What a great week this has been so far. My first three special guests have shared fabulous information, and today’s guest is no exception. I can’t wait to introduce her, but before I do so, I want to give a quick thank you to Mandy from Biblical Homemaking for her post yesterday and for offering a Target gift card. I’m happy to announce that Patricia, posting at 12:42 p.m. on Tuesday 4/11, was randomly selected as the winner. Thanks to everyone for sharing your comments.
Now, it’s my pleasure to introduce you to another young woman whose obedience to God is impacting the lives of thousands. I’ve recently “met” Courtney as a co-contributor at Roo Mag (started by Candace Cameron Burre). To say I’ve been impressed is an understatement. She’s a dynamo. Keep reading and you’ll see what I mean. First here’s her bio, then her article.
Courtney blogs over at WomenLivingWell.org . She has been married to her high school sweet heart for 14 years, homeschools her son and daughter and is a graduate of the Moody Bible Institute. Her passion to see “women living well” landed her on the Rachael Ray Show in November, 2009. Since then, she blogs regularly about faith, marriage, parenting, homemaking and more. You can also find her blogging over at GoodMorningGirls.org.
How Do I Clean In the Midst of These Kids?
This is an excellent question and I have found this to be one of the greatest challenges as a mom with little ones. It’s obvious that when we compare which is more important – cleaning vs. your children – that the children are more important. BUT I don’t look at these two as mutually exclusive. Our goal as moms should not be to entertain our children and to corral them from one fun activity to the next. They need to fellowship in the daily activities of their parents. Our children need to be praised for more than just sitting quietly while they watch Elmo. They should find purpose, comfort, and joy at the side of their mother.
While we all can nod our heads in agreement that this is what we want for our children, living this out is terribly difficult. It takes a lot of patience, endurance and organization to create a system where this works. And truly, most days it takes a lot of prayer and deep breaths! Lol!
My children started helping me with laundry when they were 1 and 3. They used to help me carry all the baskets to the main room for sorting. We poured all the laundry into one HUGE pile. Then I cranked up music and allowed them to take turns jumping into the pile. They LOVED this! After about 5 minutes of fun (or chaos) we stopped and began to sort. After sorting we pushed the bins down the hallway, down the stairs and to the washing machine. Then they each got a high five and a nickel for their hard work!
Truthfully, it would have been much easier to do this myself BUT this was a time of bonding – and giving them a sense of contribution and purpose. This takes their focus off of themselves and onto serving the family.
Another example: cooking. We all know that kids LOVE to get creative in the kitchen but it is SO difficult to have their little hands into everything! So – take a deep breath and pray for patience!!! Remember – you are bonding while teaching them a life skill. When the children were younger, I collected as many Lego’s as I could from every friend and garage sale I could find. We had four large baskets of Lego’s that they were ONLY allowed to use in the kitchen when I was cooking. I would get them started building and they were extremely creative once they got going. Then as I cooked, when
there was something they could help with – I invited them one at a time to stand on a chair and help. There was order in the kitchen and we fellowshiped together as I made dinner.
Six years later I am reaping the benefits of starting this while the children were young. Both of my children (ages 7 and 9) are capable of cleaning out bathtubs and sinks 100% themselves. My son (age 9) can vacuum rooms and the stairs perfectly himself! My daughter (age 7) is GREAT in the kitchen! She has learned to stir slowly (moving slowly in the kitchen is key to less spills and injuries) and the best part … as I fellowship and bond with my children they find praise for doing something other than playing video games without fighting!
If you have a big task – like cleaning out a closet or filing papers – and a tot that is going to be WAY too difficult to have in the room (don’t even try it) -break this task up into 20 minute intervals. And work on it each night after the kids are down for bed.
I will admit it is hard work to bring your children along side of you as youwork – it takes time, sacrifice, organization and creativity. But I never have guilt after spending this time with the children – but I will admit to complete exhaustion! We reap what we sow (Galatians 6:9).
Enjoy your children – watch their eyes light up as you praise them for their great dusting. Admire their strong muscles when they lift the laundry basket! There is no substitute for mommy’s praise and delight – the television may be an easy short term solution – but remember – we reap what we sow.
I sure wish I’d had this advice when my children were younger. When my first three were small, I kept trying to regain control of my “old” life rather than embrace my new one as a mentor and teacher of my children. Courtney, you are so wise! I’m so thankful God is raising this young woman up.
In today’s post, Courtney has something for everyone! She’s offering everyone a FREE eBook titled “The Proverbs 31 Woman ~ One Virtue At A Time”. Click here for all the details!
As you probably know, this Proverbs 31 woman is near and dear to my heart, so I hope you’ll all get a copy of this for yourself.
Stop back tomorrow for a practical idea from me to end the week, and another giveaway.
Grace & Peace,