boy sitting holding a small piece of moss in the woods

I have found it easier to let go of wanting to be perfect and worried about what other people think once I had my "why" and goals of how I wanted to live my life. Stopping to enjoy a simple life is one of those goals. 

Secret 3: Slow Down

The areas I mentioned in Step 1 & Step 2 can keep us from achieving this step, but so can the things around you. Just because our modern world is running twenty-four-seven doesn't mean you have to too. Stores are even open 24hrs. You now live in a world where you can get instant gratification in most things, especially in the tech sector, which is incredible if we use it in moderation.

Here are some other examples too: 

  • It's my job as a mom to take my children to any and every activity they are interested in participating in. 
  • I have to say yes to everything people ask me to join in or help with.
  • My job IS my life.
  • A filled-up calendar is a badge of honor. 
  • Spending time on things I enjoy is selfish.
  • People will think negatively about me if I don't attend or do that. 

It's okay to say NO! Yet, another thing that took me years to learn, and guess what? When I finally said no, the world didn't end. I felt so much better afterward, too! Each time you say no, to busyness and activities, it gets easier. 

Two small children sitting on a rock beside a river

Once you free up time from things you didn't want to do in the first place, you will be amazed by how many personal goals get done, which is how I get everything I want to accomplish done! 

My Cottagecore Lifestyle: 

If you were to list what you want your life to look like, what would be on it?

Here is a look at mine: 

  • Simple living
  • A home that feels safe/ warm/ a refuge 
  • Surrounded by nature
  • Good wholesome food
  • Be self-sufficient 
  • Spending time with my family 
  • Teaching my kids skills
  • Grow a garden 
  • Create crafts and art. 
  • Slow down and enjoy life

As my list naturally grew and became a way of life for me, the more I realized I had grown to adopt the Cottagecore lifestyle. 

Most of you are wondering what Cottagecore is. 

Blog Post Image: Is the Cottagecore life for you?

Well, I will cover that in the next blog post of this series Intro to the Cottagecore Lifestyle, What is Cottagecore? 

Thank yo for stopping by our Modern Cottagecore Homestead! 


  • What a great introduction and great advice!

    Vickie Fortenberry
  • I loved reading every word of your blog. I am a reader. Lol It was very interesting. Thank you for posting. Hope all my friends read it too. There a lot of people that do a lot of what you do such as gardens and chickens. Also turkeys and hogs. Thank you

    Cecelia Carr

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