Don’t Do It Alone

by Kimberly on October 7, 2011 in Inspiration in Child Rearing, Obedience, Responsibility

Raising the women who will shape the next generation is an important task. Just teaching all the practical aspects of homemaking can be overwhelming as we seek to equip our daughters to be managers of their homes and that’s the ‘easy’ part.

Here is one practical tip that I’ve implemented that has made training our children in the practical aspects of home making much less daunting. That tip is: Don’t do it alone.

Whatever the task, from doing the laundry or baking bread to painting or vacuuming, try to include your children. I guarantee that this will take a considerable  investment of time and energy, particularly in the beginning, but it will pay big dividends.

God created little ones to enjoy helping their mommas.

Bella (1) helping with laundry

If you nurture this gift, you will find that as they grow they will continue to delight in the companionship they find as they work by your side.


If you don’t do it alone:


You will naturally be investing time in a relationship with your children.

 Deuteronomy 4:6-9 hints at the importance of this relationship. Working side-by-side provides time to talk of the matters of the heart as well as to share the simple stories of the day.

Your children will learn how to do many of the regular household tasks.

Over time you will find that much of your home maker training has already been done. We never enrolled our children in (or taught) a cooking class, but all of our children, who are old enough, know how to cook. They also know how to wash and fold laundry, refinish a deck, paint walls, install rain gutter book shelves, sew and much more.

Your children will learn to work.

God created us for work. Sin made it so that our nature revolts against it. Training our children to work from the time they are young gives them the opportunity to develop self-discipline and builds a habit of work that they will need throughout their life.

Bella (1) helping mommy with the laundry

The benefits of following this  ‘Don’t do it alone’ rule are greater than children who learn to work. It’s about time. Time spent not just keeping a home clean or getting dinner on the table, but time spent investing in our precious children.

And isn’t investing the time that God has given us into that which is eternal, rather than that which is temporal something that is worth striving toward?


Kimberly is a homeschool graduate, thanks to her mom's cancer diagnosis. Now married to Mark and blessed with eleven children; Kimberly homeschools, washes mountains of laundry, mops acres of floors and attempts to live deliberately by examining each decision in light of God’s word. She blogs about managing it all at Raising Olives.

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Sarah Coller October 7, 2011

This is a great reminder to start my day with…thank you!


mamaT October 7, 2011

i haven’t thought about this… but it’s so true! they DO delight in working WITH me. and that’s why when it’s given as a chore, all the delight deminishes. it makes perfect sense! thanks for bringing this to my attention.

Annalyn October 7, 2011


I see so many young-ish moms (kids in grade school, particularly) who do ALL the work themselves! They put the kids to bed, then stay up till all hours of the night cleaning the house or folding laundry. Then when morning comes, they wonder why they’re so tired. 😐 Or there’s the other end of the spectrum where they don’t do anything b/c engaging the kids is “too much work.” When/how are those little ones going to learn how to fold their own underwear??

Again I say, 😐

My mom did this- I was folding and putting away my own clothes at 3, sharing in the Saturday morning house cleaning at 7 or 8 (bathroom, vacuuming, dusting). Each of my 4 brothers joined in when they became big enough to push a vacuum and reach the knick-nacks that needed dusting. (I think there was probably about a 8-10 year stretch that she didn’t even touch a vacuum!)

Because of that, I and all 4 of my brothers knew when we entered our teens how to vacuum, dust, scrub counters, wash dishes, clean a toilet (inside and out), and fold clothes. My mom ran the washer/dryer till we were grown, as it was just more economical for her to run everything together, but we learned how, and we all knew how to do that by the time we reached adulthood.

Kristy @ Little Natural Cottage October 7, 2011

This is such a timely reminder… I needed it today! Thank you for such encouraging words to help us mamas stay focused and on track. 🙂

abba12 October 7, 2011

Yup. I don’t understand people who do it all themselves. How do they have so many hours in the day?

We were folding washing and vaccuming floors around 6 years old, we began washing dishes at 9. I remember helping mum hang the washing by handing her pegs as early as 4, we cleaned the bathrooms and picked up the lounge and kitchen. And we certainly cleaned our own rooms, except for deep cleaning twice a year, and that was mostly because we were all hoarders.

But now I realise that even younger, a child can be ‘helping’, like Bella in your photos. Just don’t inform the relatives that already think 6 year olds vaccuming is child slave labour 🙂

Sarah October 7, 2011

I feel like this is virtually impossible with 5 kids ages 5 and under, tho it is what I desire… Does this apply to me too??

Kimberly October 9, 2011

Hi Sarah,

I think this applies specifically to you. I also started out with 5 children 5 and under. It would have been much easier for me to fix supper, clean the dishes, dust, vacuum, etc. without the little ones with me. Instead, taking the time to allow them to work with me allowed me to invest time into them rather than just investing time into a chore. It demonstrated to them that mommy was not too busy with all of her ‘important’ responsibilities to spend time with them, but rather that they were more important than all of those other things.

Ruth October 7, 2011

My little Lilly Faith loves to help me with the laundry too. 🙂

Lucy October 8, 2011

Though I don’t have a family of my own yet, this is something I’m trying to make a resolution about beforehand. I work at a Christian camp most summers, and it’s always a battle between my “better” self wanting the kids to actually learn to pick up after themselves and my flesh telling me to just do it myself because I don’t want to bother with back talking. Haha, and that’s after only a week with the darlings. (And they are darling, I assure you, just not necessarily first thing in the morning.) Does anyone have suggestions regarding less-than-willing older children?

Theresa @ Heavenly Glimpses October 9, 2011

Great advice! I agree completely.

Amy October 10, 2011

My 20-month-old daughter and I have been doing laundry together for months. I had her help me make lunch for the first time today. She loved it. I found joy in it as well. Takes more time…but what do we have but time? I just found this blog, and I’m really enjoying it. Thank you!

Lizette | ADHD Chaos October 19, 2011

The sooner you implement it, the better. I left it too late (due to extraneous circumstances) and paying for it now.

Candice October 19, 2011

I love so much of what you are saying, and agree completely on the high level perspective… except I don’t know that God created us to work. I think He created us to be with Him in covenant relationship. We work from our rest, not rest once we have done all of our work. Just a thought. I would love to hear more of yours, too. I like learning new perspectives.

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