Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Who Will Help Mother?

Still Life of Peonies and Roses

I cannot tell you how many times I've asked my children to help me with my projects and my chores. When they were little, they were delighted. But when they got older, they had their own projects, activities and agendas. This is something I have to constantly remind myself - the importance of enjoying my daily duties.

While children should certainly have their own chores, Mother needs to have her own work as well. Have you ever watched Ma Ingalls on "Little House on the Prairie?"  Mary and Laura were busy with school. They also had homework in the evenings. But they had specific tasks to do at home - and then they were done! Mother didn't try to slave-drive them all day long. No, she did her own work, just like Pa did his.

If I am busy in the kitchen, or working in the living room, or doing laundry, there is often a teenager nearby talking to me about his day. If I said to my teens, "Hey, can you help me with that?" Don't you think they'd find something else to do, and fast?   (smiles)   It's not that they don't want to help me, but they want to see Mother busy with her own responsibilities.  They don't want to think that Mother is always trying to get out of her chores. It sets a bad example. They want to see Mother diligent and content with her daily agenda.

Yesterday, I cleaned and baked. I had plenty of time for leisure. I read for a while, did some writing, and then did the laundry. I did not ask anyone the age-old, weary question, "Will someone please help me??"

But if I were sick, or not able-bodied, the family would certainly step in and do my work for me. If I had a baby, or a toddler who needed most of my time, the family chores would fall more heavily on the rest of the family, so I could be free to care for the younger ones. But when Mother doesn't have those kinds of things going on, she would do well to get into the habit of learning to love her own work and be about her own household business.

Mrs. White

Motivation - Domestic Incentives.

The Importance of A Wife Who Does Not Complain.

We Need to Keep  - A Vision of Home.

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Sarah said...

*Ugh...knife to the heart...*

Thank you for this! I do need to find a better balance. With 8 children under 12 at home and a husband who works full time and goes to college full time, I know it only makes sense for me to require the kids to help out.

However, the part you mentioned about them not wanting to hang out and chat with me if I'm always asking them to do something... Yep, I can totally see that happening in our home. Thank you, so much, for sharing your wisdom and experience! It's like we're doing the Titus 2 thing long distance...ha! :)

Have a happy day!


Laura Lane said...

Well said. I need to work on that love part ~grin~.

Anonymous said...

Oh. This is such a good reminder! I sometimes find myself, all day long, saying," would you do me a favour?"
God bless

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