I’m hesitant to offer parenting advice because I’d consider myself far from an expert, but there is definitely a practicality that comes from raising five children in an environment where we earn our living, teach our kids, build relationships and meet the basic needs of our household and lots of house guests at the same time.
This is for those of you who are raising kids with the realization that they will very, very soon be grown adults influencing and building this world we live in.
We don’t have chore lists, and we don’t pay our kids to do the basics that makes our family run well. We DO fully expect our kids to look around our environment and do what needs doing. A mess on the floor, sweep it up. A baby that needs changed, change him. A person at the door that wants to buy veggies, smile and help them. Dinner hadn’t been planned and I’m the first person to notice? Defrost the pork burgers and sauté whatever veggies are in the compost bin.
That’s how we’ve raised up our kids. Guilt, shame, and expectations aside-that’s how we’ve built up a farm, family and thankfully, we are raising kids who now have their own financially, emotionally, relationally ways of building a life once they leave our home.
If that helps, God bless. Life is hard and messy and crazy. We get it. I’d love to hear what’s going on in your life and what might work in thr spaces you make home.
This is a portrait of Michelle Howell, a hardworking farmwife, mother of five, author, and advocate. On the left side of the bust you can read text from the poem “Anyway” that was on a wall of Mother Teresa’s home for children in Calcutta, India. “If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.” “The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.”
Leslie Nichols, Artist