Is there anything more challenging than the
manipulation excitement we have to enlist the help of others for cleaning our homes?
I spent years stalking blogs and women who seemed to have it all together with these fabulous systems for cleaning complete with photos of happy children doing chores and whistling like Snow White and her Seven Dwarves! And while watching their perfectly put together lives I realized I was comparing my lack to their abundance. (Thanks, God, for this smackdown. I needed it!)
Sister, I tried everything: those fancy popsicle sticks, sticker charts, bribing allowance, a daily list, a simple to do with each child’s name. You name it, girl, I tried it. And I failed miserably. Every. Single. Time.
Let me tell you why their systems didn’t actually work for me. I discovered several different reasons. 1.) I was inconsistent because I really didn’t have a system in place. I was jumping from place to place to place wondering why in the world I wasn’t gaining any ground. 2.) My children were not their children. 3.) My husband was not their husband. 4.) My life was not their life.
Can I share with you how God opened my eyes?
First off, it was NOT the “cleanliness is next to Godliness” motto that my family wouldn’t adopt. It was this idea from my Heavenly Father: “Sweet Daughter, find JOY in what I’ve given you. Embrace the messiness of your husband and children and create something that will work for who I’ve created them to be.” I needed to train them up in who they were created to be! (just a little bit daunting of a task!)
Oh, Lord, was this going to be a challenge! I held back for months overwhelmed by this Giant in front of me! But, God created me to embrace a good challenge. It was time to quit cowering against the Giant and rise up. And with that, I said, “Ok, God, let’s do this! Challenge accepted.” Then, I rolled up my sleeves, grabbed the notebook & pencil, and set to work. (WHEW!)
Step One: Quit Comparing
Seriously. This is the FIRST step. I had to quit comparing what other women were doing in their homes with what was in front of me! If you’re looking at everyone else’s highlight reel and comparing what your home is lacking, I will tell you this in love and honesty, you will never be satisfied with what you’ve been given. Never. (Yes, I learned this the hard way.)
I asked myself the following questions. 1.)What responsibilities did my children need to learn? 2.) What chores did our house need? 3.) HOW could I equally divide this work based on their ages? 4.) What jobs would I do so that they saw me working alongside them as a team?
In a NUTSHELL: What do WE need as a family to thrive and create a peaceful and organized home?
If you’re already convinced you need the workbook, just find it here now.
Step Two: Create the LIST
You’ve started this already by answering those questions above. Even if you’ve only answered them mentally at this point, you’re beginning to visualize the possibilities! A home of peace?! Oh yeah, Sister! You CAN do this! Let me be transparent, I’m not giving you a step-by-step list of what to do in your home. Want the beauty of this blog? I’m going to TEACH YOU how to take control of your home by working through these steps. You, GiantSlayer, are dauntless and dignified. You are going to overcome the Overwhelm as you work through this list.
Rather than trying to lay it all out for you in this blog, I’m giving you my step-by-step workbook. I’m serious. Remember, this is all about you and what will work for your home, Giant Slayer! (P.S. Share this blog post with your bestie. She’ll thank you for it!)
Step Three: Create your Chart
Oh, the chart! Oh, Sister, let me tell you in simple words why this chart works: Bless & Release. Maybe you’re a bit of an obsessive, all-or-nothing over-achiever and want it all done right now. You set the expectations high and want those Blessings to say, “Yes, ma’am, I’m on it!” Then, they rise to the occasion and work like little soldiers until the job is done. Maybe you blast out Toby Mac or Mandisa to help generate an atmosphere of Godly mindsets full of energy! (Ok, maybe that’s just me!)
Does it work? Maybe. But, if your soldiers, Blessings are like most kids, the idea of Saturday mornings full of chores is about as exciting as watching paint dry. And since I work full-time as a teacher, this is NOT my ideal Saturday morning fun either. This, dear sister, is the beauty of your chore chart! See the sneak peek below?! Notice what is on our weekend to-do? Very LITTLE or just the odd-and-end jobs or projects that should be done as a family!
Can I tell you the BEST part about the bless & release beauty of the chore chart? I can LEAVE what’s not done until its appointed time. The Superman never stressed about the chores. His motto, “It’ll be there when I get to it.” My motto, “It’s never going to get done if I don’t do it now.”
This chart merges both of these ideas into harmony. Everything has a designated time. I do not have to tackle it all in one day. I know it’s going to get done because I’ve assigned it a time. He knows it needs to be done because it’s on the chart. If I need to stay late for a meeting or run errands, the Superman knows what the blessings should do in the afternoon that day. And since my children are old enough to read, they can look at the day of the week, find their name, do their chore, and move on. They KNOW their expectations. I’ve turned over personal responsibility to them. (Bless & Release)
Oh, and in the workbook, I share our fabulous family to-dos so you can see how we divide up the days as well. Check out the sneak peek photo here!
*And, Sister, I encourage you while you’re creating your chart to remember these two important thoughts: 1.) We are done with daily chores in less than 30 minutes. It’s usually closer to 15 minutes. 2.) Weekends do NOT have to be full of work. We schedule family date nights, big outdoor projects, and downtime. (You will notice that on our chart!)
Step FOUR: Implement the Chart with Consistency
You’ve set the clear expectations. Now what? How do you convince them? Here is my secret: Remain consistent. Oh, they will grumble. They will fuss. They may fight you. Your job? Keep going. Be patient. The first few weeks will require you to give explicit instructions and follow-ups (especially if you have little ones). You must remain consistent. Let me repeat this one more time: The key to making your chore chart successful is C.O.N.S.I.S.T.E.N.C.Y.
In true dauntless form, I’m going to be completely transparent and honest here with you right now. There are days when I want to skip my chores too. But, I know that their little eyes are watching. They are learning by example. I am that example. I am the one who shows up with consistency when it’s tough. They are learning self-discipline. They are learning endurance. They are learning that sacrificing selfishness can bless the community. They are learning one of God’s promises that says, “all hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23)
Consistency. Over and Over and Over again.
Have I convinced you yet, Overcomer, that your home can be peaceful? You’ve made it this far, so why stop now?! I think I would have begun this process way sooner in my home if I had just embraced this process you’re working through right now with me. Instead, I hid for far too long!
Are you ready for your workbook?
Blessings from my toolbox to yours!