I often get looks of disbelief when I tell people some of the activities the kids do at daycare (good examples: Field Day 2015 and Pasta Play Day) or when people ask me what I do for a living. I respond “I’m a daycare provider and I also own and run a website and I write books and I’m producing a play!” This leaves people with their mouths open and suddenly they have no idea what to say to me. Usually the first words out of their mouths goes something like this:

“I…um…oh…but…ummm…wow. How do you do it?”

Well, I’m finally prepared to let people in on my little secret. How do I do it? By it, I’m assuming people mean my life. How do I parent, run a successful daycare, keep up on writing, find the time to write books, and how am I producing a play? I am busy. Like crazy busy. I decided to nix our summer vacation because I am drained. I’m opting for a staycation because it sounds way more relaxing and invigorating. I’ll admit, part of me is kicking myself for nixing the trip because…oh my gosh…it would have been such a fun blog post to write about. But my body is telling me to rest and I’m listening.

Things don’t always go smoothly. My pictures may be fun and everything may look amazing, but let me tell you, there are difficulties. During Field Day 2015 there were no less than half a dozen time outs during the three hours of activities. To get our semi-okay pictures before the Minions Movie, threats were made. I told my five year old that if he didn’t stop covering his eyes or grabbing his penis I would hand him off to the next person that walked by. Luckily it didn’t come to that so he didn’t have to call my bluff.

I have to plan. A lot. I have to plan meals, snacks, make sure we have enough hand soap, crafts, toys, which kids need more diapers, schedules for my family and the daycare families. I make lists of things to do. We have several To Do Lists going at once. Our fun to do list, our places to go list, our local restaurants to eat at list, our errand list, and my daily to do list.

I put one thing at the top of my list every day to complete. If I accomplish nothing else on the list, I make sure this one thing gets done. My one thing changes daily. Sometimes it’s as simple as getting an email sent to someone, getting an appointment made, getting pictures loaded onto the computer. Sometimes it’s household chores: I will finish laundry today, clean out the pantry, deep clean a bedroom. Sometimes it’s for my family: we will go swimming this evening, watch a movie together, have a game night. Sometimes it’s for my businesses: I will get receipts filed away, I’ll get everything entered into my spreadsheet. Sometimes it’s a goal: I will walk/run so many miles this evening, I will promote the website to xx amount of businesses when I’m out. Everything else on my To Do List is seemingly less important until my one thing is accomplished. This gives me perspective. It allows me to focus on every aspect of my life on different days.

Even with as much as I plan and try to keep things together, there are a lot of quirks, intense situations (like my three year old locking herself in a bathroom stall), pictures aren’t perfect, and there are so many unplanned events. At the end of the day it makes me smile and laugh and it gives me a good story to write about. It doesn’t matter how much I plan or how much doesn’t go according to plan. I’ve found with my little secret I can accomplish things easily.

“Do what you love and love what you do.”

I don’t do anything I don’t love or that doesn’t make me happy. I love being with my kids, even when they drive me crazy. I love getting creative and igniting creativity in children and teaching them. I love writing, so I write about my adventures as a parent and daycare provider. Because I love both of those things. I love getting out and doing things and exploring, so I do get out and do things with my kids. Then I write about it. Because all of those things make me happy. I love to try new things and take a chance, so I’m producing a play. Because it makes me happy and teaches me new things. That one thing at the top of my list every day is something that makes me happy and betters my life in some way.

I realize I’m lucky to have found my niche in life. To have a life that puts a smile on my face, even when I’m stressed. To have a life I get excited about and I’m passionate about. To have people around me that support me, even if they roll their eyes at me or gasp when they hear about all I do.

I may not do it all perfectly, but that’s okay. I’m not aiming for the perfect life. I’m aiming for the life that puts a smile on my face. I’m aiming to be the person that inspires others and shows others how to do what you love and love what you do.

This post was originally featured on Ashlen Sheaffer’s blog, The Kidsperts. Featured image via.