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Thursday, December 12, 2013

Train to Reign part 2

Last week I posted part 1 of this blog post. Mostly about other women and how I became inspired each time I met one. They all seemed to share the same secret in managing to "get it done" specially with larger families. I wanted to know what it was.

My children were born 17 months apart. I was just really getting the baby thing down, my son was 9 months old. I was finally getting close to my pre-baby weight, finally regaining some of my energy.
 I was finally managing to get out of the house with him and all the stuff (diaper bag, diapers, burp cloth, extra clothes because you knew you better always have a back up. etc.  I was finally managing to shop with a baby in tow. ) We had moved away from all our family when I was 5 months pregnant. I had no help, no baby sitters, etc. The only extra time I had was when my husband came home. (Now I am very blessed that my husband is not a very demanding fellow.) If I say we are having grilled cheese for supper he is fine with it. He doesn't expect even a 3 course meal every night.

Then I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. We were doing the natural family planning thing to try to wait at least a couple more years. It was either my miscalculation of dates, or God decided to interrupt our plan with his. (Either way, I am so glad now that it worked out this way.) I actually love having them close together now.  But don't get me wrong those first 5 years were a lot of work.

Once my daughter was born I had a 17 month old son, and an infant. The only down time I really had was nap time. On the rare occasion that they might actually be asleep at the same time. I remember thinking my goal is to just sit down for a few minutes.

(When we brought little Lexi home.)

One thing I new is I better start somewhere.  As soon as my son was old enough to go into a toddler bed, I taught him to pull up the covers when he got out of it in the morning, and after naps. I taught him to make his bed. I wasn't going to do it for the next 5 years and then teach him. It was his bed, his responsibility. He still makes his bed to this day. I also taught him after he played, he had to clean up his toys and put them away. I taught him where to put his dirty clothes. I taught him to bring his plate to the sink, I taught him to do small chores that he could do to help around the house.

(Early morning)

It took continued reinforcement to do this. It didn't happen overnight. He didn't do it well, either. I had to stop and show him how to do it. It took time out of my day to train him. To show him how to pull up the covers, and how to pick stuff up and put it away.  I knew that taking that time out then would leverage my time later. It would have been far faster and easier to just make the bed myself, it would have been faster and easier to just pick up the 20 toys and put them up, but, I would have taught him that mommy is his maid. He would have learned he was not responsible for his own stuff, actions.


Don't worry Lexi, just look at me! You will be neat too, when you are 3!

So as they grew, I kept adding in things they could do. I wasn't trying to make my kids slaves or servants, but allowed them the privilege to be part of a family. Each one having a function and a role.
It taught them responsibility and also to become stewards over their own self and their things.

I know that raising 2 is much easier than 3 or more. I see women now with 3 under the age of 5 and think wow, they have a lot on their hands. It is hard, no one said it is easy. Taking the time to train now, will leverage your time later.

Me and the kids at the pumpkin patch. Fall 2002.
Peyton was 2 and Lexi was almost a year old.
At Dr. Presley's office, for an annual exam. He delivered both of the kids.
I had no baby sitter, so a nurse watched the in the hall during my check up.

(A little blurry, it is a picture of a picture. We didn't have a digital camera back then.)
Summer 2003

My advice is to begin to train your children as soon as possible. My children are now 12 and 13. You would be amazed at how much they help around the house. My house work has become less, and I can focus more on their homeschooling, and even get a little crocheting and scrapbooking done.   Train, Train, Train and you will Reign, Reign, Reign.

Gary teaching Peyton how to pressure wash.