For whatever reason, I have found myself accomplishing a lot more in the day than over the winter. I do suspect that I have a touch of seasonal mood swings, but I am happily noticing that my productivity is reaching an all-time high. For the past few weeks, I have started my day around 5:30 with a 45 minute run. Maybe it's that kind of start to my day that provides me with the energy I need to stay focused.
In the past, I have tended to struggle with keeping our house orderly (which therefore spun me into a horrendous mood). The difference? I have expected others to help me. Wrongly, I justified my serving my family with the reasoning that I don't work outside the home. Even though that may be true, I realized that I'm not doing anyone any favors by being a servant. I certainly don't mean that I haven't been serving my family, but I refuse anymore to be a slave, and the only one that works to keep the house running smoothly.
I am beyond thankful to be able to stay home full-time with our children. I am grateful to my husband that he works so hard to support us so comfortably. I love him, but let me tell you, my friends - he is helpless. I hope you don't think I'm being unkind, I'm just being honest. I'd like to think that if he wasn't so overwhelmed with work that I could train him to be helpful around the house. Naturally, though, he does not see what needs to be done, cannot cook anything (!), and has cleaned a bathroom one time in his life. Seriously.
Now, please let me say that I love my mother-in-law. She is honestly one of the most gracious people I know. She did a great job raising four kids (one with severe special needs), but maybe she erred on the side of doing too much. I'm not sure that he was ever expected to help with general household work (mowing the lawn notwithstanding).
Does anyone else struggle to find the balance in serving your family but also expecting them to help? I have found myself starting with some small things, but I'm encouraged. I now expect my kids to clear their own plates and load them in the dishwasher. We've also started tackling the housecleaning on Saturdays. They clean their rooms while I clean the house. I do have to put aside my preferences a little on the room cleaning. They certainly don't do things the way I do, but I have to accept a little more clutter and a little less perfection. Lastly, they have started to put away their own laundry. They each have a laundry basket in their room and when it's filled I wash their clothing and return their folded, clean clothes [which they then put away].
I have discovered that not only are they capable and somewhat willing, but that they seem to take pride in their work. They tend to keep their rooms cleaner for longer. I certainly have more to teach them, but at least we're getting started. I would love to hear your ideas for training your kids to be self-sufficient. Please share! With summer quickly approaching, I'd love to keep making progress.