Working Together and Serving With Joy

This week I’m posting as part of the 5 Days of Mothering & Homemaking series. My series is on cleaning and getting your children involved (or more involved). To view the other 21 contributors and their topics, go here.

Red Velvet Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting After all the photo hunting I did for this post, I couldn't find anything that suited it. So I settled for cupcakes.


There's a difference between working side by side "together" and working together.

Teaching our children to work as a team when it comes to keeping house is a great way to teach problem solving skills, help them learn to appreciate each other, and build their relationships.

In Cleaning House, the author, Kay, talks specifically about working together on projects outside the normal house keeping duties.

I have seen my children rise to the occasion of working together toward a common goal before, so I definitely know they are capable. And Gabriella, my almost 10 year old (next week, eek!), is a leader at heart and can naturally delegate and direct her siblings to specific jobs to help the completion of the project.

Typically, a project that benefits them offers more motivation--understandably.

For example, {and this is a small project, suitable for my small children}, if my children want to bring down the Legos, they know the rule is they can only play with them at the kitchen table. However, if the table is cluttered with stuff, they first have to clear it off. Small project, but the principals still apply.

Work Happily

If my kids don't work happily (and sometimes--often--they don't), I have no one to blame but myself for that. I grumble a lot about how I "just cleaned that up" or "I can't keep up" or whatever. Grumble. Grumble. {Bad me}.

So if working happily means it starts with me, then so be it.

Oh my, my eldest daughter is like a reflection of me. When I see some of her reactions or facial expressions, it's like looking into a mirror of the past. I want so badly for her to only grab the good, but we live in the real world. She's picked up some of my bad attitude, too.

When I recognize it, I really try to lighten the mood, and she does the exact thing I used to do; try to hide the fact that she's trying not to smile or laugh, even though she wants to.

It was no accident I named this blog "Joyful Mothering". I broke one of the classic rules of blogging {gasp!}. I know.

Rather than choosing a topic I am good at, I chose to build my blog around something I struggle with. I desire so badly to be a mom who is filled with joy in her duties and as she serves her family. But for me, that's just not the case. I struggle.

I used to love cooking. My first born loved everything you put in front of her. Mostly still does. At age 3 she was a salad eater. Unheard of at that age! Nearly.

But as my family has grown over the years, so has the pickyness and grumbles. I no longer enjoy making meals because at least one person complains they don't like what I've made. I'm totally being raw here and am not saying my reaction to this behavior is good or right.

But the truth is, it stabs me, and it makes me not want to cook. Hearing that day after day, meal after meal, it just sucks out any desire.

Children are children and it is our job as mothers to train them. This I understand. It just doesn't make the sting any less.

This is one good reason to have your children help in the kitchen. They get experience on how much work is involved in cooking a meal.

Does anyone else struggle with having a bad attitude about such things?

I'm also over at Keeping It Personal today, sharing a quote I love. Come check it out! It's short and sweet. Promise!

photo credit