I have a confession.
My children are lazy… And they get it from their mom.
I was at dinner with a friend the other night, and she asked me how I get my boys to do their chores without nagging them. Y’all, I almost spit out my food!
“Are you kidding me?” I laughed. “I don’t!”
Chores are a struggle for us. I didn’t realize it back then, but when our kids were little, the chore thing ran pretty smoothly. I was in charge of their time and I ruled over our family schedule. It was simple—we didn’t move on to the next thing until the first thing was finished, and everyone got a smiley face on their chore chart.
Then, they grew up. They started a bazillion activities, all at different times and in different places. They began going to bed later and moving slower in the mornings. I was no longer the sole person in charge of their time, and our family schedule began to rule me instead of me ruling over it!
Now that our girls are in college, the boys have taken over many of the household chores. Emptying the dishwasher, taking out the trash, walking the dog, folding clothes—things like that. But I use that term “taken over” loosely. What I really mean is that they are SUPPOSED to do those things, and usually do… as long as I remind them. Or yell at them. Or take away their phones.
You get the point.
In general, they are respectful, responsible young men. So what is the issue?
Well, when Sarah was a baby, I was complaining to my friend about how fussy she was throughout the day, and this sweet, wise friend suggested that I might want to look in the mirror. “I’m not saying that’s the issue, Sweets,” she said with a wink, “but I know that more often or not, when my boys are acting up, I realize they are simply reflecting what they see in their mama.”
Thus, my confession. My boys are being lazy and irresponsible because that’s what they have been seeing in me.
You see, this latest transition in our family has thrown me for a loop. It has been almost 15 years since I only had two children in the house. This has affected me in more ways than I anticipated; one of which is not quite knowing what to do with my time. I have a ton of projects that I have been putting off forever, along with the daily stuff that needs doing, but my rhythm is off and my list seems overwhelming.
- We need to redo our bathrooms.
- We need to paint Sarah’s room and then move the boys into the girls’ old bedrooms.
- We need to replace several windows.
- We need to clean out the basement and garage.
- I need to do a revision of my book and begin planning for publication.
- I need to rent a dumpster and declutter 15 years worth of chaos from this house!
But the thing is, when I don’t know where to start, I tend to shut down and not do anything at all.
Which is what I’ve done. Which is what my boys have been internalizing.
Mom on her phone. Mom on her computer. Mom reading a book. Mom NOT doing her chores…
Now, I am not really lazy, not in the true sense of the word. But I realized this past week that I have been unfocused and unmotivated, and I desperately need a reset. And so do our boys.
What does that look like? Well, it will be different for everyone, but for me it often comes down to planning. When I fail to plan, I plan to fail. So what did I do? I bought a new planner!
Y’all, I am so excited about this new planner from the Passionate Penny Pincher. She does so much of the prep work already—the planner comes stocked with lists for everything you can think of: Seasonal cleaning schedules, Christmas preparations, daily household tasks, Scripture reading, preparing for company— yep, she’s pretty much thought of it all. Plus, there’s a facebook group where people share the different ways they customize their planner to suit their needs and encourage one another to stay motivated. It even came with a printable download of these last few months of 2022 so I can get started!
That one little purchase (and printable download) has changed so much for me. I’ll share in another post how that has overlapped into our parenting in another post, but for now, I’m wondering…
Do you need a reset?
Are you seeing something negative in your kids, your spouse, or your close friends that just might be a reflection of what they are seeing in you?
Maybe you’ve noticed a lot of complaining or an overall negative attitude. Do your teens complain about their teachers because they hear you doing it?
Perhaps your children make a lot of excuses for their failures—is that because they hear you making excuses for them instead of teaching them how to take responsibility for their actions?
Have you felt like your spouse isn’t listening to you, only to recognize you haven’t been listening to them either?
And my favorite— are your kids on their phones all the time because their parents are, too?
Friend, I am guilty of all of these, at one time or another, and my guess is you probably are, too. How grateful I am for my wise friend’s advice all those years ago, and for the gentle conviction of the Holy Spirit when I get off track.
Today, I want to invite you to join me if you need a reset. Whether it’s your eating, your attitude, or your time management that needs some redirecting, now is a good time to fix it. Talk to the Lord about it. He’ll reveal what the real problem is and provide whatever it is you need to move forward.
Sometimes, all we really need to do is figure out what the next thing is and do it.
Do you need a reset? Let me know how I can help!