One fact I enjoy teaching my students is that there is an order to everything…from the arrangement of the seeds on a sunflower to how a family functions. Families are a unit where every family member has a role to fulfill. It isn’t “mommy does everything”. While shopping at a local health food store, I met a mom with three energetic athletic boys. We were talking while waiting in the check out line and I was telling her and her boys that mommy isn’t made to do everything. She seemed relieved and surprised at my response and I told her that families are more like a team of players. The boys heard and grabbed the grocery bags and took them to the car. Another mom of four confided that she “felt like she was sinking”. Being a mom is a lot of work. My grandmother reminded me that if I wasn’t working hard as a mother, then I probably wasn’t doing a very good job. As a new-born child matures, they should begin helping with duties around the house. By the age of two, they are able bring spoons, napkins, and plastic cups to the table. By three they are able to help with seed sprouting. Duties should be enjoyable as children see themselves as a team player. By three and four they should be cleaning up their toys. This duty can be made easier if one toy is played with at a time and put away before another is permitted to be brought out. By five and six they can begin making their beds, carrying small unbreakable items from the car, water plants with a small watering can, pull weeds that aren’t too big, and empty the trash. In the next few years, they can learn to vacuum and dust and do the dishes. I consider all this as part of their education. It is learning to bear their own burdens and not learning to be a burden on others…especially mom. Often it seems easier for the mom to do these chores instead of teaching their kids to do them (and mom ends up exhausted). It takes time to teach our children, but it is worth it once they master a particular skill. Since families live under the same roof, they should learn to work cooperatively by sharing the responsibilities around the house. Everyone will be happier in the end.
“The homemaker has the ultimate career. All other careers exist for one purpose only – and that is to support the ultimate career. ” — C.S. Lewis