Having a spouse that sacrifices her time working 2nd shift, instead of being home with us at night is a challenge but, also a great family benefit. She’s able to get the kids to school and be there from the time they are born until we send them off to school. We are more in control of their day to day versus having them in daycare.
My wife has a hectic schedule with the oldest going a full day and the middle child only going for half days. Top that off with daytime naps and trying to sleep herself, and she has very little time for the extras during the week. I don’t envy her schedule but appreciate what she sacrifices for us.
Once I’m home at night I have about 4 hours of time to feed them, brush their teeth, and get them ready for the next day. With 3 of them in a 1100 square foot house, that is 3-4 hours that can lead to disaster if not managed correctly. I constantly look for simple things we can do to help them acquire skills that will lend to their daily lives.
I wasn’t super crafty growing up but I don’t want the kids to miss out on being exposed to those kinds of fun activities at home. It’s easy to hand them an iPad or stream a movie when I get busy but I don’t want them to become complacent at an early age. I want them to be able to manage the simple things in life so they can focus on the big things that need done.
In the last few weeks we have tackled a few different projects. All of us were involved in making snow globes with Mason jars, Baby oil, and glitter. I had my 5 year old son crawl under the sink to hold a flash light and also screw on the nut holding the sprayer. (I couldn’t contort into position). And last night I had my oldest, 8, help with measuring and cutting temporary drawer liners from cardboard until we can get some wood ones cut for a cabinet were working on.
Maybe I should be going over math flash cards and more reading than we already do. Maybe we should be memorizing presidents names and important dates but, I feel like this hands on stuff will stick with them like changing oil or hanging some dry wall did when my dad taught me.
If nothing else, they will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and give it a shot before needing to rely on someone or paying others to do the work. If I can give them that small amount of self reliance and independence, I’ll feel I’ve done my part.