My Little HomemakersPosted: February 26, 2013
I’ve mentioned that my girls have been sick the last few days. And boy, have I missed their help! I mean, I’ve actually had to empty the dishwasher myself!
Before you roll your eyes clear out of your head, or tell me I’m spoiled (I know, by the way), let me remind you that my kids have moved past the mommy-can-I-help-but-make-an-even-bigger-mess phase. I spent my time in those trenches. My first two are only 20 months apart and for many moons I was the only one really accomplishing much in the homemaking department. (Yes, my husband is super helpful. I’m talking about everything that goes on while he’s out there, working hard.) When your kids are babies/toddlers/preschoolers you pretty much only get the basics accomplished, and some days that’s even iffy.
Fast forward a few years. I have many more plates spinning in the air. I’m homeschooling, teaching at our co-op, co-leading a ministry and cooking most everything from scratch to meet some special diet needs. But now, I have a great little team of helpers.
Teaching my kids how to take care of basic household responsibilities is important on their road to adulthood. We’ve all known the grown man or woman who can barely scramble an egg or never bothers to clean their bathroom. I don’t work them like little servants, but most days, they have one or two jobs that they are responsible for. At this point, they fold and put away their laundry, vacuum once a week (I usually still need to run the vacuum some in between), clean sinks and toilets once a week, keep their stuff picked up, empty the dishwasher and set the table for dinner. There are other jobs that come up now and then, like helping in the yard or garden, or being the assistant chef for dinner.
Now, before you accuse me of using my kids to do all my work, let me assure you, I still do plenty in the housework department. What they help with is regular, light cleaning. Most of their jobs only take a few minutes. I still need to step in and do a deep clean here and there. And lots of times, we’re working side by side. A family is a team. And we want them to be a part of what it takes to make it work.
I frequently tell my kids that I couldn’t do all the things I need to do if it weren’t for their help. Just keeping up with all the special allergy free cooking and baking is time consuming. (Even though you know I love me some kitchen time.)
I encourage you, include your kids in what you do. Homemaking is a learned skill. Keeping and maintaining a house takes practice (I’m still working on it ). And it’s something they need to learn. Don’t feel guilty about giving them jobs to do.
For those of you with little ones, keep teaching and showing them how to help. I know it’s almost more work and SO much easier if you just do it yourself. But it pays off–big time.