And after the Storm, a Calm…

My Dear Diary article was a sincere outpouring of my frustrated heart. I have moments like those every so often, when I feel stressed out, tense, and depressed. Times when I think to myself, How do I get my children to actually WANT to keep the house clean and tidy–how do I get them to care enough, on their OWN, to pick things up around here without my having to remind them, or supervise them constantly? When will they start to APPRECIATE how nice it is to have an orderly atmosphere? When will this goal become theirs too, and not just mine?

I suppose the answer to that, is that after years of training, and modeling a cheerful attitude about keeping house, they will eventually mature into that mindset. In the meantime, my job as a mother is to “manage the house” (1 Timothy 5:14),  nurturing in my children the character that will naturally lead to those behaviors. It’s a lot of work, but who ever said that being a mother was easy?

I’ve never posted pictures of my house until now, but I want to show you how things looked this morning after I got out of the shower. My children did their morning chores (kitchen cleanup and a little living room pick up), and this was the result:

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Though I have moments when I struggle, I also have times when I feel encouraged as I realize, It’s not all that bad after all! My efforts ARE paying off–maybe in small ways now, hopefully in larger ways later. The thing is to not give up. Having a clean house isn’t just about keeping the clutter and dust at bay (and dust and dirt ARE important to keep under control, since we want to be healthy), but it’s about training children to take responsibility for themselves and their environment, and holding them accountable for their actions so they don’t fall into patterns of being lazy and selfish. It’s about good character. However, as one of my good friends said to me the other day (and I paraphrase this), “Don’t forget that this time in your children’s lives is so precious and passes all too quickly. Cherish this time when your baby is still little, and don’t let the things left undone (for the moment) ruin this opportunity to bond with your little ones.” Well said!

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6 thoughts on “And after the Storm, a Calm…

  1. Jessica, I love your home. It looks so nice and cozy. Your dining room set looks so great, That painting looks so stunning.
    Your kids did an amazing job.

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  2. Dear Jessica,
    Wow! They did a great job! Everything’s nice and tidy. My family is more what you would call reactive cleaners. Everything is cluttered until we find out we’re having company. Then it’s clean like crazy. I don’t particularly enjoy this method. I’d rather have a plan and then stick to it, even if it’s just cleaning one room a day. That way when someone pops in, it’s semi-tidy. But…sticking to a plan doesn’t seem to be our forte. For my kids to stick to something, we as parents need to be more disciplined. So,I agree with you! Train up your children when they are young applies to every area of our lives. I’m almost on the back side of that, with everyone being over the age of 12, and I can see where we did well, and where there’s room for improvement. Prayerfully, their future spouses will have strengths to off set their weaknesses and vise versa 🙂
    I love your blogging style! Don’t ever change. You’re very open which makes me feel that I can be real too! Thanks so much for your continued writing! -Ruthie

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    • I was so happy to read your comment this morning, Ruthie! Thanks for your support! I’m actually kind of a reactive cleaner myself, though I’m trying hard not to be. For example, I used to only clean the bathroom when it started to look dirty, but then I realized that it was looking dirty everyday with so many kids using it. That’s when I started a routine for everyday cleaning so I wouldn’t have to be facing a disaster every few weeks! But, I still am trying to overcome that “wait till it gets real dirty, then clean it” method, which wasn’t working for me. I had to grin when I read what you wrote about your kids’ future spouses!
      Jessica

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