An encouragement regarding children who aren’t inclined to work

for the families 006
She volunteered to wipe down the cabinets!
In her element, "playing" with water
In her element, “playing” with water

If I’ve heard my husband say how he first noticed me once, I’ve heard it a million times.

“We were working at this camp together, and it was my job to give out the responsibilities. I noticed that this girl was always where she was supposed to be, didn’t mess around, worked really hard and did great at everything…”

Blah. Blah. Blah…little did I know in a few years he’d want me to have four kids in a row, take care of them, clean the house, make the meals… no wonder he noticed a hard worker! = ) Totally kidding!

A funny thought occurred to me a few weeks ago; maybe it was after hearing him begin that story for the bajillionth time.

I actually wasn’t a good worker at all as a kid.

My parents, who were very committed to teaching us how to work and be responsible, had to remind me constantly to keep working. I would daydream, do a half-hearted job, ask to go do something else, or just plain stop. We weren’t allowed to whine or complain at all, but I do remember not being very happy about working on the inside.

To their credit, my parents never really criticized me for this. I don’t remember any lectures or “No more, or else!” moments. They just quietly, consistently kept giving me jobs, talking about the value of work, and expecting me to do my part for the family. I don’t remember at all it being a negative memory; I just know that in my heart, I would have rather been swinging, reading, or climbing trees.

I do remember a big light bulb moment towards the end of high school. (Sorry, Mom and Dad that it took so long!) I literally remember thinking, They ask me to vacuum and wash the car every week! Why don’t I just do it before they ask me so it won’t be so annoying when they tell me to do it and I’m in the middle of something? Like I said, light bulb! I began to do it first thing every Friday and I was so much happier! By that time, I actually enjoyed the jobs that I did; and finally taking ownership of them was even better.


Now I remember what made me think about this: I was watching Hope do some little job and thinking, She’s just not a very good worker. Then I remembered, Oh yeah! Neither was I; for a looong time. Then I thought, Ha! Isn’t it funny that the “hard worker” character trait was one of the first things that Paul noticed about me.

So, the point is, if you have a child that’s not inclined to work, don’t despair. Even the worst of us can be reformed.

I’m proof. = )

(Now just don’t ask me about what happened to that stellar work ethic after I got married and pregnant!)

4 thoughts on “An encouragement regarding children who aren’t inclined to work

  1. Love your last line! 🙂 Having two kids in two years has completely demolished my house! Seriously needs a deep cleaning. But I’m on here instead. 🙂


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