52 Ways for More Serenity in Life and Home :: learn to delegate (week #19)

I hope you found some simplicity in the weekend – ways which make sense for you and your family.

Mother’s Day was celebrated here with a few of my favorite things, and a gift to myself (which I’ll share about tomorrow)!

On to a new week…

Week #19  Learn to Delegate

Before you head off thinking this is for executive management and businesses, but not Mamas and their homes, hear me out.

You’re in the business of home management, and you are the home executive!  If life holds work outside of the home (or you’re a work-at-home mom), then it’s ever so important to practice and exercise the art of delegation.

By this I mean knowing where, how and just when responsibilities should be shared.  It’s asking for and receiving support and help in areas of need – all for the purpose of being released to do your most important work well.

“You’re going to wear yourself out–and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself.”  Exodus 18:18

Often though, we don’t release due to various reasons.  I’m guessing the top ones could be:

  • inability to let go of control
  • fear of the other person ‘not doing it right’
  • it takes too much time to teach another person

So if you’re able to do a job well, what’s the purpose of even thinking about handing it off?

Well, we’re created to be interdependent.  Our worlds are surrounded by others who have different gifts and abilities, all by God’s design.  We allow for the best in others to show by making room for them to work with us.

If you’re part of a family — you. are. a. team.  Not a lone-ranger.

Mom isn’t meant to be the one doing it all, caring for it all, and taking it all on. Neither is Dad. Neither are the children, even if they’re old enough to really help out. The running of the home and the organizing of family life (even if it’s Mom primary focus and work) is a team effort.

Even with the family on board, you may still need outside support and help, and this is more than okay!

Through the years, I’ve hired regular babysitters and house cleaners, delegating work to them for a season.  I’ve welcomed the assistance of gracious women from our church to help in various ways.

My extended family has pitched in and numerous friends as well.  I’ve trained (and am still training :)) my children to share in the load of keeping house.  As a homeschooling Mom, I’ve hired others (via online classes or live classes) to teach certain subjects.

Mom — learn the art of allowing others to help you.  Remember God designed you for interdependence; it’s healthy and can be such a stress-reliever!

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Tips for Healthy Delegating

  • resist the temptation to play the victim – so not appealing! and remember you’re not a failure for delegating
  • don’t delegate work that is critical for you alone to do unless it’s an emergency
  • some work needs to be eliminated and not delegated; know the difference, and nurture your ‘no‘ response
  • be sure there’s time to train for the work (when time is of importance, it may be easier to do it yourself.)
  • release the need for it all to be done exactly ‘your way’, establish a new standard

Whether it’s your family, hired help, a friend or Grandma…celebrate and joyfully welcome the idea of others walking alongside of you in your work!

Action Plan:  What is your biggest area of need right now in one of your roles?  Can you identify what help would be beneficial?  Take time to think, pray and share this process with a spouse or friend for feedback and making a plan.

More to Read:  Focus on the Family has a SUPER series of articles on this topic — Working Moms Need to Delegate, Share the Workload with Your Husband, and Give Chores to Your Kids 

 

Want to share your thoughts? Click here to send me an email.

8 comments

Wonderful post, Daniele! I was out of the blogging loop for a while after my last little guy was born, but I’m excited to come across your blog again!
A couple months ago, I became the executive secretary at our church. Thankfully the job is flexible and I can work at home at times, but it’s definitely been a change for me to be working again. I honestly feel like housekeeping is my biggest need right now. Is it weird that I’ve always struggled with having some one come in and clean? I feel like I’d be so embarrassed. I’d end up cleaning before she came to clean! 🙂 Thanks for getting me thinking!

Excellent ideas Daniele and thank you for sharing. I almost skipped reading it but the poppy (my favourite!) caught my glance and I must admit I would have missed a great post.
Now, if I learned anything I will be a happy gal very shortly (printing the post right now with the intention of leaving it strategically to benefit myself and the rest of my crew!!)
Blessings Dear and hoping you are feeling better?

A great post! I am not good in the delegation department. Thank you for the encouragement and the challenge. I appreciate the questions in your Action Plan. I’ll be spending some time thinking on those things this week.

Hi Rachel – great to ‘see’ you again! I felt the same way when hiring a house cleaner, but eventually found what worked. Hope you can figure out what’s most needed in this season!

Debra Estes

How would you respond to people who say that kids should be allowed to just be kids and play and not have to do grown up things too soon? My husband is one of those and disagrees with kids having responsibilities so young. Maybe around age 8 or 9 then it would be okay, but not 4 and 6 as they are now. He thinks they should be able to be kids as long as they can. That God has given children to us to take care of and that means doing those things for them. That is part of our job, not theirs. Their job is to just be kids. Our job is to do all the work.

My position though is that we are a team and we should all work together. If you are part of the family then you help keep the house. That if we do it all for them then they will, without knowing it, come to expect to be waited on and not learn to do things for themselves or be attentive to the needs of others. Chores and responsibilities will help build the character traits that God has created them with. My girls both show a desire to help others. We must nurture that and look for opportunities to grown it.

But my husband says he was raised to not have responsibilities or chores until he was older but he doesn’t expect to be waited upon now. He wasn’t messed up by not having to do adult work early on.

Anybody have thoughts on the perspective of kids just need to be kids and not grown up too soon?

Debra,
Thanks for your thoughts! I wouldn’t say that work is a grown-up thing alone, but I would agree that a child’s work should be appropriate to their age and ability.

I’ve found that little ones do appreciate being a part of the whole. While play is definitely a child’s work, they also love to help Mom & Dad!

Specifically for your family & your question – If your spouse is wanting to hold off for now, trust that God is building character in your children. He is doing this many ways, not only through chores.

And count other things as “chores”! I’m sure they’re learning to care for their body (brush teeth, brush hair, etc.) or pick up toys after play? Allow them to help with a meal for a friend or writing a note to a person in need. Compliment them and see this as their primary focus for now — other household responsibilities can come later.

Many blessings! 🙂

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