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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tricky Tuesday: Spend Time to Save Time*

One way to save time that all too many Moms do not employ is by delegation.  Children are amazingly capable when we choose to train them, trust them and follow-through consistently.  Training is time consuming, but it's an investment which reaps amazing dividends.

If you could invest $10 and recoup $200 a few weeks later, wouldn't you do it?  What if it was $100 and you'd get back $10,000 after a few months?  What if the upfront investment was $10,000 and the payout $1,000,000?  I think of training and managing my children a little bit like that.

I have to do A, B, C, D, E, F and G while they are babies and none capable of doing more than babies do (eat, sleep, defecate, smile, and learn).  When one is old enough to do A, I have B-G, which is still a lot at times, but as they grow in ability my load of what was always and only my responsibility becomes theirs.  And so it goes.  I am stuck, currently, having a difficult time figuring out how to instill in my older children a desire to do A (and whatever else) without being told.  When they have learned that skill, I won't even have to spend time on management of their abilities.  I do look forward to that day!

It's been amazing to me to enjoy the fruits of time invested in training.  I almost feel to marvel at how much more I'm able to do now that my children have been fully trained in some areas.  Because I still have very young ones (my baby is 8 months old) and I hope to have more, I will continue to have certain duties and responsibilities pertaining to those years.  Those are the joys, though, really.  Diaper duty, baby feeding, always having baby with me, and night-night time are pretty special to me and so I do not delegate them.

I could delegate those responsibilities and I'm sure some Mothers would prefer to delegate diaper changing, but I don't and wouldn't want to!  My older children know it's a privilege to change my baby's diapers IF I let them!  My Mom taught me a way of considering diaper duty and it has remained with me.  Another woman affirmed it and I'm sure that only helped.  I see diaper duty as an opportunity to spend a few focused minutes on my baby.  I felt that way with my first child and still feel that way with my fifth.  I work diligently to make diaper time sweet and fun and when I've been able to be the primary caregiver consistently, diaper time has been a joy with only rare frustrations for baby and me!

Currently, I manage the following work, but my children actually do it: picking up the house, washing dishes, moving wet clothes to the dryer, unloading the dryer, folding children's clothing, and my eldest daughter begs to make meals, so she is allowed to do some (she is very good at basics like peanut butter and jelly wraps, scrambled eggs, and spaghetti).  She pleads for me to train her more extensively and I am, but I'm taking is slowly to make sure she has fully learned easier and more basic things.  She is an awesome baker already, but sometimes needs help putting thing in and taking them out of the oven, which is, of course, totally understandable.  I am still in the training stage for sweeping, kitchen clean-up, and organization.  I guess it's arguable that I'm constantly training for each of their regular responsibilities because they seem unable to see details as yet.  I'm pretty sure I remember that is part of brain development (children not seeing details readily) and it can get frustrating to go over the same thing repeatedly, but it IS worth the effort!

The point is that investment up-front in training is so much more worth the effort than I imagined it would be.  I'm sure this time of investment will prove to be even more rewarding in every way as I am blessed to observe their transition to adulthood and parenthood!

*I do realize my title is slightly misleading.  All who understand time to any degree know that we cannot spend or save it, that is is simply a creation of our linear brains.  I've chosen to use that title in hopes of conveying that training our children to be responsible for work in the home is worth the time required for the training.  In the end, we haven't really "saved" time, but enable our focus to be on different work.


Trisha Grimes said...

We don't refer to it as "training" but I do guide my daughter. She's a quick learner and can adapt to routines.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All said...

I believe chores are a good thing to a point but I don't ask many chores of my children. I had very many of them as a child, so many times that they bordered on excessive.

Mama to 5 said...

yes, it takes me hours to do my grocery list and matching up coupons and finding the best deals but it is so worth it!

Mary said...

I actually love the 'training' part. Even at just 4 yo I love seeing when he just gets it and then moves up to the next level. Makes a Mom proud.

Heather Jones said...

You know I'm thinking I could delagate things to my four year old son that I haven't before, like making his bed, putting clean silverwear away, or moving the laundry from the dryer into the laundry basket for folding. I have such a struggle with cleaning up the play areas with the kids, I assume, they really can't do anything else. But I certain I'm wrong here. I will test this out! Thanks for sharing!

Malia said...

What you are saying is true! I need to have my kids help out a little more. They are 3 and 7.

Jill @ Called To Be A Mom said...

This was great! I'm so glad you shared these steps. I have you as a featured post at Pintastic Pinteresting Party this week. Thanks for linking up!

Adelien Tandian said...

Wow... Training is a very great investment I believe. I am really in your side about delegation of some of our job to children. That is a precious life skills for them. Of course we should not USE them everything. Thank you for sharing.

Laurie said...

Thanks for the reminder of what a blessing it can be when we train our children well. It's a blessing not only for us, but they earn a sense of accomplishment at the tasks they can do. It helps them feel valued and needed as they contribute to the family. This is one area that I have been slacking off in lately. I definitely needed this reminder, so thanks for posting this!

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