Thursday, November 19, 2009

Out of Your Life

When I read Homeschooling our Children, Unschooling Ourselves, sometimes little ideas would speak to me, not necessarily about homeschooling. One was about keeping our children in our lives. The author met a homeschooling family who was explaining their transition to homeschooling.

When Mary's children had been in school, she had never felt inclined to include them in the everyday tasks she had to perform as a parent. When she sent them out the door to school, she "sent them out of her life...." After making the decision to homeschool, Mary's attitude toward them changed. When they complained about having to tag along on errands, or demanded attention as she tried to prepare mals, she reconsidered their situation....Now Mary realized that she had to offer them more opportunities to join with her in the day's activities. (page 51)

I go through phases of this. I was really good about involving Margaret in my day at one point, but I've recently been in a "I'll just wait until her nap" phase. And then when her nap comes around, I have quite the list and since a lot of my knitting has due dates (Christmas is coming up!) I do knitting and get nothing else done. Knitting or chores? Is that really a difficult choice?

I involve her a lot on errands. In stores I talk to her a lot: "Should we get this? Or this? What do you want for dinner? The blue one looks nice, right?" But at home, she plays (which is what she's supposed to do) and I don't do anything.

So I've been including her again since reading that section. She helped me wipe down the fronts of the cabinets the other day. I gave her a washcloth and sprayed the cabinets down with some human-friendly vinegar and water. She loved being a part of it and by the end of it was trying to drink the cleaner from the spray bottle.

I just needed the reminder. I'll probably need this reminder a few weeks from now too.


  1. I can definitely relate to this, too. I feel like I spend a lot of time doing nothing while Caleb plays. This is frustrating, because then I feel lazy and unproductive, but sometimes it's so hard to be productive with a toddler in tow, investigating everything I do. Then, other times, I find myself getting a lot done with Caleb on my hip. I guess it just depends on the day and how much I feel like tackling some tasks with him around, and if he's feeling more willing to let me get somethings done. I just remind myself that some days are rough, and other days run smoothly, and it all evens out in the end.

  2. I went through a phase where I wasn't giving him chances to be involved. I keep reminding myself that it is better if he is there with me, observing, helping, getting in the way, rather than being off entertaining himself the whole time. I don't want him to become disconnected from daily life stuff and so self-absorbed in his own little world that he doesn't want to help out anymore.

  3. I wanted to thank you for posting this. I often feel so guilty and like such an awful parent for letting Toby play while I watch him, or knit, or do whatever. But clearly we all let our toddlers play sometimes without being involved. Phew! That makes me feel a lot better. Sure, I strive to involve him in some chores like doing the dishes or the laundry, but I often wait for his nap before I clean the bathrooms or the kitchen or whatever.

    Anyway, I'm totally freaking about Christmas being so soon. TOO MUCH YAAARNNN!!!

  4. Oh and I try to involve Toby in shopping too. Like if we are buying clothes I let him pick out a shirt for himself (out of two choices I like that is) or I let him pick out a ball of yarn sometimes. I think it's a good dynamic we have going :)

  5. Last night I participated in a Relief Society meeting where I had to dress up in a Pilgrim costume. I sewed the costume myself, and I was talking to another sister about it. She said that she never learned how to sew, even though her mom knew. I'm really grateful that my mom actually let me help her and she showed me how to use a pattern and sew things correctly!

    I hope that I am helping Bug to learn how to do those every day things. He loves to throw trash away for me!

  6. I know how you feel! I have always waited for Jacob to go to sleep to get things done, but now he no longer takes naps! It has been a tough transition for me to figure out how to entertain him ALL DAY LONG, but we have had a lot of fun doing more together. He has gotten really good at putting all of the silverware away while I unload the dishwasher, putting clothes in the dryer, putting soap in the washer, etc. It has actually been pretty fun. And the nice thing is that I can finish all of my chores early and I actually have a little bit of time to relax when he goes to sleep!

  7. i have two boys, 5 and almost 3, and i avoid running errands with them as much as humanly possible. really it's just not worth the fights and arguments about who sits where, who touch whom, "i want candy!," or im taking a bit too long perusing the day old bread rack - where there are almost always doughnuts and then it's "i want doughnuts!!!!!" etc. or the struggles about what door they enter to get into their car seats. i hate standing in the check out line at the library because they are running and climbing and hanging on everything in sight.

    they can help me do every sort of household chore, but when shopping is involved? i just rather leave them at home.


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