I’ve been mulling over this question for awhile, wanting to answer, but afraid to say the wrong thing. And then last week I told you that while I may not have the perfect answers, I’m going to do my best to help, to encourage, and to inspire.
I promised to stop backing away from the hard stuff.
So here we go.
“I am a stay at home mom and I do understand that it’s my job to take care of the home. However, am I wrong to say that it’s the entire household’s job also to keep the house standing? I just feel as if I get taken for granted. How do I change this? Can I change this? I can’t keep the house going on my own.
“How do I get everyone to realize that I just did the dishes and the respectful thing to do is to clean your dish so the sink is once again clean? That way one dish doesn’t lead to another then another and another… next I have a sink full of dirty dishes once again.
“Your blog has given me some faith that maybe you could help!” – Danielle
Danielle, thank you for your kind words and for your patience in waiting for an answer! I’m not responding to this question as the queen-of-having-perfect-little-helpers. Not at all. I’m answering your question more as an “I’m right there with you!”
Throughout my nearly ten years of motherhood, I’ve worked part time in an office, worked from home, stayed home completely, and am currently working full time outside the home. Switching gears so many times has taught me that while the dynamics of who does the most housework may change from season to season, the underlying issue is this:
We are training our children for adulthood.
The answer to your question isn’t the perfect chore chart or some sort of amazing super-secret method. In fact, the answer isn’t really an answer at all – it’s simply more questions:
Are you speaking to your children’s hearts? Are you taking the time to teach them why taking care of a home is important? When the sink is full of dirty dishes, what is your response? Are you frustrated while you wash them yourself or are you using that opportunity to gently call your children in so you can work on the dishes together? Are you teaching them that they’re blessed to even have dishes?
Yes, we are to be good stewards of our possessions. And yes, stay-at-home moms should generally be doing a larger portion of the housework than a woman who works full-time outside the home. But the hard truth is that if we feel like we’re being taken for granted, it’s a sign we’re bearing too much of the load on our own.
Training takes time. It’s hard, discouraging, and repetitive work. But eventually, the training sinks in. It pays off. And though it may not feel like it right now, your children will eventually notice. And it may happen sooner than you think.
Proverbs 31:27-29 “[The virtuous woman] looks well to the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done well, but you excel them all.”
What encouragement and kind advice do you have for Danielle as she works to help her children develop good housekeeping habits?