Despite my best intentions, I sometimes lose my cool when it comes to getting my children to participate in the running of our home.
Our journey to end entitlement with peaceful parenting strategies is off to a solid start, but sometimes I misplace my peaceful mojo.
I've gotten frustrated on more than one occasion with the grumbles that inevitably come when it's time to dig in and do the work of our life. Sometimes I'm just done with all of the complaining. It's true. And sometimes I freak out about it a little bit. A mama tantrum.
This was the case a few days ago.
There was the obligatory grumble when I announced it was time to get some work done. I lost it a little. I yelled. (Or I passionately expressed my need, you could say.) And then I cooled off and apologized. We regrouped.
The kids (the one who was complaining included) ended up getting jazzed about the jobs they had to complete and did the work beautifully. They took pride in their work and even accomplished the task above and beyond my expectations.
The next day followed a similar pattern. Time for chores leads to grumbling, minor mama-tantrum, hard-working kids, mama apology, pride in work and taking it above and beyond the request.
Now I want to figure out how to consistently skip the part where I freak out. (It isn't my norm, but I've been feeling frusterated this week. It's just where I'm at in this moment.)
And then, despite my best efforts at sucking the joy out of work, a magical thing happened.
Two nights ago the kids fell asleep formulating a "secret plan". The plan involved me taking them to the coop in the morning, and also Pete and I being banished from the kitchen for most of the day. By morning the kids were (in secret) laying in bed with "How to Cook Everything" and my tattered copy of "The Joy of Cooking". They asked for a bit of help modifying recipes for how we eat, and then they ran with it.
They chose a menu.
They made a list.
They did the shopping.
And then I was shut out of the kitchen, silks suspended across the doorways and blindfolds ready in case I needed to come in.
With Sage at the helm they cooked all day. They set a beautiful table with a vintage cloth and some place mats, there was a centerpiece and fancy serving bowls. Candles were lit. Even dishes were washed. (All the prep dishes. Washed before dinner. I don't think I've even ever pulled that off.)
The menu included paleo/grain free biscuits and gravy, seasoned sauteed green beans with sage and oregano, and strawberry ice cream with fresh whipped cream.
It was amazing.
As we lingered in by candlelight around the table, Sage announced "Oh, my feet hurt from all that standing in the kitchen!"
And then he smiled a big, proud, satisfied smile.
And I thought to myself, hm. Maybe I just need to get out of their way.