Image by Helen Siegler
The following post is written by Steady Mom's monthly contributor, Cortney.
"The purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship."
I recently read one little phrase that has made a big impact on me:
That's it. Simple. Obvious, maybe.
But revelatory for me. Revelatory.There is something about that little phrase that found its way into my understanding and my heart. Now I am evaluating things with new eyes and rethinking my routines and habits; I'm revitalizing my parenting choices and renewing my determination to be the right mother for my two daughters.
The real-life, tangible application of this began with my kitchen cabinets.
I have been struggling with my four-year-old daughter's unique sense of independence, which is really her sense of control, and I have been searching for ways to get things done during the day without putting more strain on the relationship I have with her.
Her name is Sophia, and she doesn't want to do anything on her own that she should at this age be doing--go to the bathroom, get dressed, even feed herself at meal times. She is perfectly capable, just not willing. By demanding that I do them for her, she gains control over how I spend my time--I have to be with her all the time.
But then she insists on doing things which she really should not be doing yet--type emails, cut her own apples, and carry her little sister around.
The manifestation of this personality trait seems to peak at times when I am least able to address it properly because I am performing some other task. And when I say other, I mean anything other than what she thinks I should be doing.
You get the picture...
So where do the kitchen cabinets fit into all this?
Photo by Rubbermaid
Well, I moved the kids' plastic cups, bowls and plates down from their cozy places among all the other dishes, to their own shelf below the counter. Now Sophia can reach them--she can put them away when they are clean, she can get them out when she wants to have a snack or when I ask her to set the table.
And now at meal times, I am no longer the only one filling requests--she is actively involved and in control of part of the task. Simple. Obvious, maybe. But revolutionary for us.
Now I am starting to look at the rest of my house. What else can I reorganize to make my tasks become our tasks?
How can I make Sophia's need for constant interaction a part of my routine so that it is a strength for us both, and not a bone of contention?
Well, I'm still working on the laundry situation, but I'll tell you, this has become an exercise for both the tangible and intangible aspects of organization in my life. I am reorganizing places in our home, places in our schedules, and places in my brain."The purpose of the task is to strengthen the relationship."
Simple. Beautiful. And so rich with possibilities.
**Can you think of a task you could reorganize to benefit your family relationships?**
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Cortney is a young mother of two who seeks to bring beauty and love to her family through various creative outlets: photography, writing, sewing, cooking and entertaining to name a few. You can discover more of Cortney's creative ideas at her blog, Praiseworthy.
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