What a mouthful that title is!
Look, when you have a young family it can feel like the 24 hours in your day somehow shrinks to the realm of 20 hours. Hence why I could really use a time turner…. But in lieu of one, how do you cope?
Play with your kids less? Serve cereal for dinner instead of cooking? How do you fit in caring for your house, caring for yourself, and caring for your children?
Well, I argue that some things can slip a little, and no one’s the worse for wear. In fact, there is a silver lining to them – I promise.
Take mowing the lawn, for example. Spring and summer beg for at least weekly mowing sessions, but there’s not always time for that. Even with our little lawn, my husband doesn’t always have time to tame the grass. But fear not! Those grass seed stalks that grow 6 or 8 inches tall are perfect for …
… attracting bunnies!!! And what child doesn’t love to watch bunnies hop around the yard?
It is truly a daily highlight to see a pair of bunnies, one black and one brown – both with a fluffy white tail that flicks up when they hop about – munching our grass stalks and chasing each other. Heck, they’re practically lawn mowers themselves with the way they keep things trimmed. Why not let the grass grow a bit? If not, the bunnies would have no food! No time to mow today? No problem!
And what about the never-ending laundry pile? I said recently that I don’t mind washing my kids’ clothes, and that’s true – but I still wait for a full basket to run a load. It usually takes 6-7 days for that to happen, so in the meantime, since the girls don’t have bottomless drawers, they are learning frugality.
How? Well, they wear their clothes more than once, provided they’re not stained or worn to school. We’re teaching our kids that it’s okay to wear/use things more than once. It prevents wasteful washing – and saves a bit on our water bill, too! Maybe you already do this for your kids…. I’m embarrassed to say that it took me 3.5 years to do this. I’ve always worn my own clothes more than once, so why not theirs?
I could do their laundry more often, but naaah….
What about all those other tiny/short, repetitive chores that crop up? I’m thinking sweeping the wood floor, dustbusting, and watering the plants outside. Am I the only person who used to think that a parent had to do that by themselves while the children are kept busy playing – and out of the way? If so, I guess I’m an outlier, and disregard this point.
But hey – getting children involved early and often in doing chores teaches them responsibility and actually keeps them busy so you can do other chores!
- I rarely dust. Yeah – see that thick pile of white on the hutch? When that’s dusted I feel a real sense of accomplishment. Let it pile up! And you know what? I can do that while Toddler is busy “swiffering!” She LOVES pushing the mop around, and I don’t even care that she’s doing a crap job because she’s trying, having fun, and letting me finally get around to dusting.
- Both my kids love using the dustbuster. (So do I, shhhh.) Well, in the time they dustbust – it usually lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes – I can pee, drink a glass of water, or wash a dish or two. Win-win!
- Do you know a 3yo can fold laundry? Not well, but a fold is a fold….
- By the time a kid is 2 years old, they can definitely pick up their toys. It’s slow, but we can clean up dinner in the time it takes for the kids to pick up their toys. Yeah, we could clean up during the day as we go, but why do that when they can do it at the end of the day while we do dishes? Another win!
So there you have it – my three silver linings solutions to not getting to every chore in the house. Boy, I feel a real sense of satisfaction just typing this!
What about you? Is there anything you “let go” at home – to a good result?