May your laundry baskets never be empty,
May your floors be forever dirty,
And may there always be someone at your table yelling,
“I’m hungry!”                                                                

John Greene

Feeling frazzled and walked on? Have you given, until there simply is no more to give?

I had. I had not set aside any time for myself. It seemed the harder I worked for my family, the faster they tried to mess things up! When I turned around after cleaning the house, instead of seeing a sparkling clean house, it was worse than when I started! I felt cursed!

Toys sprawled all over the floor, juice spilled on my just cleaned floor. The dog knocking the laundry off the line to sleep on! AND the kids using the clean towels hanging on the line outside to dry their sticky popsicle hands! Yep, cursed!

I had had it!

Consequently, I was determined things had to change and fast! If they didn’t, I was going to be carried away in a straight-jacket!

A children’s happy song of working together played in the background, as I surveyed the sprawled mess of toys on the floor. I sneered at the thought of everyone helping to clean up. What could a five year old and a one year old do, besides fight!

Because I had read books on child development and how children needed to feel important by helping, I thought I knew all the techniques, but preschool classroom techniques rarely worked at home.

Therefore, I decided it was easier and faster to do it myself! Now I had second thoughts. If I didn’t get started now with their help, I may never get any help!

Determination—The Charts!

Due to the my frazzled condition, I decided to make up a chart and assign jobs. It worked good for a few months, then the business of life swept it under. Yep, cursed!

Determined not to give up, I assigned three jobs to my five year old to be done daily. He determined what time to do them, even if he had to get back out of bed and feed the dog in the dark. I refused to nag!

My one year old was more difficult. I had to spend time with him helping him to learn to pick up. It would have been easier to do it myself, but then he wouldn’t learn anything, and at two and three, he would be still working against the flow. We all preferred an organized house, we just ALL had to realize it!

Realization

Therefore, by getting my family to help:

  •  I did manage to get everyone, including my husband, to see it’s not as easy as it looks to keep a clean house.
  • There is a certain amount of family pride in working together, working as a team, and seeing the results of your labor.

Finally, I saw the blessing in “my curse”. Seeing older women around me, their children gone, their husbands gone, I felt their loneliness.

  •  My laundry baskets that were never empty:

Means someone needs me, needs me to be there for them. Blessed!

  • My floors that were forever dirty:

Most importantly, life is filling the rooms of my house. Life, as only children can bring it. Blessed!

  • Someone always at my table yelling, “I’m hungry”:

Even more than that, I have someone who gobbles food like there was no tomorrow, I have someone to teach me about God. I have a child to teach me about being a gift, a child of God: how much He really loves me, as I love my children. So blessed!

Scripture

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)

“Children are a gift from the LORD; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3 (NLT)

“How good and pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.” Psalm 133:1 (NASB)

“Behold, children are a gift of the LORD; the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3-5 (NASB)