WT 045: What Can I Do to Inspire My Family to Help Me More?

Moms, we do it all. We work all day—either at an office or at home—and then we have to make dinner, clean up the house and somehow convince our kids that the green vegetables on their plate will help them grow big and strong. Sometimes it can feel like we do it alone, whether it's a tired husband who doesn't carry half the weight, or kids who are perpetual mess-makers without putting anything back. The truth is, moms, you're not alone. Not at all. Which is why so many of you sent in question's on today's topic: How Can I Inspire My Family to Help Me More?

Question 1: Karen, I make my children do their chores and they hate it. I know every kid hates chores so I don’t take it personally. The thing that gets me though is when I ask them to help me with little things like “it would be so helpful to your mom if you helped me fold the laundry today” and my requests are met with moans and groans. I want my kids to want to help me out around the house, is that too much to ask of a 10, 8 and 5 year old?

Karen's Answer: Your request is not too much to ask. Their response is very normal, but just because it’s normal, doesn’t mean we just leave it that way. Serving others does not come naturally, especially to a 10, 8 and 5-year-olds. I believe as parents we have to guide and instruct our children, how to serve with a cheerful heart. They are not going to do it on their own.

Don’t get discouraged.  Don’t give up, keep asking, keep teaching, keep encouraging.

Question 2:  My husband is wonderful, but he thinks that the house magically keeps itself cared for. Even though we both have full-time responsibilities, every aspect of the housework falls to me. We’ve talked about it before, and he’s always so apologetic, but after a few weeks he falls back into his old patterns. How do I get through to him that I need his help? And if not his help, at least his appreciation for when I pick up the slack?

Karen's Answer: Whew! This is a hard one, because you can’t “make” a husband appreciate you, or “share” in the work. I think you are doing the right thing in communicating to him what your desire is, and I wouldn’t stop.  The good news is he is apologetic, and does change, even for a short while.  Some husbands never “see it."  Keep gently reminding him. :) During the times where he is not helping, try not to grow resentful, keep reminding yourself of his good traits. Keep telling him your desires.

Keep communicating.  It’s like in the movie, Finding Nemo, when Dory says, “Just keep swimming.” We as wives need to just keep communicating!

Question 3: Karen, I have a jealousy problem. I’m jealous of how much my kids admire some of their friend’s moms and not me. My 7-year-old son always tells me about how his one friend’s mom always makes them brownies when he’s there after school. My 12-year-old daughter always tells me about how her friend’s house is always clean and perfectly decorated. It drives me insane that my kids have no idea how hard I work to put a dinner on the table at night and our house looking some semblance of respectable. Please help me with these feelings!

Karen's Answer: Girl, I get it. My kids did and still DO the same thing.  Here’s the deal, those moms may do all those amazing things, and that’s awesome! But, remind yourself that you do amazing things too for your children.  Your children don’t notice because they are used to it and they take it for granted. I doubt the mom that bakes the brownies everyday is being thanked, bc her child is used to it.  It’s new and different for your child. When my children tell me those things, and they do, I just say, “that is so great! Bring me a brownie home the next time you go.” As moms we have to laugh this stuff off, and develop thick skin.

Taylor used to tell me our house wasn’t fun.  Are you kidding me, I’m the queen of fun! But, we didn’t have a pool or hot tub, which is true.  Abby constantly reminded me of all her friends who would decorate for holidays better than me, the list goes on and on.  I had to realize I am who I am.  I may not do or have those amazing things, but I have other traits. Try to not let it get you down, and be confident in who YOU are.

Question 4: Karen, how do I teach my kids to value my time? They treat me like my only purpose in life is to clean up after them and drive them places. I want to start showing them that I have things that are important to me too.

Karen's Answer: The best way to “teach” is to not do it all the time.  You have to make yourself a priority and show them you are valuable too

I never overcame it, just learned to manage it.  Children have a way of demanding so much, I believe as moms, we need to stand up for ourselves and educate them that we “serve” because we want to serve, but we have a life as well.

Resources Mentioned: 

Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp

Wire Talk Episode 20: How Do I Stop Resenting My Husband?

Moms, we know your time is precious. Thank for spending it with us. We hope you feel encouraged, equipped and most importantly—the peace of God.

If you have a question about motherhood I want to hear it, so make sure you visit birdsonawiremoms.com/askkaren and tune in each week to see if we cover your question!

Thank you moms, have a great day!