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I was listening to the book Crazy Busy through hoopla when the author was explaining wrong thoughts that keep us busier than we have to be.
The author landed on one that really hit a mom nerve within me.
I am sure that if you are a mom you have struggled with this wrong thought too–and when you give it up you just might find you have a little more time on your hands.
So what is it?
Moms are not completely irreplaceable.
Moms Are Not Completely Irreplaceable
Now notice I said “not completely.” Few could argue that moms are irreplaceable in their family’s lives in many ways. However, there are many ways that we are irreplaceable and these tasks are adding to our workloads making us busier than we have to be.
It is true that no one can replace your heartfelt love for your child, but others can perform household tasks just as well as you can and that includes your children. The second part of that sentence is what the author of Crazy Busy and I in this article are referring too.
Kevin DeYoung, the author of Crazy Busy, was talking in general to those in leadership positions at their place of work. But moms, we are in a leadership position within our homes whether we like to see it that way or not.
Your children are looking at you for direction and that does make you a leader.
Leaders need to delegate tasks if they want to avoid burnout.
5 Arguments That Mom’s Make Against Delegating Chores To Their Children And Why They Are Wrong
1. But it takes so long to train a child, I can do it so much quicker
I fell into this trap for way too long. When I finally got over it for good my eldest son was 7, if I am remembering correctly and I realized quickly that I had made a huge mistake.
Yes training a child to do something does take longer the first few times, but after that having the children help with that chore is a huge time saver.
Typically it takes me 3 times doing a chore with a child for them to be able to complete it well themselves. The first time I do the chore with them watching. The second time I do the chore with them helping. The third time I let them do the chore with me beside them watching. I might have to go back and repeat step two a few times for more complicated chores, but for the most part my children have got it by the third time.
In fact, now that they are older (13 and up) I often just have to verbally tell them what to do and they can now go and do it and I simply check it the first time to see if it was done well–usually it is. That is the reward of training a child over the years.
2. But they won’t do it right
My guess is if you struggle with this argument, what you are really struggling with is perfectionism and/or control.
I know because I have been there. You see, I am a very routine type person. I do the same things the same way all. the. time.
If my children choose to do the chore differently than I do, I struggle with being frustrated that they didn’t follow my steps when I should be focusing on the results.
It doesn’t matter if they clean the wall just how I do it, what matters is that the wall is clean when they say the job is done.
3. But I express my love by serving
Oh I hear ya on this one! I love showing my kids love by doing something for them. However, I am a survivor of a mom who did too much for me.
My husband pointed this out to me after his first visit to meet my mom. He said, “Did you even realize that your mom made your bed when you were in the shower, and then while you were changing she tidied up the mess you made in the bathroom?” He continued to give me a step by step account of all the picking up my mom was doing for me that I was not even aware of.
I did do some chores growing up, but my mom also did a lot for me–too much.
This is why for years I struggled at figuring out exactly why my home wasn’t staying as clean as I would like. I simply didn’t know what was required to keep a home clean. I was ill prepared.
Don’t let this happen to your child! Yes, you can make their bed once in a while but make sure that you have shown them how to make it and that the majority of the time they are making it themselves! And that goes for all housework and cooking too.
It is an act of love to show a child what they need to live successfully after they leave your nest (this is what I repeat to myself when I find myself sliding into serving more than I am training).
4. But secretly I really love doing that task
Hi, my name is Victoria and I secretly love washing and drying laundry. First, notice I didn’t include sorting and folding; I will gladly delegate those to my children.
But there is something about being the one to make that pile of dirty laundry disappear that I just love. I am guessing it is my goal oriented nature.
I just realized this week, though, that in my 20 years of motherhood I haven’t yet delegated the job of washing and drying the laundry to any of my 3 children–not even once.
Yep, I am writing this article as much for my own good as I am for other mothers out there.
I need to fix this quick! My guess is I am not the only one who is holding on to a household task just because I have a strange secret love affair with it.
5. But they really don’t have the time to help with the housework
This last one probably applies to mom’s of teens more than any other age group. It is true between school, homework, sports, extra curricular activities, and church events teens generally don’t have a lot of downtime now a days.
However, most chores don’t take that much time to complete.
Here is a list of a few chores that take less than 5 minutes
- Load the dishwasher
- Unload the dishwasher
- Clear off and wipe down the kitchen counters
- Scrub the toilet
- Clean the sink
- Sweep the floor in one room
- Pick up the shoes in the mudroom or entrance way
- Sort the dirty laundry
I could go on, but I think you get the idea. I am sure that your child has at least 5 minutes each day that he or she could devote to a household chore and chances are he or she has more time than that.
Teenagers need to learn time management as well as housekeeping skills. If you don’t allow them to help because you simply don’t think they have the time, you are robbing them of both these skills.
psst...here is the simple, very adaptable chore assignment system my family uses. It works great for teenagers as you can adjust the chore assignment to fit who is home and when.
Moms, this article has been a bit harsh. Trust me, I am feeling convicted from my own words. I am not perfect in this area at all.
Let’s promise to work on avoiding the busy trap of feeling like we are irreplaceable in more areas than we really are. For me that means I am going to be showing those kids of mine how to operate the washer and dryer this week.
When we assign our children household tasks not only are we training them well, we are also giving us more time to breathe–and that in turn allows us to be the best moms we can be.
Green Cleaners At Reasonable Prices Delivered To Your Door
When the children first started helping me with the housework I became more concerned than ever about the chemicals found in household cleaners. I first switched to homemade cleaners, and although I thought they worked well, my husband wasn’t happy with them (yep, my hubby likes to clean. I am one blessed woman).
That is when our family discovered Seventh Generation Cleaners. Green cleaners at affordable prices. We get ours delivered to our door from Grove Collaborative. You can get $10 off your first order from Grove Collaborative when you use my referral link (these words in blue are it).
My favorite part about Grove Collaborative is that I control when I get cleaners and how many cleaners I get with each order with just a few simple clicks online.
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