Monday, January 7, 2013

Motherhood Mondays: Kids in the Kitchen

I've been thinking a lot lately about pinterest, crafts, cooking, decorating, and all of the distractions I have pulling me away from my children.  Pinterest is an amazing resource but it is also such a time suck for me.  Rather than looking for crazy creative ways to fulfill myself and my children, I've been trying to get back to basics lately.

It's so hard I think, as a mother, to remember that my children are not keeping me from what I need to be doing. Of course, part of my job as a mother is to feed my children and little hands can seem like quite a nuisance when you are trying to fix a meal, but my greater job is to teach my children to feed themselves. 

When I first started letting Phillip help me in the kitchen, I planned a meal in advance, maybe once or twice a week, that we would cook together. I would think about what tasks I could give him. Now it's quite natural and he joins me in the kitchen almost every day. I try to take care of dangerous things, like chopping, while he is napping, but if that's not possible I just push his stool a couple of feet away and engage him in something else.

Naturally, I cringe when Phillip dumps an entire container of garlic salt on a single potato or stirs flour out of the bowl and all over the floor. But I always want my children to feel that they are welcome in the kitchen with me, especially as they grow older and they may be less eager to help.

I feel like there is so much pressure these days to be constantly providing children with stimulating and interesting projects and engaging them in certain kinds of play, but I'm pretty sure time spent cooking with me or helping me with laundry is just as educational and probably more useful.  The takeaway here though, should not be that if you are a mom and you aren't cooking with you're kids, you're screwing up!  It should be that you should take the pressure off of yourself to constantly entertain your kids.  Incorporate them into the things that you love to do.  For me, one of those things is cooking and baking.  I'm very at home in the kitchen and sharing that with Phillip has been wonderful.  While we do occasionally do craft projects, for us, this is just much more natural and as a result, a lot more fun.

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