This. Thisthisthis.

If i could go back to about 2007 and give advice to my newish mom self, it would have been to be more patient when my kids were very little and wanted to help with literally everything. I would have made it so much fun for them, so they didn’t stop wanting to help at a certain age. I would not have underestimated their capacity to learn progressively more complex “helping" just because they were little or still non-verbal. Those age-appropriate chores lists online are totally on target. Kids are capable of so much more than we give them credit for. Or trust them with.

I would have started fostering a home-community early on and enlisted them as fellow citizens of our home, with equal stakes in how well all the home-related cogs turn. I would hold myself AND them accountable as contributers to our family’s success. I would be less dictatorial and more respectful. I would chill out and let the housework take as long as it took, and made sure they were always a PART of it, and not APART from it so I could “just get it over with".

I can’t go back in time, but you are already there. You’re right, our tidiness is in no way correlated to our parenting in the “moms judging and shaming other moms for doing it differently" way. And a messy house MIGHT mean we are more invested in our kids than made beds and clean toilets. (Sounds like you)

Or it MIGHT mean we aren’t as organized as we know we should be to run a successful household. (sounds like me)

But building on the love of helping that most kids are just born with, and nurturing that instead of extinguishing it (however unintentionally), seems like it would go a long way towards a harmonious home, for either of us.



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