Making Beds

Making your bed is important.  Here’s what Special Operations Commander, Admiral Bill McRaven had to say about soldiers making their beds:

“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.  If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”

I am happy to report that unmade beds have never been an issue in our house….maybe it’s the same at your house. For most of us, beds are most easily made upon arising, before we get busy with other things.

When my kids were little, making my bed “first thing” wasn’t usually possible. There were young ones immediately needing my attention. But it turned out okay, because as soon as possible I would return to the task, and have my young ones “help” me complete the task. Sometimes the baby just laid in the center of the bed, while I dashed around pulling sheets and blankets tight. Young toddlers were eager to hand me shams or throw pillows, laughing as they heaved their load onto the bed.

We would also make their beds together. The beds were expected to be neat, but not perfect.  Eventually, the children would learn to make their beds as soon as they arose in the morning.

In fact, there was early training for bed making. A toddler still sleeping in a crib, would become used to me straightening their blankets at the back of the crib, before leaving the crib side. Either the toddler would be perched on my hip to witness this activity, or not yet in my arms, the toddler would reach to pick up and hand me his or her own blankets, knowing the routine. It’s just what we did and what we continue to do.  Rare is the occasion that I find an unmade bed in the house unless, it’s “changing sheets day” or someone is ill.

Making beds is a simple task. It brings order to a room, and what a difference there is in walking by and catching a glimpse of a room with a made bed vs. an unmade bed. What an inviting feeling there is to walk into a room with a bed made neatly. And when it’s time for sleep, to be able to pull the covers back and snuggle in!

If bed making hasn’t been a part of your daily routine, it can be now. Determine to make your bed. It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the bedding you want. Put the nicest looking blanket or comforter on top. Nicer bedding can come later…a just reward for an accomplishment.

Tell your children that you’ve learned how important it is to make your bed first thing in the morning. Show your children how to make a bed. Have them practice it with you. Discuss the family plan for each person getting their bed made.

Ask, “Were you able to make your bed this morning?” If the answer is yes, praise them, “That is great!” or “Good for you.”

If the answer is no, say, “Well, let’s go do that now.” Or with an older child, “Did you want me to help you?” If your child repeatedly says no, remind them of the importance. Then send them off to make their bed by themselves. Follow up after completion with a simple thank you or another word of recognition.

Making your bed is a task that even a commander says makes all the difference. Many of us already knew that! As mothers our days are filled with these kinds of tasks…the kinds that seem small, but are contributing to the success of our children in an almost incomprehensible way.

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