I think we all know that lessons are learned everyday. It’s only if we are willing to pay attention that we actually learn them and then grow and change- or stay the same. I’m trying to grow and change.
Of all the jobs that I’ve had in this life, being a mother is by far the hardest. And it’s the one for which I am least qualified. I’ve been writing about it a lot lately because I am seeing the amount of things that I do wrong… and so very little of that which I do correctly.
I yell too much, I complain too much, I ignore too much, I have forgotten how to play. When the dishes pile high and the laundry is even deeper and the I can’t even see the floor- all of these things happen daily- it’s hard for me to remember to experience the child and not the mess.
Messes will clean up- eventually. A child is young only once. I have been missing this important lesson for the mess. If you know me you know that I am not the housekeeper of the year, but there is no challenging that I cannot stand to be overcome by mess. And with seven people in this house – and all of us messy- the overwhelming mess is instant.
So, with memory kicking in I have got a few ideas up my sleeve to help us all.
1. I’m putting routine back into our lives. We all thrive on it and need it… and it will make it better if I do.
2. I’ve put together chore charts. The older boys got to decide what they do, but it’s a requirement. I found the idea on Pinterest.com (click here http://pinterest.com/mrsz7/kids-ideas/) Chores are what makes a big family function. I had this idea stuck in my head that to make a child do a chore, was to make them slaves. But truth be told, everyone participating in appropriate level chores, makes everyone feel that they are an active, participating and productive part of the household. And it really helps me keep up. Realistically speaking, on my own I would never be completely caught up. But with everyone’s help- our house looks nice, in a very short amount of time.
Oh yeah, participating in the housework is a requirement, not an option. And there is no reward other than feeling good about helping do your part. However, we have set up Chore Cards (punch cards- as indicated in the link) that if they want a reward they can work above and beyond the required to earn a prize. I LOVE this, it’s really working well with the boys.
3. I need time alone. Go figure. If you know me, you know I thrive on being around people and with people and conversation and all that jazz. However, with five kids and a husband around almost all the time, I need time alone. Time to read, time to pray, time to journal, time to write, and time to just sit. This is no longer something I will allow on occassion, but something I will fight for everyday. It allows me to be more present for everyone. It’s a blessing to everyone.
4. Laziness is not an option. I cannot check out and expect the world to take care of itself. It is required that I do my part every day as much as I require it from the kids everyday. Otherwise… the piles awaiting me are terrifying 🙂
5. Prayer. I should have listed this as number one, but it is just really needed to be listed. Prayer for the kids, with the kids, with my husband, by myself, is needed. Often and continuous.
6. Music is healing. Did you know that if you play music, good positive music in the background while working or playing or anything changes the atmosphere and brings healing to angry, frustrated and tense hearts? Trust me, it really does.
7. Humbleness and humiliation are not the same thing.
8. Learning and growing makes the household a better place. Not to mention my heart.
I will keep learning lessons and I will keep sharing them with you. But you have no idea how much these lessons have made a difference in the past month or so. God sure has been packing them in 🙂