There once was a time when work ended on Friday and our thoughts turned to which parties and events we’d be attending. It was an all-out effort to squeeze as much into 48 hours as possible. It was usually a blur and there wasn’t enough time to do everything you wanted, and then sneak in a little sleep as well. We were tired but we had fun and felt fulfilled. Yay!
Then one day all that ended.
The carefree days gave way to love, settling down, and children. When you have kids and a household to deal with, there’s always something that needs doing — not to mention being the official chauffeur for everybody.
In truth, for most family folks there’s not much “time off” to relax and recharge batteries. By the time Sunday night arrives you might be more tired than you were at the end of work on Friday — and the Monday routine is just hours away as your head hits the pillow.
Before I go further, this question: How much do your children know about what you do and why it’s important? Second question: How involved are they in the “off day” routines?
Kids want to know about your work
I know a lot of people don’t buy the thought above, and feel their kids — especially those in middle and high school — only care about social media, their friends, and whatever is important at the moment.
I’ve seen some of this in my home but I also know my kids have recognized what hard work looks like. Not just in what I do, but also my wife Nellie Joy’s career as well.
Take them with you
All of them, teen and adult alike, have been involved with our work activities or have at least witnessed what we do, how we serve customers, and the value we try to deliver.
Whatever you do for a living, I suggest you take your kid(s) to your workplace at least once, let them see you performing your job to gain an understanding of the importance of that to the people you serve. Introduce them to the people you work with, and answer any questions they have about your job and the organization.
Share your work stories
If you commonly ask your children how their day went, start offering up stories about yours, too. Did something funny or interesting happen?
Let them know about your goals and dreams, and what you’re working toward. This will help make your career important to them.
Most kids really don’t have a clear picture about this part of your life. Open that door for them.
Let days off belong to Team (your last name)
Many years ago a lady described for me how she got everybody involved in whatever needed to be done around the house. She joked, “If they’re old enough to walk they’re old enough to work!”
She firmly believed everyone’s effort was important in developing a team spirit about taking care of their home, and their kids would learn to better appreciate what they had. They would also appreciate the work their parent(s) perform and why sometimes you’re stressed and/or tired.
The plan works when you work the plan
The key objective is to teach children early on that housework is everybody’s work, and if everybody jumps in it will get done faster. Off goes the TV, goodbye social media. You prepare food together, wash dishes, do laundry, straighten up and more.
Housework can actually be fun (OK, how about tolerable?) if the whole family is sharing it. I’ve seen this myself as my son has grown and has accepted more responsibility.
What this will do is to lighten the load for everyone on the weekend. Chores will get done faster and whatever else is scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, you should be able to carve out some good family time, and maybe even a little personal time.
The short checklist — “T” things up
1. Take kids to work.
2. Talk about your job, goals and plans.
3. Team __________ when it comes to all work around the house.
Have fun with this and let me know how it goes.