Seriously though, Snow White takes on a big job when she begins caring for these un-kempt little people, cleaning, cooking, providing a happy atmosphere. And those little people give her purpose, love, and a feeling of a family that cares.
Remiiiiind you of anyone??
|Okay, so I haven't watched Craig Ferguson in ages, but I'm pretty sure he still says that line.|
Yeah, kids. They are like those seven little dwarves. We moms are a bit like Snow White - even the part where we collapse at the end of a long day and our Prince comes to the rescue with a loving kiss (though in some cases, folding a load of clothes and unloading the dishwasher would be at least as romantic).
Sometimes I wish I had a bit more of Snow White's sunny disposition and cheerful attitude. While she's not my favorite of the singing Disney princesses, I do appreciate her "Smile and a Song" outlook. In fact, the whole movie is filled with that "Whistle While You Work" mentality.
What am I teaching my little
dwarves (ahem) children with a negative attitude toward housework and general care for our family environment? Well, it's certainly nothing that's going to prepare them for a fruitful and productive life when they are grown.
Part of our jobs as mothers is to work ourselves out of a job - teach our children to be self-sufficient. Sure, some moms may feel gratified to think that their children don't have to worry about anything but being children; they feel it's their duty to do everything for their children. You know what happens to those poor, unfortunate kids? They become just like these seven dwarves! Filthy, unorganized, disheveled, sad, and frustrated!
Nope, we gotta start young and train them right from the early years! I've heard moms of many (5+) say that life is so much easier with more children than it was with only 1 or 2. Why is that? You put in the hard work early on, and then those growing kids take over much of the "grunt work"! Are we raising servants? Slaves? NO! Instead we are lovingly imparting to them wisdom and good habits that they can take with them when they leave our arms. We are forcing ourselves to step aside, one slightly-smeared window at a time, to let our children develop important life skills.
Have you ever seen those unfortunate college kids who are away from home for the first time, barely know how to do laundry (let alone wear something without wrinkles), can only "cook" in the microwave, gotta get their girlfriend or roommate to straighten up because they don't know how (or don't know why!), etc. And sadly, it's not just college kids. The art of passing on homemaking skills to our daughters and sons is dying, and so many new homes are started on the rocky ground of unpreparedness. This leads to so much frustration and disillusionment in later years as they struggle to retrain themselves and learn at an age that is much harder than it would have been in their early years.
Do you want your children to rise up and bless you (Proverbs 31:28)? Teach them how to run a home. Train them from the time that they can walk to pitch in and help out. Whistle while you work or sing a "Happy Working Song" and know that you are impacting your children's futures for good.
I'll be sharing some tips and ideas for how we do this with 3 kids five and under, as well as some wisdom from other great sources around the webernets. Stay tuned!!