I read a life-changing book a few weeks ago. Well, at least life-changing for this household. It was called, "Cleaning House: a mother's 12 month experiment to rid her home of youth entitlement," by Kay Wills Wyma. The objective of this woman was basically to teach her kids important skills they need to know as adults, and stop coddling them and doing the work for them.
I find myself thinking about this book in lots of little moments, but today was a pretty big moment for me. I've never been too great at staying on top of laundry, but being pregnant and tired has not helped the laundry situation. I was behind by about two weeks, in other words, after two days of work, I had a mountainous pile of clean clothes, ready to be folded, on our living room couch.
As soon as Laycee, the anti-folder, was asleep I started to work on my incredibly daunting task. And then Jaye sat down with me and asked if she could help. Bring on the stress. At first I answered, "No Jaye. You helped me wash the clothes (she likes to throw the clothes in the water), but Mommy needs to do this alone."
She stayed sitting right next to me, so I kind of just ignored her while I continued on my way. A few moments later, I look over and she was trying in earnest to fold a shirt. At that moment, I thought of my book. Why did I need to fold clothes alone? Why shouldn't my kids learn to fold clothes now? The only reason I thought of was, "it's just so much more convenient and fast to do it myself." But Kay Wills Wyma spent 12 months trying to overcome that attitude, so I needed to give it a chance.
I showed Jaye how to fold the shirt, hovering over her like a vulture. But to my surprise, the second shirt she tried turned out nearly perfect! She could do something I never thought she could, because I wasn't willing to test her abilities. And so, I gave her a pile of shirts and pants to fold (after showing her how to fold them.)
And then, to my complete and utter shock, my five-year-old son saw us and whined, "I wanna fold clothes!" I didn't know clothes-folding looked so exciting. Now, Grayson has been taught how to fold but I've never, in my life, heard him request the task. I threw him a shirt and he said, "I want to fold all my clothes."
And so, the three of us sat and folded. And I taught them how to seperate their clothes into which drawer they would go in. And they totally got it! It blew me away. I didn't even have to watch them because they were folding so well! I almost ruined a perfectly enjoyable learning experience with my sweet kids, all because of "efficiency".
What a terrible excuse "time efficiency" is. I'm glad I made time for family instead.
Even if it involved laundry.
2 years ago