Empowering our kids…

If you were to crack open my heart for a little bit here, you would find that my heart longs for, on a daily basis to start a business, to be an entrepreneur and to encourage and empower other women. I can’t help it, I think about it All. The. Time.

I recently was listening to a leadership podcast by Michael Hyatt and they were talking about the importance of empowering the team around you.

They said things like “How are you motivating and empowering your team?”

“When you empower your team, then their gifts and talents can flourish.”

“We double, triple, even quadruple our time when we learn how to empower our teams.”

“We deprive our team from using their gifts when we do the work they could be doing.”

And this final quote that I loved “Don’t do anything that others could or would do when theirs so much of importance to be done that others could not or would not do”.

I began thinking about my team and do you know who my team is in this season of my life? It’s my 4 darling little girls. Ages 7, 5, 4 & 2. They are my dream team. And I want to empower them in every possible way that I can.

It was just 2 months ago when we moved into our new home and I was beginning to quickly realize that I simply cannot keep all the balls in the air when it comes to keeping our home in order. I am 1 person and there are 6 people in our home and I cannot stay on-top of everything and have a healthy soul at the same time! My husband kept nudging me to “teach the girls to do some of these things so you don’t have too” and I gotta confess, I didn’t really have faith in them that they could do many of the things I was doing or at least not in a reasonable time-frame. I kept defaulting to cleaning up after every meal, cleaning up every evening, doing all the laundry and putting it away, even tidying up their rooms, etc, etc.

My husband began to see how tiring all this was on me so one wknd he took charge and put the kids on dishwashing duty and he did not allow me to step in. He gave our 4 year old a wet rag and showed her how to dust baseboards. He showed our oldest how to push a vacuum cleaner. And you guys… I WAS SURPRISED IN THE BEST POSSIBLE WAY!!! They really could do things. And they actually can do them pretty well. It’s been about a month now since we began empowering them in these different chores around our home and they continue to get better and faster as time has gone on.

One girl washes the dishes, another loads the dishwasher and drys and puts away.

Another girl wipes down all the kitchen countertops and the table.

Someone sweeps the floors.

One preps the children’s vitamins the night before.

Another sets the table for tomorrow’s breakfast with the bowls/plates, silverware, napkins and water cups. (With their vitamins on their plate that’s in a cute little dish).

They go throughout the living room/kitchen and pick up their things and put them away.

They clean-up their rooms.

They clean their own bathrooms.

They fold and put their laundry away.

On rotation they each have “their day” where they get to be the one helping with cooking the meals. On their day they also get to pick where they get to sit at the table, say the prayer before the meal and (once we get our TV hooked back up again) pick out the “show” if they get an opportunity to watch a show that day.

They help unload the groceries.

They dust.

They organize their toys.

They make their own beds.

They get their own jammies on, (they help their little 2yr old sister get her jammies on – and can even change a wet diaper (they hold the line on not changing a poopie!), they go potty and brush their teeth on their own.

As I have stuck with this and as I continue to empower my kids in helping out with these beautiful tasks to everyday life skills – I am seeing that I then have more time for working on our budget, doing some of the deeper cleaning, more time for meal prepping as they are cleaning up the kitchen, more time to work on things in my heart such as writing these blogs and doing things that only I can do. They are growing leaps and bounds and learning great work-ethics and their confidence has also grown so much. They are owning their responsibilities and I couldn’t be more proud. As they have grown more comfortable with these routine tasks I have noticed them being more self-starters on their own accord. We homeschool and sometimes it’s so neat when I walk into the living room and I see that one or two of my girls has already finished their math & writing work for the day! (It doesn’t always happen that way! But it has a few times and it’s been happening since they’ve owned more responsibilities). I will say, we are nowhere perfect in all of this and we do our best to be consistent but sometimes things come up. And that’s ok.  We pick up where we left off and begin again. We do our best with what we have and their are still times where I may lend a helping hand in cleaning a room or with laundry or the dishes. I’m working on this! But we have come so far in the short amount of time we began implementing these things and I’m grateful for their contribution and hard work.

I am doing my best as a parent to be much more open to allowing them to help when they ask for it. I think out of feeling overwhelmed and that I like things just-so I got into a bad habit of saying “No thank you, I got this”. But I realized this is not good for me or them. And just as if I did have a staff around me, whom I would want to empower – so I realize I have these 4 precious daughters whom I want to empower and equip in every possible way and who are far more valuable than any future staff. They are my ministry. My daily ministry. And they are worth it all.

How have you motivated & empowered your kids? Do you have any words of encouragement or great tips/advice on this? Or maybe you are like how I recently had always been and this is maybe something you want to incorporate. Do you have any questions? I sure would love to hear your thoughts below.

Thanks so much! Love you friends!! We got this!!

All my love,

Angie

Are you listening to your feelings and tending to your needs?

How aware are you of your feelings and what your needs are?

I’m growing in this awareness and realizing more and more how important this is to my overall health and well-being.

When I am able to identify what I am feeling and what my needs are and then able to communicate those 2 things in a healthy way to the people close to me, I am a much better wife, mom and person. Not to mention when I respect my feelings and needs I enjoy being me much more and that is an important thing to do, enjoying being yourself 🙂

Life has several different components that require our valuable time and energy. I find that if I go too long neglecting one of these components than my feelings will turn from being generally joyful, grateful & content to being short with the people I love the most, irritable, perhaps feeling overwhelmed &/or a general sense that something doesn’t feel right on the inside. If these feelings begin to surface than it’s a sure sign that somewhere I have not been listening to my feelings nor tending to my needs.

Here are some different components of my life I know I need to consistently be tending too – yours may be different but It’s a really good idea to identify what they are and what they need from you so you can regularly be making deposits.

Spiritual – for me this is for the most part on a daily basis connecting with my Heavenly Father, renewing my mind in God’s word, prayer, worship, church. My relationship with Jesus is my strength and my power-source to living an abundant, overcoming life. This renews my perspective, is my manual for living life well and no one can love and serve me like my relationship with my loving Heavenly Father can.

Soul – for me this is getting a few hrs a week to myself to plan, schedule, dream, perhaps write like I am doing here in this blog post or study something that is feeding life to me. Sometimes its reading a good book. Can also be a relaxing hot bath before bed. I know for my husband he is an extravert so he is greatly recharged by being with his best buds and doing fun things. What is it for you that recharges your soul? This is so important because life can place a big demand on our souls and it’s important that we tend to the recharging. This is very healthy and very good for your healthy and overall well-being.

Physical exercise – helps with energy, with feeling healthy and strong, releases endorphins that help ward-off depression. So important. Even just a little 4-5/wk is so beneficial. I started making it a goal of 5x/wk for a minimum of 10minutes and I can feel and see the benefits from this. If I am able to do more, great – but truly even 10 minutes can be beneficial. I would do this before hoping in the shower – since I have 4 little kiddos at home Its tougher to get in long workouts.

Nutrition – It’s important to consume at least 50% of your diet as living foods – Greens, vegetables and fruit. Drink plenty of water 32-48oz/day (I’m working on this!!). Blending yummy smoothies is a great way to get in extra living foods. Spinach in tasteless in a smoothie and if you add frozen organic fruit and a little lemon &/or a small piece of ginger it’s so yummy and good for you!

Marriage – If you’re married, this is your #1 relationship on this planet. Make investments continually. This is God’s gift to you, nurture your relationship. Figure out what your spouse’s love language is and make those deposits regularly. Find out what their needs are and do your best to help ensure those needs are being met. Are you having plenty of date nights and sex? Also – make sure you do have a thriving relationship with Jesus because no human being on this planet is equipped to meet ALL of your beautiful hearts needs – only God can do that. Learn to allow Him to meet your needs and then simply enjoy and be grateful for what your spouse can bless you with. Pressure off of other people to meet all our needs and pressure ON God because He is the one who actually can meet our needs 🙂

Parenting – If you are a parent – the needs physical and emotional required from you in teaching and training your children require so much of you so it’s very, very important that you are getting your spiritual, soul, physical exercise, nutrition, and marriage needs taken care of. A healthy woman is able to be a healthy mom to her children. And what a great example to your children that you are able to be a well-rounded healthy woman.

Your Home – This is a constant demand. The laundry is never-ending as well as the meals, kitchen clean-up, tidying up, bathroom cleaning, sweeping, dusting, vacuuming, yard-work, etc, etc. Your work in your home is so important. A home in order contributes to feelings of peace, love, joy, haven and able to recharge. You can have a home that is peaceful and has some order even with many little ones in the home. It will require a lot of work, but it’s so worth it! If you work outside the home, perhaps you can hire some help. Being organized is essential in keeping your home in order. If you need help with this, my Illuminate My Life Planner would be such a blessing to you. It’s helped me in our home so much.

Budgeting – finances need to be in order, and you need to know where your money is going. Being a generous person to others also requires financial responsibility on our end so we are making wise investments with our finances and so we know what we even can give. I find I do best by the cash envelope system with the groceries/date night/fun spending/giving/house-hold items. I use YNAB (you need a budget) to help me keep my finances in order. For me personally, this can be one of the things that I let slip with staying on top of. I am really working on this because it is so important. It’s vital to a healthy marriage too.

Your family/friendships/work/passions/ministry…. Are other needs that you need to think thru & tend to on a regular basis in life. For sake of time I am going to end here for now. But please know that your feelings and your needs are very important. Your feelings are good and will help you to identify what your needs are. I recently learned of the “I message” when identifying and communicating your needs to others. It goes like this “I feel ____(insert feeling)____ when you________ and I want to feel (how you want to feel) with you ____(when this happens or when you do____). It is your job to update your loved ones how you are feeling and what you need in a healthy/respectful way. Without attacking the other person. The “I message” allows you to communicate how you feel and what you need in a healthy/positive way. For more info on this I highly recommend Danny Silk’s book “Keep Your Love On”. It’s great.

Adore you beautiful friends and am praying for wisdom as you identify what your feelings and needs are.

Love you lots and we are in this together,

Angie