Freddie was at work, Brant was at a friend's house, Karli & Drake played video games the whole day, and I was down with a migraine. It's amazing how fast a house can fall apart, so to speak. There were dirty dishes everywhere, trash that never made it into the garbage can, toys, clothes, and blankets were strewn about. When Freddie got home from work he made a comment that stuck in my head. He said, "This house is just like a company. If everyone does not do their part, then it doesn't work." Truer words were never spoken.
I remember when I was pregnant for Karli, I was still working a full time job, and I wanted to stay home with her. Freddie was not absolutely convinced. I told him, "You will not have to do anything. I will do everything in the house. You just have to get up and go to work. I'll take care of the rest." He eventually gave in. (And, he could not be happier about it!) When the kids were little I did hold up my end of the bargain. The house was always spotless. I never went to bed with housework left undone. Freddie worked a lot and I even took care of the yard. But, as time passed and we had more kids, and they got older and began making bigger messes, keeping up after six people became more than I could manage on my own. I guess me getting older might have a little something to do with it, I am always tired, and I have the added task of homeschooling now (which I LOVE, by the way).
Freddie does help me. I'm not sure if it's because he feels sorry for me or what. I won't ask. I think it's better that way. LOL. I have also come to realize that it is not only necessary to get the kids to help out, but it is really essential for them to become productive adults. They have their regular chores and I also get them to do extra things as a need arises. It would be easier if everyone would pick up after themselves, but, for some reason, that is a foreign concept around these parts. Things just pile up, and very quickly I might add, and it gets to a point where it's overwhelming. When it's time to pick up I have one child who will get angry, one who has a meltdown, and one who will quietly sit on his bed while his brother cleans up until he is caught (and he is the one who is not lazy!).
My kids will often ask me if they can get paid when I ask them to do housework. My response is always- "No, you get to eat!" Don't get me wrong, we do give them money from time to time- but it is given because they have been doing a lot to help out around the house and we've noticed their good behavior. They'll get anywhere from $20-$60. This happens only a few times a year when we can afford it. I want them to understand that in order for things to go well, everyone must pitch in and do their part, because it's what you're supposed to do.
We should not be takers in life, but givers. We should always try our best to think of others. We should be careful to always pull our own weight. That is not to say that we should ignore ourselves. I will be the first one to tell you that it is super important to take care of yourself so that you can contribute and be productive and have a positive impact on your family and community. It was a hard lesson for me to learn. I remember a point in my life when I did a lot of crying because I had given all that there was of me and I was so exhausted and depleted that there was nothing left of me at the end of the day. I dreaded going to bed at night because I KNEW that I was going to wake up in the morning, still exhausted with a whole day's worth of work ahead of me. I soon realized that leaving the kids with Freddie and going to do something fun by myself was not selfish at all. It was my way of taking care of me so that I could take care of them! My family counts on me. I have to be able to give them my all. I have a huge responsibility to them. I have to take care of them, feed them, protect them, and most importantly~ teach them to do these things for themselves!
"If you are too lazy to plow in the right season, you will have no food at the harvest." Proverbs 20:4
"A lazy person is as bad as someone who destroys things." Proverbs 18:9
"Laziness lets the roof leak, and soon the rafters begin to rot." Ecclesiastes 10:18