I know that this post already sounds crazy, and we haven't even started yet! No mom in her right mind, wants a messy house, and consequently, she spends tons of time training her children to clean up after themselves.
This is good, very good in fact. We moms should do this, but there are also times, when we need to plan to neglect as well. I know this sounds crazy, and it probably is, but it is an important concept. Throughout my study of leadership, this is one concept that keeps coming back to me. Planned neglect. John Maxwell states it this way in his book, Developing the Leader in You.
"All true leader have learned to say no to the good in order to say yes to the best....Under normal conditions, we are efficient(doing things right). When time pressure mounts or emergencies rise, we become effective(doing the right things). Efficiency is the foundation for survival. Effectiveness is the foundation of success." pg:32-33
As moms, we have a to do list a mile long, and we are continually pulled in every direction. Sometimes it seems that if relax for one moment everything will be chaotic again, this especially true if your house is filled with children under 6. What I encourage you to do, is to step back, take a look at your to do list, and prioritize.
I know we hear this all the time but truly, dishes and laundry aren't going anywhere as long as you live. If you stopped to play with your children instead of folding the laundry, the laundry will wait until you are through. On the other hand, your children grow up quickly. I love this article because it truly put things in perspective.
For some, this may be a little extreme, but for our family it works. During the week, I plan my days so that I plan to spend time with son. I know that everyday we will work on his development and have bonding time because it is planned. This also means that my house is not always perfect, and that I spread out my housework throughout the week.
My husband works a lot of hours, so we don't always have a ton of time to spend together in the evenings. My remedy, when my husband comes home, I do no type of housework. We just relax as a family. I know this is bordering on unacceptable for many moms, but I rinse my dinner dishes and soak them in the sink. I wash them the next morning after my husband leaves for work. Housework is also off limits the Saturdays my husband does have off and Sundays are always work free. I do wash the dishes once on Saturday because I just can't let my dishes sit for days, but most times on the weekends I will use paper plates.
I know this is crazy, and my house does look like a tornado blew through on Monday, but I am okay with that. I don't want my kids to grow up remembering mom always cleaning or cooking. I want them to remember that mom didn't stress about the mess, but took time to enjoy them. You at best have eighteen years with your children, but nothing is guaranteed. I have no clue how long I will have my husband, so I want to cherish every moment I do have with him. This is the way I have chosen to neglect the good and say yes to the best.
In the end, when someone is gone, we regret the moments we missed because we were too busy sweating the small stuff. Today, dear mom, I challenge you to look at your to do list and create some planned neglect.