Some people have asked how I’m able to accomplish so many projects at one time, and the answer is simple: my beautiful, competent eighteen-year-old daughter, who is like my right hand — no she like a separate body to help me accomplish more than I could do on my own!
Occasionally, we give her a week off. . . no housework, no chores, no helping her siblings, no projects for mom — just a week of school and her own projects. She enjoys the break, and I get an opportunity to develop an increased appreciation for her help and service, and in the process I make an unexpected discovery.
She does things differently than I do.
I don’t usually say anything about how she does things, because it is more valuable to have her assistance than to have the chores completed my way. Reminds me of an article I read that reported that one source of major conflict in the home is when Dad helps Mom with chores, especially chores that are usually considered woman’s work, like bathing the children, or folding the laundry.
Strife develops not because Dad isn’t capable of doing the chore efficiently and well — but because Dad does it differently than Mom would. And so she nags and complains and bosses and argues because he doesn’t do it the way she thinks it should be completed. He gets frustrated — and if they’re lucky, perhaps a full-blown argument complete with hurt feelings, resentment, and bitterness can erupt! Sound fun?!
So, here is our challenge for today:
Do not ask or expect your husband to do anything around the house. If he does help, the only thing you can say in response to his assistance is “Thank you.”
Today, let’s do all the chores around the house all by ourselves — and do them perfectly — the way they should be completed.
- We can admire our perfectly stacked bath towels, color coded, and stacked according to the color wheel.
- We can shampoo, soap, rinse, repeat the children in whatever order we deem appropriate and correct.
- We can arrange the food on the children’s plates in a complementary color scheme, or in order of nutritional value or by caloric measurements.
By the end of the day, perhaps we will discover that having assistance and help is better than having it completed our own way. . . and besides, who says our way is best — our mom (or our mother-in-law) probably has a better way of doing it anyhow — just ask her!!!
You don’t have to convince me — I know how much work it is to be a wife and mother, and I agree — it simply isn’t fair. I know it’s emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically easier to work a fifty-hour work week than be a twenty-four-hour-a-day work-at-home mom. This isn’t the issue (this time!). This isn’t an argument of whose job it is, or the roles between husband and wife, or the division of household labor.
This is an exercise in being grateful, and taming our tongue. It is easy to get into the habit of saying hasty, hurtful, unnecessary things. Marriage is a partnership, and the ultimate goal is not getting the laundry completed or the children bathed, but in creating a home that is filled with love and laughter, creating relationships that last a lifetime, and building a love that isn’t based on personal preferences.
So, love that man today, even if he forgot to add the fabric softener!!