Thursday, January 6, 2011

Helpful Hands

"So, how do you do it with 3 kids under the age of 3?"

I get that question a lot.

Mostly from random strangers in line Chick-fil-a, but occasionally from an expectant mother or a too-tired, no-make-up wearing, just-found-out-she's-expecting-her-third child friend. Its at this point that I take the time to welcome her to the club.

And then we join hands and say a quick prayer for our sanity.

But the truth of the matter is, its not so bad. Yes, we have our days. Yes, I have moments in which I totally lose it. And yes, I have to spend a few more minutes in the bathroom covering up the bags under my eyes. But raising three children under the age of three is a lot of fun, and I am not only surviving - I'm thriving!

Those of you who faithfully read my blog, know that none of our pregnancies were particularly planned, and when I discovered I was pregnant with my second just 8 months after giving birth to EK, and seeing that plus sign again just 7 months after giving birth to P, I kinda figured my life was over. At least life as I knew it.

I never imagined I'd be able to get any housework done. I never dreamed I'd get a hot meal of the table every night. And I even had images of setting off the smoke detectors in my house, just so I would have an excuse to get out of the house and smell some fresh air.

I needed some help. No, not like psychological help, although my ideas of the smoke detector probably doesn't convince you of that. I just needed some tangible help. Like a maid service, or a personal chef, or maybe even a chauffeur. Problem was, there was no way I was going to get any of those things. I had to be creative.

So I looked around my house, and you know what I found? Three small children - desiring their mommy's attention, and eager to please.

So I put them to work. *insert evil laugh here*

I started by buying some great storage containers, labeled the contents of each, and took a picture and plastered them onto the storage containers. Not only would my children be able to put their own toys away, but their rooms suddenly looked decent at all hours of the day.

Ellie Kate and Peyton not only fold towels for me, but they probably fold them better than I do.

And emptying the silverware actually gets fought over in my house. (just make sure you remove all sharp objects first).

It may not be EXACTLY how I would put them away, the job gets done - a job that has to be repeated at once a day in this we-use-the-dishwasher-way-too-much house.
I also love the sorting skills my children get to practice while participating in this exercise.

While I wish I could tell you that I had the opportunity to mop everyday, it just doesn't happen. So in the meantime, my girls get a get wet washcloth and "wipe all those nasty germs."

Since putting those helpful hands to work, I not only get more accomplished during the day, I get to do my housework with sweet giggles and tiny fingers working alongside of me.
So I am all ears, what chores do (did) you veteran moms give your young-ins? I am always looking for a few more chances to eat bon-bons throughout the day...


octobermomx2 said...

our boys load the washer, switch the laundry and sometimes unload the dryer. we also do the silverware thing and they are pretty good at unloading everything else and handing it to us... they are almost always in charge of bringing diapers and wipes when the younger two need changing. and they help set and clear the table... so they do a lot more than i thought LOL

Tigert Tales said...

It is so great to hear other boys named Stone. We are quite partial to the name, and everyone who hears it loves it. Stone is my mother-in-law's maiden name. He is named after both grandmas maiden names. Stone Keith. So glad to hear of another Stone out there. We run by them every once in a while, but not very often. -Jessica

joannalee said...

those are great ideas! i really need to ask my kids for help more often, before they grow out of their desire to do so!

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