If Words of Affirmation are your Love Language, you will be able to relate to this. For many years I thought that doing "everything" in the house was just my job. I'm the spouse, wife, mother and caregiver. I have since decided that I was wrong.
I thought this way because of the values that I was taught from childhood. My mom did it all. She was/is a great mom - but she didn't work outside of the home. Life was not that hectic 50 years ago. Mom had habits and a schedule that she did not waver from - ever! From laundry to cleaning the house to what we ate for dinner every Sunday afternoon (meat pies), every Friday night (Spaghetti), every Saturday she made a cake...you get the idea.
I tried to (in the early days of marriage - over 30 years ago) emulate her - because that is all that I knew, I began to resent the fact that I was doing it all. Mainly because my life was totally different than my mom's life. I worked outside of the home - I commuted to DC for crying out loud, our 3 kids were each involved in an after school activity, our house was bigger so I had more house to manage and my biggest time management habit was getting the kids out of the door by a certain time every morning so that I didn't miss my car pool ride and then making sure that there was something called dinner on the table at night and lastly that homework got done. My life is SO different.
One way that my mom and I are alike is we both share the same Love Language...Words of Affirmation. I really wanted (and needed) to have someone, anyone, notice the time, effort and energy that was required to maintain the house, work a full time job (60 hours per week with the commute) and try to stay on top of everything that I needed to do every day.
Of course...no one noticed. No one said "Great job". No one said "The house looks great". It was just expected that I would do it all. And, honestly, this was not their fault. I didn't know any better! I was following my mom's lead because she was, after all, mom.
After a lot of trials and tribulations, disagreements (not arguments) and discussions, my husband understands now that I really need to hear him say..."Dinner was good tonight", "Let me help you with the dishes", "I'll take care of that for you" and even "Thank you". Because he says these little Words of Affirmation, it makes me want to do more for him. It makes me want to provide these Acts of Service (this is another Love Language. It makes me feel appreciated and we all need (and want) to feel appreciated.
Again, what does this have to do with staying organized? Words of Affirmation are one of my motivators. It makes me want to do more and be more when I know that I am appreciated. I think that this is another reason that I love being a Professional Organizer. I enjoy providing Acts of Service to my clients. And I can (and do) provide Words of Affirmation to my clients as well. They need to hear "Job well done" and know that they should celebrate each individual goal and give themselves credit for what they have done. (I even have clients who contact me to tell me what they have accomplished during the day, and it is my pleasure to encourage them to do even more).
As Dr. Gary Chapman says in Chapter 4 - "Words are Important", "Words are Important", Words are Important".
You can learn to use your words to help get (and stay) organized in your home and office.
Stay tuned for another post on this topic soon!
Photo Credit: Reachforthesky.com