NOTE: I stumbled across this idea at exhale. return to center. Erin's blog is really neat. I love the idea of taking some time to really appreciate what IS working for us. I am hoping to make this a regular Wednesday feature.
One of the seemingly insurmountable obstacles I am always facing (besides the laundry, and the dishes, and the... oh wait, let me focus here) is how to keep the hosuehold running with my children. This isn't as simplistic as it sounds. I know how to keep a household running without my kids -- when I send them away for an afternoon playdate with Owl Poppa and I hurriedly check tasks off my to do list. I know how to keep a household running in spite of my kids -- haphazardly putting out whichever fire is burning hottest at the moment, and hoping to play catch-up when everyone goes down for the night. But I spend hours pondering how to keep things going WITH my children -- working together harmoniously as a family to get done the things that need to get done as part of everyday life in a family (like the laundry, and the dishes, and the...)
So, one thing that is working for us has been the creation of two new household roles... the Kitchen Helper and the Baby Buddy. J and K alternate roles each evening. The Kitchen Helper helps Momma prepare supper, helps set the table, and does general odd jobs in the kitchen area. The Baby Buddy spends quality time with the littlest, and is responsible for helping him wash up and get into his booster seat. So now I get to prepare supper without tripping over W or removing him eighty-seven times from the cabinets. But more importantly, I get to spend some time one on one with the older two, and they get to spend some time one on one with W. Plus, I feel like they are learning some real life skills in both roles... learning some kitchen skills (and practicing math and reading) as the Kitchen Helper, and learning to be nurturing and really what it means to be in a family as the Baby Buddy.