Monday, August 22, 2011

Family Work Article

Recently on the TJed MUSE Yahoo Group, a link was posted to the following article entitled "Family Work" by Kathleen Bahr and Cheri Loveless. It was amazing inspiring to read, and gave me a whole new perspective and excitement for the work in our home that I have previously seen as drudgery. I want to keep it here as notes to refer back to. And hopefully, if I ever have readers, they will read it too.

In addition, I read some sage advice from Andrea Rice of Abigail Adams Academy on the same Yahoo Group today. I needed to hear this, because I have fallen into a huge rut of high expectations, low output, and constant harping, nagging, and yelling to get work done. Not a recipe for happy family work time, eh?

This is what she wrote:

I have found that routines have to be based on what looks good in reality, not what looks good on paper. :) A routine should help you get done what needs to be done, but shouldn't be a slave master. I would keep working and trying different things until I got what worked for my family. But here are a few things that I find make our routine run smoother.

1- make sure I do what I'm supposed to. Setting a good example goes a long way. I used to harp on my kids about keeping their rooms cleaned, wondered why they never did it and how to teach them to do it. Guess what-- I never cleaned my own room. I'm not saying my kids keep their rooms spick'nspan now, but I find that when I consistently set an example, they do much better.

2- nagging doesn't work. Work beside them if they are having a hard time, especially very little ones. Donna Goff has written many very wonderful posts on this topic, also see Headgates for some pointers that may help.

3- be realistic for your family. I used to try to get ALL our work done in the morning, but then it seemed our mornings were eaten up by work. So now we break up the work throughout the day. And with so many little ones, my home is not going to be dirt/dust/clutter free. I'm happy if its functional. I also found if we don't have breakfast until the morning chores, they get done a lot faster.

4- every day is a new day. Yesterday you may have fallen off the wagon, but that doesn't mean today can't be great. Everyday doesn't have to be perfect. In the ingredients, Rachel DeMille says one day in ten is success!

5- do everything with gratitude. My attitude is the key to how our day goes at our house. Being grateful for everything, even the littlest things, even the not so wonderful things, helps me keep it all in perspective.

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