Shoemaker's Kids - Finding Motivation in the Home, Part 1


“The shoemaker’s kids have no shoes.”

Have you heard this expression? My mother used to recite it every once in awhile. You may have also heard it phrased, “The cobbler’s children go unshod.”

It can be written other ways too:

“The photographer hasn’t taken photos of her own children in years.” “The financial adviser is running himself into debt.” “The house cleaner lives in a messy house.” “The lunch lady never cooks for her own family”

Do you find yourself willing to do for others what you fail to do for yourself and your own family? I know I sure do!

If I’m going to bring a meal over to a family in need, you can bet it’s going to be wholesome, possibly organic, and definitely homemade. My own family? Sometimes eats macaroni and cheese, fast food, or frozen pizza.

When I was a nanny, I always made sure that when the children’s mother got home, the children were clean and happy, the dishes done, and the toys picked up. In my own home, the toys in the living room and the dishes in the sink are often left there for days before I do something about them.

If a friend asks me to do them a favor, I drop everything and make them my number one priority. If my husband or children ask me for a favor I often reply, “hold on, let me finish this other thing I’m doing first.”

I don’t mind dropping $30 on a birthday gift for a friend, yet I view an unexpected $5 gift for someone in my own family as an unnecessary expense in our budget.

I go on coffee/movie dates with my friends more often than I experience similar fun with my husband.

It can be difficult sometimes to give myself and my family the same treatment I gladly give to total strangers. While it’s definitely not a bad thing to care for total strangers (Jesus even commands us to do so!), I need to also be doing my *jobs* as wife and mother well. If I’m truthful with myself, the fear of judgment and the social pressure of others’ opinions motivate my immaculate behavior when dealing with others. In my own home, where no one is watching, laziness and complacency are all too easy to embrace.

I’m guessing I’m not the only one who finds it difficult to stay motivated at home. If you’re anything like me, stay tuned! The next few weeks I will be discussing strategies for finding and creating your own motivation at home when all you feel like doing is sitting around in your pajamas until noon ;)

Do you find yourself doing anything for friends or total strangers that you rarely do for yourself or your family?