Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Chores: Finding Peace in Everyday Activities

Have you ever read the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp?  It is about finding the magic or God in everyday things and really appreciating everything around you fully.  She is brilliant with words, you can get a taste of her writing here:  http://www.aholyexperience.com/
Anyway, there are a few chores that bring me peace, including:

      • Sweeping: I love the rhythmic nature of it and can easily get lost in my thoughts. I especially like sweeping outdoors.

      • Hanging laundry: I love hanging my laundry.  I feel like it is almost a priviledge that I live somewhere where I can hang my laundry outside on the line.  I love the look of the clothes or sheets billowing in the wind.  I especially love when all the little boy’s shorts are lined up together, it makes me feel very nostalgic and appreciative of my little men.  I LOVE MY CLOTHESLINE. 

      • Folding laundry: I know some people HATE this chore, but I don’t mind it .  I usually save it for the end of the day and sit with the kids watching a movie or something while I fold.  Honestly I have actually given up the ‘folding’ of most of the kids stuff, since it doesn’t get wrinkled and they just rifle through the drawers anyway.  Giving up folding was actually difficult for me because I like things to be orderly (at least a couple times of year I happily organize all the drawers folding underwear and matching socks, lining them up like in the movies-seriously weird and OCD, I’m trying to put an end to it). 

Okay, maybe that is it.

Less than peaceful chores:

      • Dishes: In her book, there is a whole passage where she discusses the beauty in washing the dishes and looking at the bubbles glistening.  Honestly I think if I had a window in front of my sink so I could look outside while washing, then I would be able to find a lot more enjoyment.  As it stands now, I loathe doing dishes and it seems like the thing I do most.  I have found one way that makes doing dishes and kitchen work easier and that is having a little helper.  If I have one of the kids (Especially H though), ‘helping’ me wash dishes in one sink while I wash in the other and load the dishwasher, it is so much nicer.  I like to lean over and kiss his fuzzy head while I scrub the dishes.  Maybe it is just the feeling that I am not doing it alone.
                                          Hudson putting away silverware, AJ doing dishes

     • Scrubbing: Floors, windows, showers, etc.  I don’t like scrubbing, maybe I just hate hard work.  I have found an awesome game that I like to call ‘spot detective.’ I give each kid a wet rag and have them look for spots on the floor, when they find one they yell, “Found one!” and then scrub it and yell, “Got it!”  The kids also will ‘scrub’ the shower walls if I give them a sponge while they bathe.
My 'spot detectives' (a little blurry, they were running around so fast the camera couldn't focus)

Painting the tub with colored shaving cream (followed by scrubbing with sponges)

     • Picking up: My dislike is probably just because my back hurts and the repetitive bending over to pick up toys or bits of paper-y trash aggravates it.  We have a daily clean-up time every night before bed, where we pick up the toys and dishes from around the house.  It requires a lot of adult guidance, but it gets the job done. 

Even if the kids may not do the work at the same ‘level’ that an adult would, I think it is important that they are contributing and learning that they are a valuable part of the family system.  It also makes me feel better because I am not doing everything by myself.  Also, it is so adorable to see them ‘working.’  I read a really great article on children and chores here:    http://www.authenticparenting.info/2011/07/if-not-chores-then-what.html
I would really like to avoid setting up a rewards system for something I feel like they should be doing anyway.  Also, if I teach them that they should be rewarded for doing it, will they see the joy in it?

How do you find peace in everyday activities? What do you love and hate? What chores do your kids do?

1 comment:

  1. I am so proud of you, Leah!! You are such a good Mom - you are so fortunate to have those 3 wonderful boys and they are so fortunate to have a wonderful Mom!
    Love, Grandma