Today I had an epiphany. Maybe that's a bit strong... but it *felt* like an epiphany!
I realized an area in which I have been slack in the training of my children... but you know what? Now that it has come to my attention, I will address it. I spent several hours thinking as I was working and trying to figure things out and I realized a few things...
Children don't know what you don't teach them.
Maybe that sounds simplistic but here's what has been going through my head today...
We had an issue that needed to be addressed with our property. I was outside with the boys thinking and working through the issue (water drainage issues) and I found myself growing frustrated with them at all of the undone things all around me... and then at myself... and I realized something... children don't know what you don't teach them.
When the oldest were young a wise mentor told me "You can do it all yourself when you have two or three but at some point you can't do it all yourself any more. And you shouldn't. It isn't fair. To them!" And she was right and I knew it so I purposed, through the Lord's help, to teach them to do household chores, laundry, animal chores, etc... We work together and many hands do make light work!
I went through various 'chore charts' through the years, my system morphed as they grew (maybe I'll address that more fully later). But, right now, my house runs like a well-oiled machine almost all of the time. I say that not to brag, at all, but to say 'training pays off'. They know what to do and they do it. I very, very rarely even have to remind or double-check... it just all gets done. And if something isn't getting done, then we reassess and modify until the system is running smoothly again. I think I took it for granted and somehow thought it would naturally affect all areas of their lives in the same way.
All of this to say, when I was outside working and getting frustrated with the undone stuff I realized we have changed houses again and I need to think through some changes we need to make to suit this house and property. We've never lived anywhere with such 'needy' property. This yard needs a lot of upkeep and we have more land here so there's more work to do. It isn't getting done and that falls to me. I am not an outdoorsey person, I don't go outside much so I didn't even realize how much is undone. My children don't *see* the things I see that need to be done. Their eyes aren't trained to see those things and that falls to me.
It wasn't fair of me to expect them to just naturally know what to do. I quickly realized my frustration wasn't really with them, but with me. So now what do I do? I address this just like I have addressed the inside chores. I will walk around the house and property with my handy clipboard and make a list of all that needs to be done outside. Ever. Then I will divide those chores into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, semiannually and annually and make lists. I love lists. I will figure out who is best suited to each job and then I will train them to see like I do.
I say all of this to say, when you see something that needs to be changed, change it. Don't beat yourself up over it. Recognize your failing and then let it go. Don't dwell on it but learn from it.
I think this is a lesson for all areas of our lives. We are our own worst enemies.