And it was never more real than last week when my husband had a talk with me. I love being a one-man show (or one-woman show, I guess). I don't want to worry about anyone else or try to make sure that my mini-trainees are keeping up with what they are supposed to do. And so again, I say:
Daily, hourly, or minute-by-minute even, I must offer up on the altar the sacrifice of my own desires.
Not that I'll never get to do what I want, but my husband has always been right...if I make sure I keep my own area (the house and the kids) in order, then I will be happier. I definitely am. And when things start spiraling out of control, I get more and more discouraged.
Yes, it takes more work now. I'm still training them. Hey, I'm still training myself. I have to teach myself to go and follow behind and check their work and make them re-do. It will not benefit them at all if I finish it up for them. (Though there may be days of grace where it's outside the norm and I go and finish up for them.) But they need the consistency of knowing that I will check their work and I will make them re-do it.
Last week, I was talking with a dear friend and relaying the struggle of the week. She shared with me what her mom did during the summer with her 10 children. She would get up early and make 10 long lists (one for each child) and then each child would work on his list. They would get an hour off for lunch and then did not have free time until their list was finished.
Great idea! No Wii or reading books or Kindle, until you are done with your list. Also each list is made for the individual. Each person does not have the same amount of work. My five-year old does not have to do the same number of things or the same kinds of things that my fifteen year-old does.
This is my five-year old's list today:
- Face and teeth,
- Make bed
- Clean closet floor
- Wash walls in your room
- Clean up the toys in the guest room
- Clean off the top of the sewing machine table
- Help Stephen in the freezer room
- Weed, water and harvest from your plot (his little four-foot square garden)
- Fill a wheelbarrow with sticks (Mom will haul it away)
- Sit for 20 minutes (this is because he had trouble sitting in church last Sunday)
- Read 1 Corinthians 10:7-13 (in preparation for next Sunday. Our pastor is going through 1Corinthians, and this will be the passage he'll be discussing on Sunday.)
- Face and Teeth
- Weights, Stretching, and Running
- Make bed
- All laundry downstairs
- Straighten dresser
- Straighten second shelf of the closet
- Vacuum guest room
- Fold the blankets and put in Mom's room
- Freezer room - wipe off white table and put it in the garage for our celebration tomorrow
- Weed, water and harvest from your plot
- Weed and water the strawberries
- Split wood for 1/2 hour
- Stack wood for 1/2 hour
- Till garden - one section
- Tear down duck fence (if it's not already done) and clean out the duck pond
- Collect eggs
The key part of this for me is to be consistent to get up and check each bed, each dresser. Sometimes I like to wait for all the rooms to be done before I check them or all the gardening to be done before I go out there, but if someone thinks they are done with their list, I need to get on it and check it carefully. This is my training, my discipline for myself.
I am so thankful to my friend for sharing with me what her mom did. And my kids still love her dearly. :) The super great thing is that we told them what Mrs. Flaming's mom did, and we/I started implementing it on Monday, they had cheerful attitudes and didn't roll their eyes at me, just moved quickly to get their jobs done - sometimes too quickly. And some like to lay on the couch in the morning or get sidetracked. So today I laid down the fact that if you aren't where you are supposed to be and working on your tasks then you will be getting consequences.
Also, my plan is not the only good one. Any plan is better than none and if it works for you, use it. The important thing is Be consistent!!!!!
Keep pressing on.