As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we had logs, branches, wood chip and lots of mess left over from the storm. It felt overwhelming. But you know what? It is much less overwhelming when one approaches situations like this as a family – en mass.
Right from when the children were little, we always wanted them to feel like they were part of something big; we wanted them to know without doubt that we were better as a team than we were individually and they were valued and indispensable members of that team. At no point has our family been them and us (ie adults verses children), although I absolutely pull rank if I need to (rarely). In general though, we work as a team. If one member is unhappy we all pull together to help and support that person.
After the storm, we all felt a bit miserable. The garden was covered in mess, our bank account was severely depleted, and we were all sleep deprived. Mum could hardly get her car out of the drive and the chicken run was overtaken by wood. Yes we were safe, and absolutely felt blessed to have taken the tree down rather than it falling down and causing untold damage to our house, but as we looked around us we couldn’t see the wood for the trees (or should that be the trees for the wood?). After chatting to the children we decided to call a family work day.
Family work days, for me, epitomise all that is great within a family. Hard work, complaints, team work, camaraderie, complaints, food, more complaints, aches and pains accompanied by even more complaints (all good naturedly). But we all work together, the great family team, towards one common goal; the seven of us achieving so much more than the adults could by themselves. And it’s fun. Even the complaining is fun when all seven of us are doing it and trying to out do each other with our moans. This is what families are all about – the making of memories, the sharing of workloads and teaching the children that they have such an important role in our family, that we would not work nearly so well without them.
My aim is to raise hard workers. Both Gary and I come from families with great work ethics and I truly believe that hard work is one of the keys to happiness. To know the tiredness which comes from a job well done is so important for children to experience, especially our boys.
Everyone worked hard for a good few hours, from oldest (me) to youngest (B2):
Everyone did what they could according to their individual strength and stature:
We worked at it until all the larger logs were in a pile for Father and son to split, and the rest was piled high neatly at the side of the garden:
We all stopped for tea and toast:
before getting back to the job in hand:
I went inside to do everyone’s indoor chores whilst they did their animal chores from the day before. Every weekend all the animals have their headquarters cleaned out. The children had been unable to do this due to the weather and the tree coming down, so the girls fitted it in whilst the boys chopped wood:
Once the animals were done, and the boys had made some headway with the logs, we got onto the business of shifting the wood chip. Actually ‘we’ is a misnomer. At this point only the stalwarts were still at it, namely Gary and T12. We had decided to take everyone out for a late lunch, so the girls were getting ready whilst the boys finished up:
It was a good job jobbed. We had achieved loads. Both the house and garden looked vaguely respectable, we had a lovely lunch out and slept like babies, all of us needing to catch up on the sleep lost on the night of the storm. I love our team of workers!