Along the lines of looking at things from another perspective, turning the negative to positive: Last night I was putting away clothes to get beds ready to be slept in. I was grouchy and tired and feeling put upon. It was only a burden, only a chore. But this morning when Linnaea got dressed she was wearing a shirt that I'd folded last night and put away. She wouldn't have known that she could wear that shirt if I hadn't taken the time to put it were it was easy to find. And so it changed from being burden and chore to being a gift that I gave her, which washed away all the resentment I felt last night.
In response to someone having written "We are adhering to a culture of self sufficiency," Colleen Prieto wrote:
All three of us (my husband, me, and my son) do things for each other throughout the day, asked and unasked, that we’re all certainly capable of doing for ourselves.
The big change in our home wasn't whether or not to do chores. It was how I understood serving my family. Sandra and a few others like Tia and Ren shared about serving their families through housework, laundry and meal making. If their dishes were dirty after lunch and no one thought to clear the table, they didn't yell or demand or clear them in huff. They cleared them gladly and with love.
THIS was the turning point for me. I realized I had fallen into the trap of feeling I was owed service and clean up by my kids and therefore grew resentful if they didn't keep their end of the bargain I had coerced into existence.
For the first two months, I kept my mouth shut about chores, messes, undone laundry etc. If there was a mess, I picked it up if it bugged me. And I said yes to every request I possibly could: driving, playing games, arranging friends to play at our house, watching movies together. I spent a huge amount of my energy at sports events (games), driving my teens to their social lives, purchasing art supplies and so on. I wanted my kids to know that they mattered more to me than any other consideration in my life.
Over time (multiple months), I got into a habit of service and not resenting. (During this time, the kids still did help with housework once a week—we held that over as we adjusted to unschooling). But it was during this time that I discovered that we could even re-think that weekly Saturday morning cleaning.
By mid summer, life was just much more relaxed. There are days when I have PMS and I get edgy about messes. But on the whole, the spirit of the home has changed. And the spirit now prevalent is consideration.
And the heavy investment of my life into theirs (making their dreams come true) has hit. They KNOW I'm for them first. And suddenly they are pouring out the love, support, help and service I used to think needed coercion. It's wild!