"I love cleaning the bathroom, mom!" I hear my oldest announce this morning. "Please let me pour that in. I really want to help." I recall hearing later in the day as I'm making bread. Ahhh, eager little girl hands begging to do what ladies do best; make a house, a home. If anyone knows me at all they know I am huge advocate for making, or teaching rather, children to do chores. It gives them a sense of responsibility in the family/home. It trains them to be Keepers at home, which is after all what I am raising.
We instill a love for the home at an early age. I think it's important to give out chores accordingly. For instance, Lauren has been making her and her sisters bed, along with gathering the dirty clothes, every morning after breakfast for about two years now. Over time, she is an expert bed maker. It no longer looks like an amateur job well done but as if I've made them myself. This was not over night, but months & lots of faithful critiquing . I did not allow her to do a sloppy job with the thought of 'at least she got it done...' No. She was to do her best every time & the sloppy 'hang overs' were redone. Too hard? I don't believe so. I knew she could do it well but never would if allowed to give second best. Kids know what they can get by with & will always do just that if not taught that it's not acceptable, they then strive to do it right the first time so they can move on. I am grateful that I was raised doing dishes. We didn't have a dishwasher during my childhood and I remember standing on a chair washing away as early as I can remember. Now that my dishwasher has been out for a couple months I am rekindling those childhood memories! But it's not a dreaded chore to me like it was growing up...it's part of my everyday and has become second nature. I don't think twice about it. It may seem very small compared to women who are doing great things in certain eyes but it's my way of giving glory to God. I do my best as if I'm washing unto Him. This is what He has called me to & I make them forks & spoons shine. This is what I told Lauren once "Aren't we glad mommy doesn't give her second best when washing the fork & plate you'll use tonight? Not only is that gross for you but it doesn't bring much glory to God, does it?" She smiles and makes a grossed out face. It's not striving for a perfect home, it's about working unto the Lord because this is what He has called us to right now and we want to do it right.
It's important to watch & see when children "out grow" certain things & may be ready for a bigger challenge. Like I mentioned in the above paragraph, Lauren had been making her & her sister's bed along with gathering the dirty clothes for about two years now. A couple weeks ago I realized she was bored of this. Not that we change their chore list according to their boredom. I had noticed she was asking Liberty to help her with the dirty laundry gathering because Liberty enjoyed it so much. It made her feel important. Ah-ha! I thought. It's time to promote some ladies according to what they're quietly begging for. The home is their domain too & someday they will have one of their own (even though Lauren asked me the other day if her and her future husband could live here with me). They have the natural instinct to clean, cook, nurture & beyond. If we do not nurture this instinct they will fulfill it elsewhere & may head down a path that will not at all satisfy them in the end. If we allow them to be slothful & become lazy they will run a poor home someday & not find joy in a beautiful calling called homemaker. So last week we began a new chore schedule. Lauren was promoted to doing bathrooms once a week, dusting once a week, & vacuuming twice a week (with a small hand-held vacuum. We have laminate flooring in the living room that requires dust bunnies vacuumed up). I made her a chore list (the first one she's had) that she takes a peak at after cleaning up her breakfast every morning. Underneath her chore list is a list on how to clean the bathroom. Five easy steps and she's done. Personally, I would have never dreamed of putting my five year old on the bathrooms once a week but she begged to take over every time she saw me cleaning them. It was a challenge & looked fun to her. So far she has done excellent and tells me once a week "I love doing the bathrooms!" And let me say that having them cleaned once a week is huge---they barely got done once a month. I just hardly had time outside of the everyday duties. It's nice when our children start sharing the household duty, not only for our sake, but theirs too. Little Liberty got dealt the 'gathering dirty laundry' duty all to herself. Her new favorite thing after breakfast. We also started teaching her to make her own bed in the mornings, this is a long shot & Lauren or I one have to usually go over and help her "finish." But none-the-less, she is on the right track of becoming a pro one day like her sis.
This is Liberty jumping on her second pile of dirty laundry. :)
Just some thoughts on why I do what I do. I also thought I'd brag some on my little homemakers in training.