Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Family Motto

A long time ago I read Stephen Covey's 7 habits book on families. I don't remember much of the book but one thing I do remember was this: Families should have a motto. Well, he actually said families should have a family mission statement, but I was too lazy to write out an entire mission statement. In fact, I was too lazy to even write out a motto. In spite of my laziness, a family motto has emerged.

What is it you ask? "Everybody Works." Sounds pretty harsh, no? It all started when Chuck and I were just a small family of two. When we first got married, Chuck was still in grad school and I worked full-time. Once he graduated he got a regular teaching job while I kept my job. But we both worked. We shared the chores pretty evenly. We each did our own laundry, but shared the grocery shopping and all the cooking. I think I probably did more around the house, but it was a small apartment, so no big deal. It certainly didn't make sense to have me do ALL the jobs, right? I mean, we were both doing the exact same thing: working full-time!

Then Rhett came along. Of course having kids changes your life, mostly in a good way. But it also meant there was a lot more work to be done. Suddenly, we couldn't cook together because who would watch the baby? Well, one of us would cook and one would watch the kid. Because let's be honest: watching kids is work. It might be fun work. It might even be rewarding work. You might even get a bonus of a big STRONG kiss at the end of the day. But it's still work. So Chuck didn't get a break when he came home from work. He just got different work. And I didn't get a break when he came home from work; I, too got different work.

Even after dinner, there's still so much to do: dishes, prep for the next day, getting the kids down, cleaning, etc. The point is is that until everything is done, "Everybody Works." Pick a job. I don't care if I always do dishes because Chuck hates it. If I'm doing dishes, he's doing something else. I don't care if I end up cooking dinner every night because I know he's "working" too. It's just nobody gets to sit and internet or sit and sew until everything is done.

And surprisingly, it works! Just like us.

I should mention my personal life motto: "Dumber people than I have done this." This one came about when I was learning how to drive a stick shift and I had to tell myself, "Erin, dumber people than you have done this." I found it's very applicable in a lot of situations.

P.S. Mom, should that above sentence be, "Just like we?" It sounds so atrocious!


  1. sounds like a good motto! i wonder what ours would be?????

    and i love your personal life motto, too! so perfect. except that i still can't and won't drive a stick shift. . .

  2. Ahhhhhh.... and it comes to live in the open internet. Aspiring millions. Like we!

    Just with a million adaptations. Blah. So difficult. I saw Marc for a total of 25 minutes last night and this morning, combined. If you add in yesterday morning, that's 35 minutes. The girls? 0 minutes. How to apply? Will I be a genius if I can adapt your model successfully to my family?

  3. As we serve here in the Japan Tokyo Mission, the family mission statement of President Albrecht (our mission president comes to mind). In part it states that not one empty chair be left in heaven from their family (paraphrased). He and his wife basically wrote their statement shortly after they were married (pre-children), and we thought it was very good. Mom & Dad