It’s easy to get frustrated when you feel like you’re the only one who helps out with the housework. It’s even more easy to become bitter and resentful toward the other people who live under your roof because you feel like you’re doing it all. I’m about to get real and up in your face right here. So, if you’re easily offended you might want to stop right now and move along to a motivational post from Chris Farley.
I’ve been there. I know the resentfulness that can creep into your heart. The WOE IS ME attitude that can take over and ruin your day. The feeling of, “no one respects or appreciates all the work I do around here!” I was held captive by a negative attitude a lot of the time until Crystal at Money Saving Mom popped my bubble.
Your response is YOUR responsibility. –Crystal Paine
Yours. Did you hear me? YOU are the one who has the power over your attitude and YOU are the only one who can fix it.
I can spend my days whining and complaining in my head, or I can change my thought pattern, get up off my blessed assurance and do something about the bad situation. I choose the second. Do you?
Once our attitude is wiped clean and ready to start over, there are some simple steps we can take to remedy this situation. Notice I said SIMPLE steps. Not EASY steps. Things in life that are worth it are rarely easy and often simple.
We are called to be servants
Jesus didn’t come to earth to be served. He came to SERVE OTHERS and give his life. You and I aren’t called to spend our days making sure we are all nice and comfy.
Love God. Love others.
When we realize our day isn’t about how we can serve ourselves but how we can serve others, it makes it a lot easier to clean up those Cheerios again. To wash that dirty work shirt again. To fix another meal for someone who “isn’t hungry” again. Housework is a way we serve others.
Don’t fall into a trap of martyrdom here either. It’s not about denying yourself all nice things. It’s about having a joyful heart serving others. When your heart becomes joyful, your tasks are easier and YOU are happier – the result of taking care of others in servanthood? You take care of yourself in the process.
Teach your children
This past summer here was the #summerofchores in our home. I documented our process over on Instagram with that hashtag. You can see those photos without an account.
Here’s what I’ve learned – teaching your kids to do chores TAKES TIME. Dedicate time to it, because it’s important. You’re training them for life. And once they pick it up, they’ll be able to do it alone.
The process: show them how to do it several times. After that, do it with them. Third, let them do it while you watch. Only after you’ve shown them several times, it is ok for them to do the chore alone – but you need to check in here and there to make sure they’re still doing it correctly.
It is too late for you?
“My kids are teenagers, it’s too late for me.” No it’s not. It’s only too late if you’re dead.
As parents, we can reason with teenagers. “You live here. You are a part of this family. Therefore, you help around the house. If you don’t work, you don’t eat.”
If we don’t tell our children what we expect, how can we expect them to do it? If I didn’t tell Annie that I expected her to clean the toilets – and if I didn’t show her how to do it and help her learn – would she choose to do it? No. She would choose to run around the yard chasing her brothers.
It isn’t easy to choose work – but it’s the right thing to do. We have to expect that from our kids, show them how it’s done and then help them create the habit.
Life isn’t easy. It requires work. If we teach our kids this concept before they leave the nest, they’ll be more ready to handle the real world – and less likely to live in a dump pit because they know something about housework when they move into their first home.
My spouse doesn’t help me!
Our house runs because Barry and I both put in work. I do certain tasks and he does others. He mows, and I do laundry. He takes care of outside stuff, I take care of inside stuff. It works.
Those of you who are despairing that your spouse doesn’t care to help you with housework, let me ask you a question…have you talked with them about it?
No, I don’t mean have you NAGGED them about it. I mean, have you sat down and seriously talked with them and told them what’s important to you? Shown them your heart and asked for the help you need?
Rarely is a spouse, who loves you, going to say they don’t care about your feelings. So, talk to them, really talk to them.
And if you do find out they don’t care, then you don’t have a housework problem; you have a marriage problem. Seek wisdom and counsel from your pastor.
4 Simple steps to having help around the house:
- Choose happiness in your tasks
- Teach your children/teens to help
- Talk with your spouse
- Do your jobs with a happy heart
Don’t let yourself fall into the pit of despair because “laundry never ends! I’m washing dishes AGAIN! Why do I even attempt to mop the floor?!”
There are just things in life that we do over and over: laundry, taking baths, cleaning out our ears…