“Mommy, I would like an egg for breakfast! And I want to HELP you cook it!”
On the outside, I smile and agree – yes, she can help me. On the inside, I cringe, thinking about what “helping” really means: egg shells in the fried egg, raw egg on her clothes, her hands, and the counter, and more mess for Mommy to clean up.
Lily is four—strong willed, independent, and completely determined to be as much of a help as she can be to her “favorite Mommy in the world.”
I try to keep my house neat, organized, and orderly. However, with the petite tornado, a big dog, and a husband, this is often a losing battle for me. So why do I get upset when someone offers—finally—to “help?”
In all actuality, I shouldn’t. I’m working really hard to push through this need to control by keeping the house clean, getting the eggs cooked quickly, and doing it all myself. Lily is learning, growing, and developing into a real person right before my very eyes, and it’s my job to teach her. She wants to help her most favorite person: me. She wants to learn everything I do. And not just in the kitchen, either. She tells her baby dolls things I tell her. She has been caught playing in my makeup on more than one occasion. And, she LOVES folding laundry. Seriously—she’s better at it than I am!
I’m learning, in this parenting journey, that in order to learn and grow, there has to be a little mess along the way. Will it really kill me to let her crack a few eggs? Or to let her hand dry some dishes? No. None of these things will even really disrupt my normal routine that much.
Plus, the pride on her face when she tells Daddy that she cooked her own breakfast is totally priceless.
How do your kids help around the house? What do you do to let go and let them?