I think one of the biggest challenges in mummahood is the ability to get ‘stuff’ done with the kids in tow, preferably with minimal whinging about how many minutes you dare not feed your child a snack. These bastard jobs never go and let’s face it, the kids don’t like when your attention is elsewhere. These are a few things I have found useful over the years.
1. Feed children before attempting to do ANYTHING. Mainly to keep their mouths busy for 2 minutes. You can pretty much guarantee that the minute you fill the sink or start folding washing you’ll hear “Mummyyyyyyyy, I’m hungryyyyyy”.
2. Get them involved. Pairing socks seem a little dull? Exploit sibling rivalry and make it a competition. I used to feel quite smug about turning the mundane jobs into an ‘educational activity’, counting out tomatoes onto plates, sorting socks, learning colours by which peg they choose etc.
3. Give them their very own job to do. Ever noticed how important they feel when you tell them how helpful they are? The smaller and more achievable the better, I’ve found mine completing one task and asking what they can do next. Jeebs spent a whole 20 minutes cutting up a pepper with a table knife whilst I cooked dinner. She feels important and I get tea cooked without a child attached to my leg, win! She also pretty much single handedly rebuilt her bed, nothing like developing a 5 year olds DIY skills.
4. Lay on the praise, I mean give it the whole “YOU are SO helpful, Mummy couldn’t have done that without you”. Everyone likes to feel useful and appreciated, no different from our kids.
5. All else fails sack the jobs off and put the kettle on. Sometimes there is no winning. The CBeebies babysitter can come in incredibly handy.