One thing I want to do as a mother is to include my children in every day life. Part of the reason I homeschool is to do things together, instead of sending everyone their own ways. It’s important to learn to work, and it’s important to learn to work together. Life=work. No escaping that. I want my children to reach adulthood confident and capable that they can handle everyday tasks. So that is why now, when they are 5 and 3, I’m encouraging them to jump in on the fun. Of course, this makes life harder sometimes. Anyone who has tried cooking dinner with a 2 or 3 year old knows it isn’t really “help”. And the 5 year old begins thinking they can boss you around because they read the directions and you are doing it WRONG. 😉 Patience is a parenting quality to be much desired and sought after. And it’s pretty elusive some days. I often fail. But I am trying! I really do enjoy cooking and doing housework with my girls. It makes it more of a social event than a chore, if that makes sense! The girls enjoy pulling the laundry out into the basket and folding washcloths (or H can spot her clothes and “fold” them now!). They can dump in pre-measured ingredients, or set the table. Their favorite is to get condiments out of the fridge for cheeseburgers. 🙂 They can vacuum the area rug, hang their pjs on the hook, scrub the bathroom sink, or dry silverware and put them away. At night they help pick up their toys from the day so we have a fresh start each morning. When we work outside I often set them to picking up sticks out of the yard or pulling weeds next to me. They sometimes balk at working, but I quickly realized if I was having fun they felt much better about doing things with me! Funny how that works! Please don’t misunderstand- they have plenty of free play time. But with structured work time, I notice a distinct difference in their behavior. They argue less. They seem happier and more contented. They are engaged in our family goings-on. JE comes home and they run to him to show their latest kitchen creation, or tell him what they helped to accomplish that day. The seemingly little things of everyday life matter to them. This makes my heart smile.