Stop playing the nice organizer and live as a family for real!

06 April, 2020

Even before we had kids, my husband and I loved the simple life! We liked to go about our business over the seasons . Both quite resourceful, we liked to do things ourselves. Philippe took care of the maintenance and repair of just about everything that was in the house or in the shed, and I cooked meals to freeze and gardened during the summer months. We took advantage of the weekends to take a short boat trip on the lake, go for a long bike ride, do a bit of running, go snowshoeing on the snowy trails behind the house, make an impromptu visit to our parents and friends, to start reading a novel or an essay, to take care of our chickens, to make a garden and to maintain it, to carry out odd jobs or to reorganize part of the house, and I on the way. All these shared activities joined us one and the other and made us happy.

After a few years together, Louis, our first child, came as a surprise. In a very intuitive way , we have kept our rhythm of life and our activities, integrating Louis into this life as a couple that has become family life . Louis integrated himself into our lives, sharing each of our occupations. Louis playing in the dirt with a shovel while we're doing the garden, Louis soaking us with a bucket of water to feed the hens, Louis standing on a kitchen stool whisking the eggs while Mum prepares a cake, Louis handing a spanner to Dad who is fixing the lawnmower, Louis who accompanies us to the grocery store and pushes his own little basket, Louis who "passes the broom" while Mum cleans the bathroom, Louis who flips through a book while his parents themselves read a novel and so on.

Not only did we not change our habits when the children arrived, but we made sure that our children integrated into them. There was never any question of enrolling them in any course whatsoever on the pretext that we had to stimulate them. In fact, we signed them up for baseball once and quit along the way (shame on us!). Our children have never lacked stimulation, since they have always done EVERYTHING with us. Very rarely do we ask the other spouse to take care of the children in order to be able to do such and such a thing. I would even say that we tend to ask them if they want to join us in accomplishing our tasks.  If I have to do a little batch cooking, I always ask the children if they want to help me. Often, the children go down to the basement to accompany Philippe when he is working in the workshop. Of course, we accept that things do not happen as quickly as we would like . But we're in no hurry, that's all we have to do!

In my opinion, this way of life is the most stimulating for them . Learning about life through small daily tasks, without worrying about performance, is extremely beneficial for children of this age . The children benefit from it, developing their resourcefulness and their autonomy and we also benefit from it since we can continue to go about our business without finding that the children are an impediment.

Here are 5 tips to make getting things done with kids easier :

  • Integrate the children into your daily tasks by giving them small missions commensurate with their abilities.
  • Accept that it doesn't go as fast as you want (breathe, what are you in a hurry by the way?)
  • Remember to verbalize everything you do. Your children are little sponges absorbing everything you say and do!
  • Take the opportunity to chat with your children. Ask them questions and create a moment of complicity (you will be surprised at the secrets they will tell you in this context!).
  • When you complete the task, congratulate yourself on the result and acknowledge your child's contribution, no matter how small.

Playing the "nice organizer" every day of the week or even every weekend is often impossible, so you might as well adopt this attitude that will allow you to go about all your business while allowing your children to develop valuable skills!