Three “Helps” To Keep You Going As You Train Yourself and Your Babes

 

My babes are my crew, and we do life together.

 

Yesterday my crew and I were driving home from the grocery store and I was thinking about how great it was that they could be with me while I shopped.

Sidenote: I have not always considered taking my babes grocery shopping with me “great.” Um, more like, not so great. More like, let me go by myself so I can get through the grocery shopping in less than an hour, without whining, potty breaks, “want-ies”, and so on. Also, going to the store by myself? Vacation! 

But now, now I’m pretty grateful I have them with me because I have the opportunity to teach them how to shop for groceries, and this weekly time I have with them, if I’m intentional about using the time well, will serve them in their future years.

Bonus: If I teach them to meal plan, shop, and cook, mama won’t have to cook every night! Score.

I love the idea of helping my children navigate life and homemaking and love and warmth. I want to be their guide, their advocate, their walk-along-side friend, mentor, and mama. I don’t have on rose-colored glasses about training them, and many days it I think I fail more than I succeed at training them, but I’m trying. I’m choosing to give it what I got, what I never had, and I’m doing it because I love them and want them to have strong foundations. I want them to go into their adult lives with real skills and knowledge of how to live practically in the day-to-day.

In Chapter 6, you read that both Sally and I had a lack of training for life – specifically in domestic skills. Sally thought that having children of her own and caring for a home would be like playing house, “like I did when I was a little girl.” I guess I shared that same mentality. I always wanted to be a mom and a homemaker, so I always assumed it would come naturally to me.

Um, no.

So so so very unnaturally to me is cleaning and organizing and being un-selfish, and playing with and training little ones. I have gone through a cycle in my “re-training”: pride (I can learn everything from a book and implement it seamlessly – it’s just a choice after all!) —–> self-reliance (I will get this all figured out, I will!) —–> faint-heartedness (I will get better…tomorrow) —–> resentment (why did you make the way I am God? I wish I was like so and so) —–> depression (I will never get it together, so why bother) —–> hope (I don’t have to be like anyone else, God made my personality and bents and He loves me and will help me), and finally —–> resolve (I will not change, but I will mature; I will take each day step-by-step by faith in the power of the Holy Spirit).

Sally’s perspective in Chapter 6 was a game-changer for me – she revolutionized my thinking when it comes to training. Here are three things I want to leave you with that have encouraged me and helped me to persevere and live lovingly and practically:

Three “Helps” To Keep You Going As You Train Yourself and Your Babes

1. Remember oxen.

Seriously. Solomon says in Proverbs 14:4, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean…”

Really, need I even comment? I’ll just say this, life with oxen children is messy, accept that the mess never ends…at least for more than 10 minutes.

“I need to decide to accept the work as a normal part of life and not struggle against it. The first step in dealing with the frustration of housework is to understand it is never going to go away.” -Sally Clarkson, p. 73, Desperate

2. “Five-sies”

I love love love what Sally calls, “Five-sies”! Part of me wants to say, “if you want to know what it is you will have to buy the book!” {wink wink} But I won’t do that (you should still buy the book though). 

Here is what Sally says about “Five-sies”:

“We developed the practice of “Five-sies.” This meant that on most days, around five in the afternoon, I would set a timer for fifteen minutes, put on some music, give out assignments to the kids, and say, “If we can get the house mostly straightened in fifteen minutes, we will share a “Five-sies” snack.” When we were done cleaning, I would light a candle and put out a tray of cheese sticks, some sliced fruit, a few roasted nuts, or some whole grain crackers, and we would spend ten minutes of civility together. I made an anchor of it in my day in which I could get the main areas straightened up…”

“Five-sies” might look different for your family (for mine it’s hot chocolate), but the point is, give you and your babes something fun to look forward to each day as a reward for getting your home in order. The habit will become an anchor, and your babes will look forward to it every day, and they will remember it and probably start the tradition in their own families one day. Doesn’t that just make you smile? Me too.

3. Foundation of Love

What is the goal of your training? For me it is ultimately to create a foundation of love for my family and future generations. When we teach out babes basic skills, and we work alongside them, and invest in our domains and in each other, what we are doing is loving. We are loving God by loving others, we are loving our future grand-babies our children’s spouses, and all those who encounter our family and their future families. If we can instill a depth of love and warmth into our children through our homes and our teaching, it will impact people…the world…for years to come. I like this, and it motivates me to keep on.

You can do it! Keep on!

SM

Sarah Mae

Sarah Mae spends her days home-making, home-educating, writing, reading, and drinking salted caramel mochas. Her family embraces life in the beautiful Amish country-side of Pennsylvania. She is the owner of the community site Allume and the co-host of the national Christian women’s social media conference.