On Letting Go Of The Need To Do It Myself

What is it about kids that makes them want to be super helpful at inappropriate times?

You know what I mean.  It would really be helpful if they chose to clean up their room or pack away their puzzles that they had used as darts or you know, things that they should be responsible for.

Instead I find myself with a four year old (Riya) who is hell bent on becoming the next Masterchef.

If I just walk near the kitchen she appears at my elbow, shouting “help you?” while simultaneously pushing the stool into “her spot”.  It doesn’t matter if I’m just making tea – the milk is out before I can think and so is the spoon.  If she could reach, the tea bag and sugar would be in too.  (Don’t judge me – I don’t have any sugar in my coffee and I only have one cup of tea a day.  Look at me justifying myself like a guilty person)

When we make breakfast she cracks and dispenses all the eggs, adds the spices and milk, then proceeds to mix and pour it into the pan.  Soon she’ll be whipping up a gourmet breakfast while we sleep in on a Saturday.  (Here’s hoping.)

I can’t even peel vegetables without assistance…


As you can see by the frown, they take their jobs very seriously.

But instead of sitting back and making myself a cup of tea (or letting her make it for me), I find myself hovering over them.  Micromanaging every step.  Reminding them to get the peels on the paper, not to cut their fingers, watch out for this and be careful of that.  I could go on forever…  Just ask my kids.  If I’m not doing that, then I’m trying to take over and do it myself – quickly, with no mess and little fuss.

Each time I say something, I get a role of the eyes and an “I knoooow Mom!  You told me that already!”

And they’re right.  If I was them I’d be rolling my eyes at myself – as far back as they could go.

We forget that what has become such a mundane and sometimes lass of a job, is something new and exciting for them.  Peeling the skin off a carrot.  To us we know we have to get all 10 carrots peeled so they can cook in time for dinner.  To them they are taking in the whole experience – how to hold the peeler, where to place their hands, what taking off the skin reveals, the smells, the sounds.  Stuff we don’t even think about unless it smells off.  (Can carrots smell off?!)

So yesterday, instead of hovering over them like an annoying fly that couldn’t even stay on the wall to keep watch, I sat back and let them experience it on their terms.

And you know what?

They got bored and went to watch TV…

Parenting.  Just when you think you have it waxed it slaps you in the face like puzzle piece being used as a dart.


7 thoughts on “On Letting Go Of The Need To Do It Myself

  1. lol, same around here but as Rina says it’s about them doing grown up stuff with us. I know that I’m only too happy to leave the children to colour, build lego or whatever while I do something else, that makes the ‘something else’ very interesting

  2. I like to get Ethan to do new things with me and help where possible. I also feel like I’m teaching him some level of responsibility and ownership. My main concern is that it just takes sooooo much longer! I often just shoosh him off when he wants to help in the kitchen and then end up feeling bad 😦

  3. Aidan is not even two yet but can fix himself a snack (the independence that comes with a lazy mom, i kid i kid) he goes to cupboard takes out provita or cracker bread and then gets his milk and bottle ready for me to pour…. can just imagine the future

  4. I remember when my brother made his very own cup of tea, one teabag and one tablespoon of coffee lol!!
    My mom also fell asleep one afternoon while watching my son and he creatively mixed some flour and stuff in a bowl, put it in the fridge to ‘set’ and then insisted that my mom to bake it in the oven when she woke up. It actually tasted really good (still dont know what was in it)!

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