Tag Archives: busy mom

2 kids being helpful

Because Helping Should Come Naturally

Before I had surgery that took me off my feet, I wondered sometimes how my kids would survive in the world. It was evident that they were capable of doing many things, but do those things they did not.

I’ll jump in and take almost full responsibility here.

To move things along in the morning (and in the evening, and throughout the day), I made their breakfast, packed their lunches, packed their school bags, practically dressed them, guided them through with repeated instruction the process of brushing their teeth, washing their faces, and going to the bathroom.

I would talk to my husband constantly about how capable the kids were but how they just wouldn’t do it themselves.

And then there were those golden times when I had some miraculously unending stream of patience and a bright and cheery disposition to go along with it. I would step back and watch my kids blossom into their permitted independence.

Then life would take over and we’d be back to me following them around and hounding reminding them about getting ready for school, their chores, picking up after themselves, helping out around the house, etc.

But all that had to change. And we were facing a deadline for that change: My late summer surgery date.

Having that deadline changed things for me. I wasn’t going to be able to do half of what I usually could for myself, let alone for my kids. So, I needed to figure it out. And the impending surgery gave my kids something to shoot for.

So we began summer training. I did my best to keep my comments to myself when I saw one of my kids doing something their way instead of mine. And I made sure to build in lots of time for everything I was asking them to do. That way, there was less chance that I would get frustrated with their slower pace because time was not bearing down on us.

I created space for my kids to grow their independence; like planting a seed, watering it and watching it develop into a beautiful flower.

And they grew. They did chores, they got themselves ready, they prepared basic meals. (Cereal and sandwiches, mostly.) By the end of the summer, we had reached what I had hoped for most but had not dared to set as an achievable goal: my kids recognized when help was needed and they stepped in to provide that help.

Of course you want your kids to help and to be able to take care of themselves doing age-appropriate chores and tasks, but I think, ultimately, you want them to learn more from doing chores than just how to do the chores. You want them to recognize and anticipate needs and to do their best to help fulfill those needs.

I’ve been off my feet now for six weeks. Though sometimes my kids still fight me on getting dressed in the morning or getting ready for bed at night (hey, let’s not hold our kids to impossible standards; even adults don’t always want to do chores), in that summer of training with a patient mother (even when she didn’t want to be), they learned how to help with anything. And they learned that they mattered because their abilities were valued.

Sometimes we still slip, though, so tell me, how do you get your kids to take responsibility and help around the house?


The end…

“When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.” ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

(Thanks to On the Homefront for bringing this quote to my attention. It’s fitting this week.)

Last week of school. Field trips, appreciation lunches, end-of-year meetings for school council and planning meetings for church, end-of-year barbecues for all the stuff my kids are involved in, finally nice enough weather to get outside and garden, go to the splash pad, the pool, visit with friends, enjoy the parks. Plus deadlines at work (full-time) and extra meetings at the part-time job. It has been a crazy couple of weeks. I miss sleep. Continue reading

Busy Mom, Good Kids, McDonald’s Signature McWrap

It’s been quiet here on the blog. I’ve been busy tying up the end of the school year. So, Busy life = Not-so-busy blog.

In all this busy-ness, one of the days included a field trip with my son’s preschool. I took my daughter as well because she attends the preschool two mornings a week and her teacher really wanted her to come along.

Well, the trip was great. Everyone had a good time.

And as a reward for their excellent behaviour all day, despite being tired, hungry and thirsty, I offered to take them to McDonald’s for a late lunch when the bus dropped us off back at the preschool.

They jumped on it. (What kid wouldn’t?) Continue reading

Ultimate Blog Challenge – The End

And it’s over. 30 days of writing. 30 days of posting. Well, more like 15 days of posting for me. I started late with the challenge and had to do some catching up. By the 19th of the month I was on track to post once a day.

But hey, there’s a reason this little space on the Internet is called Life Takes Over. It happens. It’s a fact of, well, Life.

I lost five days in the last part of the month to mundane important parenting responsibilities. (Feeding my kids healthy meals does take a lot of prep time and a certain amount of planning genius, especially when dealing with picky eaters.)

But here’s what I learned by taking part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge: Continue reading

Slow Cooker Freezer Kits

I couldn’t resist getting in on this craze. I’ve pinned the kits on Pinterest. Friends have shared pictures of the kits on my FB. My coworkers are talking about it. The craze of which I speak? Slow Cooker Freezer Kits.

Two things make this a no-brainer for me:

  1. I love my slow cooker almost as much as I love my husband
  2. Make ahead frozen dinners: a busy mom’s best friend

Here’s why combining the power of my slow cooker and advanced food prep will quickly become the only way I feed my family during the week: Continue reading

The voices in my head

So I’m busy. I know you get it. You’re probably a parent, too. And even if you aren’t, who isn’t busy these days?

I haven’t been spending much time on writing lately and I’ve got a million ideas swimming around in my head trying to get onto the screen. But without the help of my fingers to type out the words, those ideas are just going to have to hang out in my brain for a while longer.

Despite not having much time, I felt the need to sit down and get this thought out before it turns into a voice in my head and drives me bananas. It has to do with those thoughts that buzz around in my head and turn into voices.

After dropping my son off at preschool, my daughter and I came home and settled into our morning routine (me at the computer working and her playing with her toys or drawing pictures). But this morning on our way back from preschool drop-off, she made a new imaginary friend, Clarabel.

Clarabel  is a chicken. And apparently quite cute when she’s sleeping (I had to carry her in from the car when we pulled in the driveway so that she wouldn’t wake up.) Once we were inside, my daughter had to tell me all about Clarabel and how Clarabel had come to live with us because my daughter wants a sister. Clarabel will sleep in Little Brother’s room because he doesn’t sleep in there anymore. And Clarabel is in Senior Kindergarten and will go to school with my daughter. And her birthday was yesterday so she is five now. And so on and so on.

For 40 straight minutes, my daughter never stopped talking. And of course, when I first get in the house and log into work, I have correspondence to catch up on, projects to set in motion, a To-Do list to make, and most of these things I’m doing in my head; talking myself through the tasks and then moving onto the next thing. With my daughter’s non-stop talking this morning, my brain could hardly get a thought in edgewise.

And that’s when it hit me. My daughter wasn’t interrupting my train of thought. The voices in my head were interrupting my daughter.

I work from home in the mornings to be with my daughter because she only goes to school in the afternoon. Next year, she’ll be going to school all day and I’ll be in the office all day. This time is short. I can arrange my work patterns so that I can be more attentive to my daughter right now while she is with me and not treat her like an interruption to my work.

She understands when I have to get something done, and she leaves me alone to do it. But first thing in the morning, she usually wants to talk for a bit. So, from now on, instead of my daughter interrupting me, I’m going to tell the voices in my head to stop interrupting my daughter.

The Kid Scoop – online resource for busy parents

I’m always looking for activities and programs for my kids. Since they were young, they have been involved in swimming lessons, music classes, gymnastics, and dance classes.

I usually find these programs through our local Parks and Recreation department. But not everything my kids are interested in is available through Parks and Rec. Continue reading