Now that I feel better I also feel like I need to deal with the mess that my house has become. Don't get me wrong, my house is usually somewhat of a mess. Housekeeping has never been a strong suit of mine. However, even I am uncomfortable with the level of clutter and chaos here. I have a mountain of laundry to do, dishes piling up, floors that need to be swept and vacuumed, and groceries that need to be bought.
Wait a minute. I just described the condition that my home is in 90% of the time. (I told you housekeeping was not my strong suit.) The difference now is that I can't do the work that needs to be done. On an average day I can decide whether or not that today is going to be the day that I get things taken care of. Today I can't do it even though it really needs to be done.
I know what you're thinking. (I always know what you're thinking.) You're thinking, "Jeez lady, why is your house such a mess when you have a ton of Littles in the house and a Mr. Man?" Well, let me tell you why. Because I (and Mr. Man) have failed to involve our Littles with daily upkeep of the home. There! I said it! It is
Did it take me getting injured to realize this? No. It is something that I have been aware of and struggled with for a very long time. The Littles do each have a job that they are responsible for, and they do it. Most of the time. When I ask them to help do other things, however, I am usually met with resistance.
I know that young kids resisting with helping out is not all that uncommon, but I feel like they are getting to an age where it shouldn't be that hard to just be helpful. I find myself getting frustrated and angry with them when they won't willingly help me with things. Am I asking too much?
My answer to that is yes. Yes I am asking too much because I am expecting them to be something they are not. They have not had the opportunity to learn how to be helpful, because
So here I
I'm not talking about taking care of my messes. I'm talking about taking care of their own messes. Picking up their own things, doing their own dishes, folding and putting away their own clothes and even doing their own laundry if they are old enough. I'm talking about know how to sweep a floor or clean a countertop or even, heaven forbid, clean a toilet.
For so long it has been laid upon me, by me, that I need to take care of everything around the house. Which is probably why I suck at it. Who willingly wants to be in complete charge of a household with 6 children and a Mr. Man? I didn't. I still don't.
I only have 4 Littles that I need to worry about now. My oldest son and his wife are living here, but they are in the basement and they take care of themselves. They don't leave messes for me to pick up. If I asked my #1 or #2 Littles to help me out, I think they would do it. I hope they would do it because they love me and don't want me to have to do things that cause me pain. I wouldn't want them to help out simply because if they don't I will be mad at them. I have had a tendancy in the past to react angrily when a plea for help has been ignored.
So things aren't getting done around my house. 1) Because I'm writing this blog post. 2) Because my back can only take so much before I need to take a break. 3) Because I'm patiently teaching my Littles a lesson on being part of a family unit.
That #3 reason is a biggie. It is important and it needs to be done right. Slowly, without judgement, shame or guilt. They need to see that being helpful and part of a family is a beautiful thing. That doing for others is one of the quickest ways to live their lives with their hearts wide open. Ready to give and receive. It is a lesson that my Not-so-Littles may have missed out on in their childhoods. And for that I am sorry.
I'm not holding on to guilt about the way I have parented my Littles.
Feel free to share with me any ways that you have guided your families to work together as a unit. Any thoughts that you may have about children doing household chores are welcome.
Just my thoughts.