Charlotte Siems just let those words fall in the air at the Winter Summit. And honestly, she said this so quickly and moved right on to the next point, I’m not sure that was exactly what she said. As she continued her workshop, her point was clear: If you put in a little more effort, you might enjoy the results more.
Really? I should just care more?
I countered her words with several arguments (all in my head of course).
“But, I have no time or energy to care more about how my house looks.”
“Why even try when it gets demolished by the kids?”
“Why should I care about how the house looks if I’m the only one in the house who does care?”
“Honestly, I don’t think I care that much.”
But the longer I thought about this idea, the more I realized the truth of her sentiment. Essentially, she meant that I needed to put more effort into something to get better results.
After all, practicing scales on an instrument is absolutely no fun. But playing something you already know by heart? Piece of cake. Enjoyable even. Learning to read can be frustrating and a complete drag. But reading a book you love? Well, the hard part’s out of the way. You are enjoying the benefits of putting in the work.
Siems offered tons of practical systems and super simple solutions, all things she’s learned along the way to being a mother of 12 children. She talked about easy meal planning (writing each meal on a post-it note and only cooking once a day), simple laundry systems (I’ll talk about this more in another post), and making the work as easy as possible by keeping nice cleaning tools on-hand.
But this idea of putting forth a little more effort to achieve greater results kept resonating with me.
So, I tried it. I mean. It’s no secret that I hate to clean. And what could it hurt? Try harder. Okay.
I came home and started by getting the family on board. We had a family meeting, and we talked over the new rules of the house. We pick up toys when we finish playing with them. Our beds stay made. Clothes only belong in a basket or in a drawer.
These are super simple rules to carry out, but they are making all the difference in the world. The family meeting brought everyone on board. The rules laid out the expectations, and so far, the family has been great about follow through.
Too often, I easily fall back on excuses to keep from cleaning. I don’t like to clean. My kids are only little once.
But honestly, just deciding to care a little bit more has made a huge difference.
I may never love scrubbing down my kitchen, but I care enough to keep the dishes from piling up. I don’t love scrubbing my floors, but I can get my kids to join in a Pippi Longstocking-style floor cleaning party. I dread overhauling my kids’ rooms, but if they are making their beds, taking care of their clothes, and (somewhat) keeping their toys in check, I have very little complaints to make.