As mothers we serve our families. Every day. During the holiday season this service is something we take for granted. We're the mommies. Of course we serve our children, our husbands, our parents, our in-laws and sometimes our friends. Who serves us?
It's so easy to caught up in serving others, in particular our families, that we forget what an important lesson it is for our children to learn to serve others. If we always act in service to them, eventually we become servants TO our children. I love my children as much as any other mom, but I never intended to become an unpaid servant in my own home.
This year one of my goals is teaching my children to be more compassionate and helpful in our home. All three boys love to help, but they only like to help with the fun stuff. No one offers to lift a finger when something really boring (or gross) needs to be done. A lot of that is my fault. I haven't expected them to help and so I never ask them for help with a lot of chores. Also, I respond pretty quickly when they have needs but rarely ask them to respond that fast when I need something. I've always assumed that I'm the mommy and it's my job to do most of the work.
It's true. Most of the work is mine. It doesn't have to be. I ran around the entire holiday season like a chicken with it's head cut off doing things for my family (and with my family). Every night I went to bed late and I woke up early in the morning. My family for the most part played, watched television, ate the meals I prepared, and pursued their own interests. In retrospect it would have been very nice if they'd helped in preparing gifts for others, cooking meals, setting the table, cleaning, doing laundry, or generally being of service to the whole family. My husband was wonderfully helpful and cooked dinner for a week and a half straight to allow me time to quilt.
This year's goal: Teach the kids to work in service to their family.
Now, if only I had a plan of action to bring that goal to fruition.