My mother was a great housekeeper. Even after she went to work full-time, everything stayed neat and clean (except my room). I’m not sure when she found time to get it all done – I don’t think my sister or I ever helped. It was only after I got married that I discovered my mom did things I didn’t know even needed to be done…
The first apartment Grant and I lived in was about the size of a postage stamp – perfect for someone with zero domestic abilities. Sweeping and dusting took about three minutes, so that was easy, and the dishwasher kept our cups and plates clean – if I remembered to turn it on. Laundry was more of a challenge because we didn’t have a washing machine and I hated going to the laundromat. But the biggest issue I faced was a problem with the toilet. A dark fuzzy “ring” appeared out of nowhere…right IN our toilet bowl. With each passing week it kept growing thicker and thicker – no matter how many times I flushed. Pretty gross, huh? I get to plead the Fifth here…nobody ever told me you actually had to clean a toilet!
As soon as the children were old enough to walk, they were assigned chores. Grant and I were determined to teach them how to sweep, mop, dust, do laundry and yes…even clean the toilets. The kids grumbled and complained and accused us of breaking child labor laws, but we needed the help and they needed to learn…it was a mutually beneficial arrangement for all of us.
There is great value in teaching children to keep things clean and neat. Studies indicate people waste an average of 55 minutes a day looking for things they didn’t put away. That equates to two wasted weeks out of each year! A little neatness goes a long way – and helps us be better stewards of the time God gives us on this earth!
Identify household chores your children can help with. Make a chore chart and enlist the help of everyone in the family to share in the day-to-day household responsibilities. It will make your home a nicer place to live, and your children will be well-prepared when the time comes for them to leave your nest and set up a place of their own.
Prayer: God, sometimes it’s easier to do things myself than to train my children to help…even though I know they need to learn. Give me the patience and grace to follow through with my job as their teacher. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.