Family Harmony Can Remain through the Latest DIY Project
I wrote absolutely NOTHING all day long. My husband went to help a friend and left me at home, alone, with the kids.
Home alone means one definite thing (especially when I have just created a master list of want to do projects). It was time to re-arrange the house.
The best news of the day was that my boys were on board with the adventure. My oldest wisely told me not to expect to get it all done in a day because it was a lot to do. I had to promise I would not get overwhelmed with the need to do it now.
We started with small tasks and they added up to larger tasks. By the time my husband arrived at the house we had moved two major areas in the house and added shelves to the office.
My husband was tired, but still stepped up and worked with the middle son to hang a second set of shelves in the office. The new storage space allowed me to put all the books in a place (and in a way) that we can see and use them. We also moved the movies next to the television instead of having them in a different room. We worked together and played together and laughed together and together we made a difference.
Although the new areas in the house make me sigh with comfort and relief, it was the way my family supported my vision that touched me the most. We worked together. The boys worked without me (while I ran some errands). We ate together and we also enjoyed some relaxation together (with the Flash). We made the most of what we had and that will give us room for more in the future.
Keys to Working with Harmony as a Family
1. Listen – my sons do NOT always get along. I know you are shocked by this admission. But they know when they are week on the cooperation and ask for different jobs. I have to listen to those requests and then find ways to offer them alternatives that they can do alone.
2. Understand – each of us has unique gifts, talents, and abilities. My oldest son can organize like nobody’s business. My middle son can build and tackle DIY. Although they can both do the other when they need to, they excel in their natural interests. I have to make the choice to pair chores with those tendencies when possible.
3. Accept – it will not always follow the list or the schedule. The youngest son “helped” me go through some boxes we had packed up at my dad’s. He found a new grabber that we had discovered in a box. “Can I go out and pick up things?” He wanted to play with the grabber. “Sure, go out and see if you can find some trash to pick up.” I had no intention on picking up outside, but cleaning up the trash is always something that needs to be done. It was a win-win and that is a good thing (an added benefit is that the older boys did not have the younger brother under their feet).
4. Do your part – not only did I join in the work, but I also gave them so rewards for doing the work. A special lunch, television time together, and a special batch of popcorn were the physical things I gave them, but I made sure I thanked them for their specific help.
5. Know the time – we all have our limits. My husband helped with the second set of shelves, but when I tried to explain the rest of my vision his eyes glazed over. He had all he could for the time. My oldest son shut down even sooner. There were other things I would have liked to achieved, but it was time to walk away – just like my son had warned from the beginning.
I have big ideas, and I am learning that when we come together and work as a family then big ideas can be achieved.