3 Important Reasons to Work When your Kids are Awake
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I’ve heard the phrase branded about like it’s a badge of honour you wear.
“I only work when my kids are asleep.”
Well, I’m here to put to rest the idea that only working when your kids are asleep isn’t actually as amazing as you might think it is.
In fact, I would even go as far as to say you’re doing both yourself and your child/ren a disservice by doing so.
Well, keep reading.
1) Work Is Part of Life
I’m all for letting kids be kids. I want my children to have a wholesome childhood and maintain their innocence for as long as possible.
However, work is part of life and the sooner our kids realise that the better.
We all know they learn by example. I mean, toddlers are brilliant at showing how well they copy our actions instead of listening to what we actually say.
If you limit working to the hours that your children are sleeping then when are they ever going to see the example of working being set?
Read –> How to Teach Children Work Ethic
I really believe that kids who are taught that work is part of existing as a human being will have a much healthier attitude towards it because it isn’t a novelty.
Another benefit is that it will give your children a better appreciation of what you do.
For instance, dinner doesn’t just magically appear every night. Instead, they will get to see the process of how it comes into fruition.
It should also be noted that there is a big difference between letting your child see you working and working to the point where you’re never present.
It does need to balanced.
2) Parenthood Isn’t About Entertaining
In today’s society, we seem to have bought into the false idea that spending time with our children needs to be done through fun, entertaining activities.
I’m not sure if it’s because parents feel a certain amount of guilt about being apart from their children during working hours or what.
Regardless, it is a false and dangerous concept.
Parenthood isn’t about entertaining.
Instead, parenthood is about raising your children to be wholesome individuals with strong characters.
When I was a child my parents didn’t have much money at all. They both worked hard and while my mother didn’t work full time, she also didn’t spend her days entertaining us when she was home.
That doesn’t mean my parents weren’t present, attentive, and loving. But, they weren’t there to entertain us.
Neither myself nor any of my 3 siblings have grown up feeling as though we were somehow deprived. Instead, we grew up with an appreciation of what it takes to raise a family.
Getting your children to help with household chores will benefit them in so many ways.
You’ll get to spend time with them while they also develop a good work ethic. And ultimately, they will learn that being part of a family is being part of a team.
When everyone does their part life is that much easier.
3) You Need to Rest
I get that some jobs need to be done when children are not present.
We’ve spent the better part of the last two years renovating our first home. While many of the jobs could be done when the kids were around, there were several that had to be done when they weren’t. Both for safety and convenience.
So, I think every parent gets it when I say that sometimes there is no other option but to work when the kids sleep.
However, as a rule, I will always recommend to mothers that they don’t fill naptime with work.
Because you need to rest too.
If you’re on call for your kids during all their waking hours and then working when they’re asleep when on earth are you going to have time to rest yourself?
The Importance of Self-care
I feel like I say this over and over again, but motherhood is not equal to martyrdom. Or at least, it shouldn’t be.
It benefits no one.
Self-care is an essential part of being the best kind of mother you can be.
Read more about that here –> How to Make Time for a Shower: 5 Self-Care Tips for Moms
I see moms guiltily admitting to watching tv or taking a nap when their kid’s nap. They feel as though they should be mopping floors or the like.
And I’m over here like, “NO!”.
There should be zero guilt in taking a break to recharge. Sure, sometimes you have to get work done during naptime, but don’t feel guilty for resting.
Stop trying to cram all the household jobs into your child’s sleep times and instead involve them in the jobs when they’re awake.
Does that mean that sometimes the jobs take longer? Sure, but for me, the benefits outweigh that issue.
My kids learn to participate in the running of the home. They develop a work ethic. They aren’t ‘bored’. Your children develop a healthy attitude towards work.
And then I get to rest which is greatly beneficial to my entire family.
My Wish For You
People will obviously have very mixed (and strong!) views on this subject, I’m sure.
The intention of this post was to help irradicate the guilt that mothers might be feeling about having to work when their kids are awake.
Or, better yet, giving permission to the mom who is trying to get it all done while her kids are sleeping, to give herself a break.
You will not harm your children by working during their waking hours.
I think you’ll instead find that your kids learn how to play independently without the constant need to be entertained.
We are BIG fans of independent playtime in our household.
I’ve referred to it often. It is one of the parenting tools from Babywise that I find invaluable.
You can read about how to intentionally and practically implement it here –> How to Get your Child to Play Independently
Our children are so much more capable than we often give them credit.
Until next time!