What can a modern-day parents do with their kids upon return from work? As a mum who every-day comes home from work later than the normal time, I often think whether I play with and dedicate myself to kids enough. The fact that I am trying to spend every free moment with them is not enough, but I often consider the manner in which we spend our time together. Moreover, however well you are organized, there are always certain chores that wait only for you. How to bring that little piece of time you have left after work with the quality time you will spend with your kids and the time needed to complete the chores that are exclusively yours? And no, you do not have a magic wand.
If you maximally try that one child does not get mobile phone, and another tablet, immediately after you enter the apartment, then the kids, if they are older than a year and a half, may be involved in the joint performance of chores. My kids love to throw in and take out the laundry from the washing machine, starting from tossing in the “magical pill” (detergent shaped like a pill) into the bin, to the setting up of the washing program and waiting for the sound that the machine started working. Then the preparation of the drying machine starts, and the throwing of the laundry into the drying machine, along with the inevitable setting of the program which particularly amuses them.
Then comes the folding of the laundry. We came up with the folding of the towels in an unusual way, but we roll them and the rolling of towels is by far simpler and gives them great satisfaction. Everyone has a task to recognize their wardrobe after the drying, to single it out on a “special pile”, and they even compete who will do it faster. Then we seek for “two same” socks, we sort the wardrobe, T-shirts with T-shirts and panties with panties. Finally, I set the T-shirts to be folded, and they fold the sleeves.
When we finish with the laundry, we move to cooking dinner. We pick the ingredients from the fridge. Everyone has a blunt peeler in hands, by which they peel the vegetables, and then we put it, together, in water to be boiled. Or we make sandwiches together, we boil eggs and we all look at the pan together to check if they are done. A minor problem occurs when we make pancakes because everyone wants to hold the ladle “first” and to pour a pancake into the pan, so our pancakes never look alike.
Every evening we have different ideas. And they are mostly linked to the things that mum has to do, while the kids help. Their favourite thing is to put plastic toys into the washing machine. Then they can hardly wait for the machine to be done and to wipe each of them with cloths. And they are very happy. They have a sense of importance and necessity. It always turns out that mum forgets how something is done, and then they remind her and help her. Is the time qualitative? If qualitative time means that kids are enjoying themselves, that they are happy, that they can learn something new and that they feel important, the condition is met.