Today’s guest post is from an Atlanta MOAT who is very special to me. In fact she’s part of the reason this whole campaign to eradicate enabling began. It was a conversation about taking out the garbage that convinced both of us we were raising a bunch of “serve me” kids.
She’s also been my friend for 40+ years.
… Oh, did you think I was in my 30’s??! I’m sure it was the girlish figure that threw you off… and the expensive-looking highlights around my temples (don’t be fooled – it’s gray hair!)
Anyway – Thanks Chris Wills for sharing your stuff with us.
… and thanks for walking the road with me.
Heard on the Street
We are trying a new experiment around here that has been very challenging and thought provoking. Always with a new year, my sweet hubby and I sit down to work on the calendar for the upcoming year and tweak our budget where needed. As we went over our last year’s budget we realized two things. First, we are spending a big chunk a month for a cleaning person. Second, we are in a different life season with the kids and what they can be doing to pitch in.
The ages of our kids are 18, 16, 15, 13, 10, 8, and 7. So clearly we are at a place where they can take on more than what they have been doing. So we announced a few weeks ago that there would be no more Ms. Crystal. I did so with a few tears, not only because I am so scared what will become of my house (I am a bit of a neat freak), but also because we love Ms. Crystal. With my hubby encouragement and action (he cleaned out his side of the closet for the first time in 11 years) we are getting through.
What has come as a surprise to me is the attitude … both mine and (mostly) my kids. Now that they know Ms. Crystal will not be here on Tuesday and Friday they have made some amazing shifts. I guess there is some sense of respect they hold toward their mom who birthed them. I mean really, you have to cut a little slack for the women who was pregnant for seven years, gained a total of 250 pounds, collectively spent a week of life in labor, nursed for seven years, and cleaned dirty diapers for 13 years.
So out of this respect (with a little guilt thrown in) the kids have really taken up the slack. I used to leave IOU’s on any bed that had not been made that morning. I am VERY expensive, charging $5.00 for any bed not made. Yet I am happy to report the IOU’s are getting fewer and futher between. The three older teenagers have also learned how to do their own laundry and have each picked a different day of the week on which to do laundry. The biggest joy for the boys is getting all their own socks back!
We have gone from a household of “I can put that off…Crystal is coming,” to getting it done ourselves. It has been a great lesson in responsibility. We are probably going to use a cleaning service to come in once a month to deep clean ( did I mention I am a neat freak?) But all in all we will be saving $300-$400 a month.
It has been a humbling experience for me since I am not quick to ask for help from others. Yet, to keep things going around here it has been necessary. I have found a willingness and servant’s heart in some of my kids that I was not aware of. Not saying everyday is sunshine and roses…but I love the feeling of us all in this together and working alongside one another. span>