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Alongside You

Find a way to involve your children in something that you’d ordinarily attempt to get done alone


Alongside You

What this means

When things get hectic — whether it’s because it’s Erev Yom Tov, there’s a new baby in the family, or it’s just the regular everyday chaos — I’ve fallen into the trap of viewing my children as a barrier to getting things done.

When this happens, it’s almost as if they’re flies being shooed away, my vision blurred by my desire to meet the needs of my family, but forgetting that their deepest needs actually lie in the process, in the “becoming.”

I’ve made a point of trying my hardest to include my children in the chaos, to do things because of their presence, and alongside them, rather than manage despite them.


To Do

Find a way to involve your children in something that you’d ordinarily attempt to get done alone. Look for opportunities to reframe their presence amidst the mayhem, transforming it from blockage to asset. Take a picture when it happens.


This doesn’t need to be as simple as allowing your toddler to help you bake or your little one to wash the dishes. It can be something more subtle, especially with older children, as you share the weight of everyday living with them. Cooking or baking together highlights the end goal of what you’re doing in the kitchen. And bringing your older child into some of your inner thoughts and world can also permeate your overwhelm with closeness, and even a sense of partnership.


  • “Sometimes I feel that I don’t see you within the chaos of our busy lives. It’s easy to distract you or shoo you away. But when I make the conscious choice to involve you, I’ve found so much satisfaction in bringing you into my busyness. True, there are times that it doesn’t make a dent in my workload (in fact it may even add to it), but it doesn’t matter. It has added pleasure to my to-do list and tinted my tasks with sweetness.”


(Originally featured in Family First, Issue 760)

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