Working with children.

Its so important to get children involved in the daily work around the house.  Though the reality is it can be slow, messy, and sometimes tedious!

But none the less, I REFUSE to be a mother who molly coddles her sons.  We want them to grow up to be good, strong, practical, kind, generous men.  We do not want them to be big boys who shave.  Because, quite frankly, there are far too many of them about.

The boys tidy their rooms, open curtain, put things away, cart wood, garden, help look after animals, wipe cupboards, the list goes on.  Explaining why we do things to them as we do is an important part of the process.  They don't really get pocket money yet, only occasionally if they work especially hard.  But it is just part of being in our family.  Work is life, it's just what we all need to do.  But they are pretty content and they rarely ask for things.  

We openly talk to our children about money, we always re-assure them we have enough but we explain that their guitar and footy are expensive luxuries.  We explain because we choose to spend money there, we choose to private school Will, that we don't always have money for some of the other things they want.  They have a good understanding of it too for their ages, they don't panic, but when I say, "sorry guys, not this week, we have too many bills" they are just fine.  It makes the special trips to the movies and the odd treats all the more exciting!

Tonight we bough hot chippies and gravy from the local take away shop and they boys had a feast for $11.  Simple pleasures go a long way.   

But anyway!  This morning we made washing liquid.  I have made it many times before but not recently.  My boys are grubs, I struggle to get it to get the tough stains out.  But for what ever reason, perhaps as we tighten our budget with a tough economy and the business slwing a little over winter, I got inspired to try it again.  Though I used more soap, and I use grated SARD soap.  Not as green as velvet no doubt, but none the less I find it more effective. 

Henry supervising me grate the soap.

Pouring the liquid into clean milk bottles.  It's always messier with children helping!  Excuse the PJ's, the boys woke up absurdly early....I do dress them, I promise.....most days!

Making labels with instructions so everyone knows how much to use....(Grant I'm looking at YOU buddy!)

The finished product with Henry telling us all about it.  

Then it was time to tidy up, make school lunch, and get on with our usual morning routine.

Once Will was at school I tackled the linen cupboard.  I saw this blog post HERE on keeping matching sheets together in the cupboard.  It has popped up a few times on various sites I visit. so this morning I decided something needed to be done about my exploding linen cupboard and pulled my finger out and stopped procrastinating.

Look - space!!  I know, not much of my linen matches, its not color coordinated, but it's clean, warm and dry.  Frankly no one in this house cares for anything more, and none the less its REAL.  Im a REAL Mama, in a REAL home on a REAL budget!  

A pile of bits I later sorted to either donate, make into rags, or send to Grants shed for work rags. 

 So that was my morning - exciting stuff!!  HA!  Oh how life has changed, and I wouldn't have it any other way.   



  1. It is a blessing to raise each child to be self sufficient and able to care for themselves and their environment.
    I was so lucky to have been raised with the belief that all jobs can be done by anyone. No gender bias and that was very unusual in the 1950s-60s when I was a child. Mine were raised the same. I believe that it gives a person a lot of self confidence and self worth to know that you can handle life yourself and do not need to depend on others. Makes a partnership even better in my opinion. My husband was not raised to know how to do much of anything really and for the first few years we were married he learned so much. I didn't want to have children with someone that could not cook basic food, clean etc. I always thought that if something happened to me I would not want my children raised by a man who would be at the mercy of some other woman simply because he couldn't care for them. I would have wanted him to be discriminating and choose the best person not be in a hurry because laundry was hard to do etc. LOL. Turns out I was healthy and my kids grew up and became self sufficient well rounded adults. :) My son used those skills when his new wife became sick after the birth of their son and he had a newborn and twin 6 year old boys to care for. He has thanked me (she did too) more than once for giving him those skills.

  2. I agree totally!

    It sounds like your children have grown into wonderful people, what a joy for you and your husband they must be!

    I also agree that all jobs can and should be able to be done by everyone. My husband is hands on in every area and I love he sets that example for our boys.

    Being able to care for the home is so important when raising children. I was going to write a longer response but I'm being shooed of the laptop! Grant has accounts to sort.

    Thankyou for your response! Hope you have a wonderful weekend.


  3. ooo well done!
    all those left over bits can be made into other items too, rag rugs, bathmats, patchwork blankets or rugs for pets etc. i've stopped throwing mine out & collecting a stash so i can make rugs, eventually ... hopefully lol
    great post
    thanx for sharing

    1. Oh I have not seen towels turned into rugs! But I can see for pets that would be especially snuggly. :)

      I used to donate, which I still do or give them to Grant for rags. He is always in need for rags in the shed. I always kept a few for cleaning but I never bothered to cut them/sew them to size. I guess because it was not something I saw my mother do. Its funny how we tend to pick up so many of our family habits.


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