But I Don’t Want To!

Ugh! My alarm clock is ringing in my ear and the multitude of responsibilities which need to get done today are screeching my name. Do you think anyone will notice if I just pull the covers over my head and never emerge? I know I need to get out of bed, but I don’t want to!

While, to some, it might seem our family has it all together, let me assure you we still have off days. There are times when I don’t want to do dishes ten times a day. The kids don’t want to do their arithmetic and the man does not want to mow the lawn. However, life is very rarely about what we want to do.

I’m sure this conundrum existed when our family consisted of just my husband and I, but now that we have four not so little kiddos in the house we seem to address this issue a lot more than before. Generally, our children are amiable and willing to please, but, on occasion, we are forced to listen to not so subtle whining and the inevitable, “But I don’t want to!”

After hearing this complaint used far too often, I thought I would give my children a taste of their own medicine. The next time they complained about ‘not wanting’ to do something, I replied, “You’re absolutely correct! Let’s spend the day only doing what we want to do, okay? You do what you want and I’ll do what I want” When it came to wanting a drink… sorry, mommy doesn’t want to. When it came to lunch time… sorry, mommy doesn’t want to. When it came to working on a project they were excited about… sorry, I’m busy reading right now. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for them to realize this was not going to work! They happily agreed that life wasn’t about what we wanted to do, but what needed to get done.

Are there times in life when we can make the choice to not do something? Absolutely! We weigh these decisions constantly. However, there also comes a time when we need to put on our big girl/boy shoes and just get moving!

Our children need to see us model this behavior. They need to understand we are human, too. We don’t always want to get out of bed. We don’t always want to do the dishes, clean the house, run the errands, or the myriad of other things which need to be handled on a daily basis. Through seeing us pursue to the end, our children learn character.

The fact is, we all have to do things we don’t “want” to do. We do them anyway because they need to get done. The question is whether we’ll handle them with grace…

Time to Chime In: If there was one responsibility you could cross off your list forever, which would it be?

22 thoughts on “But I Don’t Want To!

  1. You tough them a really good lesson with what you did. I used the same thing as well and it works wonders. They finally understand the concept of compromises. Well done.

    Usually I don’t want to clean… or do the laundry. Especially on beautiful days. And on some days I really, really, really don’t want to play Barbie all day 😉


  2. Oh? Just one thing? But I don’t WANT to…I want to list ten…. Hmm… Ok… Just one, huh? Id have to say cleaning the kitchen then…too time consuming! And yes, I’m tired of doing it over and over and over…… Great post!


  3. Oh, I would never, ever cook a single thing again. Ever. We definitely have those “we don’t want to” days around here. Like you, we’re teaching that life isn’t just about what we want…but, every once in a while, it’s okay to put off our chores until tomorrow in the name of watching a movie together or going on a picnic or some such thing. 🙂


  4. Yes yes yes. This is a great article. I’d tell you my one thing, but I don’t want to yet. Ok now I do. I would like to cross off putting up laundry. I don’t mind washing, drying or folding, but putting it up? Now that’s going too far. I want to read.


  5. Oh goodness, I agree – just one? It’s a toss up between cleaning the bathroom and preparing/making/cleaning up after meals. Great post! I have those moments with my kids too, pointing out all the things I do for them that I really don’t want to do…. but do it anyway because I love them.


  6. I think I may just do this 🙂 only my husband will be involved too. He wants to lay down and watch TV worn me. Sorry, not today! I just wish he would do that with the kids and realize that it’s not all about what they want. He’s so afraid of disciplining them because their mother just left them, that they get whatever they want, including over 14 goes off game time straight in one day. That has stopped but now he’s babying his daughter. Ugh. I swear I just want to be single again sometimes!


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