{31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way} :: Lesson 8~Imperfection is Worth the Help

I love perfectly folded bath towels.

When we were first married, I read a tutorial by Martha Stewart on how to fold towels perfectly. I really enjoy folding them and stacking them neatly and placing them on our guest bed in preparation for guests.

I also really enjoy my organized pantry. And the smell of lemon-scented dusting spray. And a shiny bathroom sink.

I really like it when my kids dress in cute outfits. I like trendy and cute without being fussy or too dressy.

And I can have all of these things when I’m willing and able to spend my time doing them.

Or I can delegate. I can let my husband fold the towels. I can let my older children dress the youngers. I can let the kids clean up after lunch, resulting in the peanut butter being placed on the wrong shelf. I can let my 5 year old dust the tables with a dry towel.

When I delegate, I am letting go of my control over these things. I am also allowing myself some rest and breathing space. Most importantly, I am training my children to participate in stewarding our home. They learn to pitch in, to help each other, to serve others.

I’ve criticized their efforts in the past. “Why can’t you do it MY way?”

This criticism results in frustration, irritation, tension. It doesn’t make them want to help me. It turns their labor of love, their willingness to help, into a drudgery. They are no longer happy to help because they are anticipating the criticism that will follow.

So now we have “chore charts”. My kids do their own laundry. They clean the bathrooms, empty the trash, dust the furniture. And it’s rarely done perfectly…or to my desires. But it’s done. And I hold my tongue. And we function like a family rather than like a dictatorship.

The imperfection is worth the help!

 

This post is part of the series {31 Lessons Learned the Hard Way}. Did you miss a lesson? Catch up here.

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