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Growth Spurts: Teamwork

My husband likes to refer to our family as “Team Partridge” or “Team Peartree.” (Maybe because there’s no I in “team” but there’s one in “family”?) Teamwork is essential to family life, and I am understanding this concept more and more as my family has grown from five to seven members in recent months. If we don’t all work together, things can get pretty crazy.

Even just taking care of our house requires a great deal of teamwork. Multiple hands are usually involved in preparing meals, and each person is required to clean their own dishes afterwards. We take turns vacuuming, unloading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, and feeding the dogs. Everyone is responsible for doing their own laundry and for cleaning their own bedrooms and bathrooms.

Can you imagine what chaos it would be if we didn’t all work together? I mean, our house isn’t the cleanest or tidiest in the neighborhood, but if we didn’t all pitch in, it would certainly be a disaster. It’s just too much for one person to tackle alone.

Really, life is too much for one person to tackle alone. This is why we need our family, our Team. A Team has the understanding that we are always for each other; we support, encourage, and cheer for each other. We attend each other’s sporting events, concerts, performances, and ceremonies. We celebrate each other’s victories and mourn each other’s losses. We make sacrifices for each other, and we are continually learning the art of compromise. We discover that when we give freely of ourselves for the Team, the chances of their doing the same for us are greatly increased. We also see that the more we practice these things, the more they become a habit and then second nature and then simply the way we live our lives.

On the days when my family isn’t acting like a Team, when everyone is just looking out for themselves and their own interests, life seems much more difficult. When we pick at each other and correct each other and don’t do anything to help anyone else in the family, our home seems to be filled with conflict, irritation, and anger.But when everyone on the Team stops trying to live only for themselves and starts working for the good of the entire family, some beautiful things happen. There is less selfishness and self-centeredness; there is more service and concern for others.

How is your own Team doing? What role do you play on the Team, and what can you do to bring about more unity? Maybe you’re overdue for a Team huddle. If you aren’t happy with how your Team is doing right now, take a time out and come up with some strategies for improvement. You might be amazed at the results. Hey, you might even get a cleaner house!

About The Author

Carrie Partridge

Carrie Bevell Partridge grew up in Memphis, TN with her parents and four siblings. She attended Mississippi College, where she met her husband Kevin. They have been married for 20 years and have five children. They live in Ridgeland, MS. Carrie has written the “Growth Spurts” column and managed social media for Parents & Kids Magazine since 2011. You can read more of her work at and

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