Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Learning to Say "YES" When I Really Want to Say "NO"!

There have been some lessons in my house over the past couple of years that have been unexpected. I have been pushed and challenged in ways that sometimes surprise me. In moments where I try to teach my children, they in turn are teaching me.

In my house I don't always want other hands helping me. I tend to get annoyed when I am cooking in the kitchen and suddenly the entire family is crammed into the small space while I am trying to prepare dinner. I am the master at multitasking. I feel I actually work better this way and that trait helps me at work and at home. So when daddy comes in the kitchen and stirs something when I have my back turned I want to smack his hand away. Usually I just grit my teeth and bite my tongue. Then there are those little people in my house who are always eager to help mommy. Little hands who want to be right there and are enthusiastic about doing something with mommy.

Here's the things friends: I would rather tell them NO. Yes, I sometimes find it exhausting, annoying, and time consuming to have them help me. But I don't tell them "No". I fight the urge of that word slipping from my tongue and instead do my best to include them. I have learned scratch that, I am learning to let go of some control and allow my children to help me. This may mean that there are times that things take twice as long, become ten times more messy, and the task may not always be done to what I would call "perfection". What it is done with is effort and enthusiasm...and toddler love!

I do love that quality that both my boys possess, wanting to always "help". I have a few things that I let them help with often, if not daily. Here are a few things that my toddlers do in my house.

* Helping with the animals: We have two dogs and one cat in our house. The boys love to help feed them. Sometimes they help put the food in the bowls. Other times it is bringing the dogs their food once it is together. Even the simple task of giving them a treat makes them happy. Both of the boys also will pick up the bowls when the dogs have finished eating to hand them to me to put away. I believe strongly that they should have a part in taking care of their pets. I want them to know and understand that having pets is not only loving them, it is taking care of them and being responsible for them.

* Laundry: When I say it is time to do laundry the boys rush to my side. From sorting laundry by dark and whites, to handing me clothes to put in the dryer, or taking the clothes from the dryer so that I can fold them. Both of them happily take part in this. Folding laundry tends to take me twice as long but I know they love to help.

* Baking or cooking: My Four year old loves to do cooking or baking projects with me. Baking often becomes a weekend activity for him and I. He loves making things and is proud of whatever we do. When I am cooking dinner he will run to get his stool so he can "help". I will admit this may be the hardest one for me. Things tend to get messy and end up all over the counters and floors. I despise a mess of any sorts! Here is where my patience is truly tested. It is our "thing" though. I want him to have the memory of cooking with me and hope this is something we do for years.

* Doing the dishes: Occasionally my Four year old also wants to do dishes. This is another example of how things can get messy and drive me batty. Usually daddy is the one who supervises this while I leave the room.Of coarse he doesn't exactly get them clean and one of us has to re-wash them...yet who I am to tell a man "No" when he offers to do the dishes! I am hopefully doing his future wife a big favor in having him do some housework...Even if I have to mop up the floor after he is done.

* Cleaning the kids room: Whenever I do a clean through of my sons room, whether it is going through toys or cleaning the floors, I involve him in being a part of this process. It is his room and I do my best to teach him to help take care of his things. If I am pulling everything out of his room to clean you better bet he is right there helping me. He knows the drill by now, and catch this, he likes doing it!

These all become lessons for my children. I also believe they have become lessons for me. In allowing my children to do these tasks I have to be patient. I admit, I have to work on this one during any of these chores. I have to slow down and allow their creative little minds and hands help to tackle some of the things which I could get done in a fraction of the time. I believe this teaches them responsibility, accountability, and allows them to grow to be independent individuals. I do not want my children to think that mama is going to do everything for them. If they make a mess, they need to pick it up. If they are done with their toys, it is their responsibility to pick up their toys.

It is my job as their mother to guide and teach them. I knew that part before I signed onto this job. Yet what I wasn't prepared for is all that they would teach me in return. I am figuring it out every new day. I may not always get it right, but that is what tomorrow is for. 

Thank You for Stopping by!! Do you give your children chores? How do you include them in the daily tasks?

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  1. Landon always wants to watch or help when I cook or bake...or even make toast! Like you, I always agree because I think the experience is important. And, I just LOVE cleaning up egg yolk off the floor.

    1. After I wrote and posted this Chase wanted to help me make my smoothie, which he often does. He proceeded to make a mess and get Chai seeds everywhere. I almost jumped out of my skin then reminded myself about what I just wrote! :)

  2. I need to do this more often...like NOW. Thanks for reminding me to bite my tongue and smile and say yes!

    1. It is something I really have to work on every day! I need to be reminded myself! :) Baby steps right ?!

  3. I needed to read this today because I need to learn yes sometimes. It's hard. But you're right, saying yes teaches them little lessons but teaches us patience. I need to be reminded of this. Sharing! Thanks for sharing this at Totally Terrific Tuesday! I can't wait to see what you have for this week.


    1. Thank you Sharon! I love the link up and enjoying exploring everyone's wonderful posts!
      I have to remind myself EVERY.SINGLE.DAY> to say yes. Patience is not my strong point. I am learning though and this helps teach me!