No one around here knows what it's like to shoulder the weight of all the housekeeping, laundry, child-rearing and oh, yes, a JOB. I, and I alone, am responsible for the wheels turning, the homework management, the drycleaning, the dog feeding, the shoe locating and the cheerio unsticking. If only this ungrateful lot knew how much I sacrifice my own goals and dreams just to keep my family organized! Why, I'd be the CEO of my Very Important Creative Business if I didn't have to scrub every potty and pick up after these kids day after day. No doubt the world would recognize the greatness that this family takes for granted as they sit on the couch with their video games and ipods, asking for snacks served on a tray.
Oh, self-pity fits like a comfortable shoe. So snug. I'm warmed by the tears of despair that flow from my downturned eyes. My deep sighs as I go about my day are the only clue that my worth is less than a serf, that my duty is to work my fingers to the bone, and that my every waking moment is spent in servitude.
Is this you? Yeah, it's me too.
But Tidy People rarely have this affliction, this affinity for sorrow.
They know the art of delegation.
Sharing the work is an important part of family structure and function. Oh, I know. Everyone complains and groans when asked to pitch in, and the demonstration of lethargy whilst doing their jobs is more than a parent can take. But perhaps some of this is a result of inconsistent delegation on our part.
Making work - chores - part of every family member's daily life causes a household to run with a rhythm. There is less complaining, because everyone knows what is expected. There is more overall joy, because everyone is a part of the team. It makes each member feel significant.
Unfortunately, there is less martydom. You'll have to get used to feeling happy.
Today's Small Thing is to delegate.
Give plenty of heads up. "Today when you get home from school, you'll pick up your room before you watch TV." (said cheerily.)
Don't give a long list. Better to get the family in the habit of doing one or two things consistently, than occasionally slamming a long list on the table and saying "I'VE HAD IT WITH YOU PEOPLE!" Very ineffective approach. (Trust me.)
Give a time limit. Every job takes as much time as allotted to it...so don't make it drag on.
Rotate jobs. Try a spinning wheel.
Show appreciation, but don't act like they've done you a big favor for picking up their own socks.
Use a chore chart. ListPlanit has a bunch of great ones!
Here are my Top Ten Tips for getting kids to help around the house.
What are YOUR tips? Please share!! What tips will you make use of today?