My need to be on time, organized, and un-rushed are frequently in direct conflict with the people with whom I share my life. I have a family who has taught me much, and one thing they’ve taught me is that my way to do things is not the only way, nor even the best way.
I’ve been asking for more help from the youngsters in our house. They are very willing to help, and do great work, and they want to be given the space and time and support to handle chores the way they choose.
This morning was a great example: Monkey was still asleep, but I asked Buster and Yessa to complete their chores so that when cousins came over to play after school the house would be in decent shape. They willingly took a break from the projects they were working on. Then, they played together for awhile, and made a game out of accomplishing their chores.
Frankly, it makes me crazy. I’m a huge fan of “do the job, get in, get out, then you get to play.” In general, it is always work before play. Buds started to change that habit in me very early on. (I swear to you, I had never, ever, ever used the snooze button until after he and I were together! That changed quickly.)
My crew sees the world as an opportunity to learn and play and work all jumbled up together. All will be accomplished, it just might be on a different timeline than I prefer.
I’m learning to be semi-okay with that.
I’m learning it because I see how quickly I can bring stress, anxiety, and frustration when I try to rush them or act like something has to be done RIGHT NOW! I’ve learned to start herding the cats toward the door much earlier than necessary if there is somewhere we really do need to be at a certain time (like church), and giving them a heads up on the plans for the next day at bedtime, or first thing in the morning each day has been very helpful.
Still, in my head I harbor the hope/dream/smugness that one day they will each come home from college and say, “My roommate doesn’t know how to cook/clean/do laundry. I’m so glad we learned to do that as kids.”
It’s good to dream.