Yesterday I alluded to how I am making small strides to streamline my mornings. I’ve noticed when we do a slow and lazy morning, I get crazy and wild kids. So, I’ve decided our mornings are going to be full of vim and vigor. We’re going to work and hustle and bustle through the hours that my kids are actually the most pleasant and the most attentive. The problem has been that *I* am not the most pleasant and attentive first thing in the morning. I want to curl up with a book or my computer and an egg sandwich. I don’t want to get my blood pumping and tackle the dishwasher, the dirty clothes and messy rooms.
Plus, the biggest thing for me, is that this cuts into my blogging time. I usually get on my computer for an hour in the morning–I let the kids eat breakfast while they watch 2 shows. But the more I indulge “my” time on the computer, the more…I don’t know, hurricane-ish the kids get…or maybe the more selfish and short I get. This morning I shortened their 2-show breakfast to a 1-show breakfast. Which as you know with Tivo is really only about 20 minutes. But it made for a smoother and more efficient morning.
This is another one of those hard things that is bubbling up in my life. My kids behavior is a direct reflection of mine. I can see it clearly every day. And when I choose to “just check my email” in between doing the dishes and making the beds, I can see them doing the same thing—only it’s not email for them, it’s playing, running or grabbing another toy. I’m not focused, so they are not focused.
I don’t want them focused on the surface thing of “cleaning the house” or “doing chores”. I want them to see the way they act, the way they clean, get dressed and do household activities is part of being a family. I want them to see and understand that they are giving back to the family. They are not merely inhabitants of my house, they are family members and as such, I want them to see their role. Yes, their role in our family. I think it will bring confidence and self-worth to them as they see how they add to our household. And I think it will bring more understanding and respect for the other members of the family (ie. ME).
But in order to do so, I am realizing how much I have to model it. I have to show my role with a pleasant attitude. I have to show the role of a homemaker as such–a HOME MAKER. Not a housecleaner. Not a housewife. Not even a teacher or coach. I want them to see that I am crafting their home to develop them as people.
Practically speaking, I’ve set Lydia up with a new morning routine. She has to make her bed, clean her room, get dressed and brush her teeth before she can eat breakfast. (And I’m not waiting for her to do it!) Asa has to put his cup away after each meal. And they both have to help do the dishes.
Do I sound like I’m putting too much pressure on my day? On myself? On them? I don’t think I am. I can see and feel how quickly their lives are going. I can’t let another second pass us by. I want them to see their value to our family. I want them to feel how good it is to serve and give back to the family instead of always taking and expecting others to serve them.
If you are a parent how do you do this with your kids? Do they have chores? How do they “give back” to the family?