How many times have you been asked: “so what do you do all day?”. At least 100 right? Yea, I am so over it. I just answer that question with an eye roll these days. I mean we do EVERYTHING all day! If they only knew what a stay at home mom schedule really looked like! It’s not just rainbows, sunshine and Pinterest perfect fun activities with kids. Am I right?
Lately, I’ve found myself getting pretty frustrated that I can’t seem to get anything done without a clingy baby and a clingy toddler on my back. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed with the number of things that they won’t let me do.
Then I stopped, took a breath and thought about my little girls. I considered how those little brains really work. They really do just want to hang with me. They aren’t trying to get in my way or be annoying on purpose. A three and one-year-old are genuinely interested in what I am doing. Cooking, scrubbing floors, taking out the trash, getting dressed, sorting socks…. Why not try to make our chores into fun activities for kids?
Why does no one understand?
We as moms spend lots of time complaining about (or thinking about complaining about) how no one appreciates us. Don’t believe me? Just join a mom group on Facebook!
In reality, those little people we take care of every day DO in fact appreciate us. Just maybe not in the way we want them to. They are never going to tell us that we are the best mommy because we fold all the towels the same way. Or consider how awesome it is that we cut the crusts off their sandwich just like they like it. Or appreciate that we know exactly where that special toy is.
When you look at your frustration through this lens it doesn’t seem so relevant anymore. How do you go about addressing this frustration then?
Instead of shooing the kids away try and involve them in what you are doing? Why not turn your chores into fun activities for kids
Fun Ways to Let Kids Help with Chores
Remember it will take a lot longer
I totally understand that letting your kids participate in daily tasks is going to slow you down substantially! Really though, why are you trying to rush through your to-do list? So you can do what everyone already assumes you are doing, just doing other fun activities with kids. When you incorporate your kids into your tasks you are essentially killing two birds with one stone.
If the goal is to have more time to spend with your kids, then let them help you clean the kitchen floors even if it takes an extra half hour. You are now getting to spend that time you felt like you were loosing with your kiddos.
Folding laundry becomes much more fun when you have a little helper! Making breakfast is now a fun chore when you have someone to help you measure and stir.
You will be teaching responsibility
Now I’m not saying that you should be training your kids to become free labor for your list of chores. I’m also not saying that you should force your 3-year-old to help you clean a toilet if they don’t want to. If they show interest though, don’t push them away.
My three-year-old has started being a little more conscious of the messes she makes. When her toys get strewn all over the house I do ask her to help me pick them up. It’s not her favorite game but she will help if I ask as long we do it together. When your children see the effort behind having to clean things or make things at a young age they will grow up learning cause and effect.
They are learning life skills
I can’t think of any place in our society today where a child would desperately need to know how to sweep a floor, clean fingerprints off windows, or cook pancakes. However, at some point in life, they will. As parents, it is our job to raise children that will one day be contributing members of society. They will leave our home and they will need to know how to take care of themselves and the places they live.
It is seriously a disservice to our children to see us doing all the work and not be involved. What age do you think they will be before you expect them to start learning things that they are already showing interest in? If you say no, in the beginning, you are naturally creating a negative association that the task. Plus it creates a separation between you and your child that is totally unnecessary. There is literally NO reason other then inconvenience that you cant let your child be a part of your daily homemaking.
Be smart about the activities you do with toddlers
Of course, you shouldn’t be handing out bleach for your kids to clean with BUT you could try some safe cleaners or even some DIY cleaners that are safe for them to use. IF they are old enough.
If not, you can always put plain water in a squirt bottle and give them a few things to “clean”. My daughter has been cleaning with water since she was 2. She loves to go outside and clean her playhouse like mommy.
When kids are cleaning their own things, it gives you an extra few moments to really get your tasks done.
Have a separate basket of washcloths that your kids can fold while you fold. Once they get older teach them how to hang things up. Let them sort socks. Seriously these are fun activities for toddlers.
This is not a sexist thing
I don’t want anyone to think that teaching my little girls to clean is a sexist thing at all. Their daddy cooks and does the dishes most days when he is home. I just happen to have girls and if I had boys I would be writing this same post.
Let them help with things besides just chores
Getting ready each day is such a pain! I usually just end up in yoga pants and a tee-shirt because I don’t have the “time” to get ready. You know what eats me up though? When I do find a few min. to put a legitimate outfit on and my daughter asks “where we go, mom?” I hate that. I hate that she thinks that I only get dressed up for other people. What is that teaching her about how I value myself?
I can make the time to get dressed every day and I can let my daughter be involved. She loves accessories and would be so thrilled to help me pick some out. She loves to make sure things match. What will it hurt by plopping her down in the closet floor after breakfast and letting her help me pick out “real” clothes? How much longer will it really take?
**Now, I do love a good pair of yoga pants and I LOVE tee shirts but I don’t want my daughter to see that I don’t care what I look like unless other people are going to see me. Some days its fine, but when its an every single day thing I PERSONALLY don’t feel like it’s a good thing to teach her. This is totally my own opinion, if you are cool with bumming it every day there is NO judgment from me.**
I’m totally sounding sexist again but my daughter LOVES makeup. It’s very hard to try to get my makeup on while she is playing with all my brushes and lipsticks. Please note that I only use 5 products total and I still can’t seem to get through without having yelled at her. I don’t want to be that mom.
If I can’t say no to that vibrant red lipstick why would I think she could?!?! So I got her a set of play makeup. It looks and feels so real! It even comes with its own brushes. Now she can sit there and we can do our makeup together. She puts her pretend eyeshadow on me and sometimes she gets mommy’s real lipstick.
Try relaxing with your kids
I think that we moms tend to complain about never getting to relax. We complain that we never get any time on our own. I feel your pain!! My husband works out-of-town Monday-Friday so I am basically a single mom during the week.
What if instead of complaining about how we never get to relax we tried a few relaxing things with the kids? Bubble bath anyone? Grab a kid-friendly one and have a fun, join, maybe relaxing bath with the kids. We always have Honest Lavender Bubble Bath on hand with actually smells pretty darn relaxing and makes a TON of bubbles.
I love a good face mask and my kids think they are hilarious.
I’d been wanting to try this awesome Chocolate Face Mask I got from Fountain of Youth Skincare but I just never had the time (insert eye roll). I decided it was finally time. I did need something that Little E could put on her face though so I went on a search. I stumbled upon this recipe by Micaela at Mindful Momma for an edible chocolate face mask with only three household ingredients! We whipped it up and put it on.
Why not just make it a full-blown weeknight slumber party? Bubble bath and face masks with popcorn and a chick flick in bed. And by chick flick, I obviously mean something awesome like Tangled or The Little Mermaid.
Your title is stay-at-home MOM
I just think there are so many little things that we as moms get overwhelmed with each day. We are trying to do these “adult” things but in reality, we live in a kids world. We are stay-at-home moms! That means our JOB is our kids. They are our mini-bosses and if our main goal is to be with them, teach and raise them then we should do that. In all areas of our daily life. Not just the ones that we find convenient to do with them.
Yes, I think there should be some things that you get to do alone, you can call it self-care if you have to (although I am so against that term….). The reality for most of us moms is that we honestly don’t have that much alone time. I think it would be a much better way to live to just embrace where you are in life and make the best of it.
Tell me! What fun activities do you do with your kids?