Monday, November 9, 2009

Roll up your sleeves

I am writing this on Friday because today I feel inspired. Who knows how I will feel on Monday. I didn't have very many shows to watch on my recorded TV today so I decided to watch live TV. The Wife Swap show was on and I decided to tune in. I've never really gotten into this show before but today I thought it might be interesting.

And it was! The two moms that swapped places were total opposites and very extreme in their ways. One mom was a very hard worker that not only takes care of the entire house and family, but her family also has a dairy farm. They get up early everyday to get the work done before the kids head off to school. (We'll call her Debbie.)

The other mom believes in spoiling her kids and having her husband wait on her hand and foot. Her husband gets up early, cleans the entire house, makes her breakfast in bed, and then goes to work. When he gets home, he does even more housework! He never gets a break! Their daughters are cheerleaders and never have to do any chores. (We'll call her Barbara.)

So it was really interesting seeing these moms switch places for two weeks. The first week the new mom has to follow the rules of the family and the second week she can change rules and the family has to follow what she says.

The first week Debbie is fed breakfast in bed and is told that she normally stays in bed until around 3 pm. Barbara, on the other hand, has to shovel manure and milk cows. They both have a hard time adjusting to this new schedule.

Then the second week Debbie changes some rules and gets the spoiled daughters to learn a good work ethic. They get up early to clean the house so their dad doesn't have to do it all. They work together to clean out and organize the garage. Suddenly the kids realize that they like to work a little, and that they are so much happier. They feel closer to their dad, helping him out this way.

Barbara decides the second week that the kids are no longer going to be "slave laborers" and that the father has to do all the work himself and make her breakfast in bed. One of the boys in that family broke down when he heard this because he loves to work with his family on the farm. Barbara chalks this up to him being brainwashed his whole life. The father here is a good sport about following her rules for a couple of days but as he hardly gets any sleep with all the work to do, life starts to wear on him. After a few days of these new rules, his sons decide to break the rules and go help him with the cows. (I was getting really teary eyed at this point.)

After the two weeks are up, the couples meet up and discuss how things went. As a result of doing the show, Barbara decides the family needs to do more things together to be closer. The girls help out around the house and their father is no longer the servant of everyone. Debbie and her husband decide that maybe sometimes their sons need a break. Debbie's husband realizes that he is so lucky to have Debbie and knows that she is his soul mate.

I was really touched by this episode. It reminded me of the Family Proclamation:

"Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on
principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love,
compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities

There is something wholesome and wonderful about work. Not just doing your own work, but working together as a family to accomplish a greater goal. For example, when I was growing up we had gardens and a large yard to take care of. On Saturdays during the summer we would work together to tend to them. My daily job was always to water the flowers. I enjoyed doing this because I got to see how what I did made the flowers bloom. I think all children need something like this. There is a natural learning process that occurs when we work together as a family. If you are feeling down, maybe you just need to roll up your sleeves and go to work!

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