Relieve Stress: Release Control

Releasing control.  Isn’t that a tough one!  People literally die and go to hell because they do not want to release control of their lives to God.  But life is so much simpler if we do!  I myself am a bit of a control freak.  No one can do it just the way that I can therefore I want to do it myself so that it is done right, but it is impossible for me to do everything so I always feel stressed out and feel like nothing is getting done!!  It’s a never-ending circle.  I even struggled with handing over the steering wheel to my husband (who probably is a better driver to be honest).  How many women can amen me on that one!  Giving up control has been a long and ongoing process for me in which my wonderful husband has been the one to urge me and support me in letting go.  He is my hero.

Since I am a stay at home mom at this point in my life the focus of this post is going to be how I have released control of household chores to my children (now 6, 4, 2 and 1).  My children actually love to help me, but sometimes it is hard to give up a chore to them because it usually takes twice as long as it would take me and is done half as good as I would do it but it is one hundred times better than it not getting done which is what was happening because I simply didn’t have the time or energy to get it done.

One of the first places my wonderful hubby encouraged me to let go was laundry.  I could never conquer Mt. Laundry and still struggle with getting the laundry put away.  I could keep it washed and dried with no problem, but getting it all folded and put away, that was another story.  Lenard asked me why I wasn’t letting the kids help me fold laundry.  Well, duh, they won’t do it right!  With his encouragement I now sort the laundry and except for the smallest two everyone (including hubby) folds and puts away their own clothes.  The older two also help with towels and wash cloths.  Is it hard for me when I get into the linen closet and see the hand towels quarter-folded instead of tri-folded?  You bet!  My four year old daughter’s drawer is a mess, but the clothes are in a drawer and not all over my bedroom floor, a vast improvement.

I have recently relinquished putting the dishes away to my oldest and though sometimes the plastic bowls are not stacked the way I would stack them they are at least in the cabinet and not in the dishwasher (and yes sometimes I can’t stop myself from going back later and fixing it, I’m a work in progress).  My kids clean the bathroom mirrors and the sink and they load and unload the washer and dryer.  Remember parents we are training our children to be adults.  I’ve seen too many adult children who are in their forties and still haven’t grown up.  Let them be kids and play, but let them help too even if it’s inconvenient!  Taking a little extra time now can save you a lot of time later.  My 6 year old even helps me pour the drinks sometimes, something I was a little afraid of letting him try but he does just fine with (actually my 2 year old poured himself and his brother a drink a few days ago and did just fine).

Like I said before.  This is really hard for me.  I am a control freak and delegation is not something I’m good at, but with Lenard and the Lord’s help I am realizing that it is better to have quarter-folded hand towels than to stay up until one in the morning doing it myself and be a grouchy momma the next day.  The time will come when I won’t have my kiddos around and I’m pretty sure that I will look back and be glad that I spent time with them instead of looking back and being glad that my house was in perfect order.

I encourage you if you are stressed out and feel like you have more on your plate than you can accomplish to ask for help and give up control when you can.  This is of course goes for all areas of life.  At work, church and most importantly releasing control of our lives to our loving Heavenly Father who only has our best interest in mind anyway.  Why is this so hard?  I don’t know why, but I know that it is and it is a growing process and with growing comes growing pains, but at the end of it all our lives will be so much better and less stressed for it.  Good luck!

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