It is Not My Job to Entertain My Kids

It is not my job to entertain my kids.

Yes, I want the best for them. Yes, I want them to experience great moments. Yes, I want them to have opportunity and see new things. But, it is also not my job to provide them with constant entertainment and things to do.

When I was little Saturday morning meant cleaning at my house. I hated Saturday as a kid, honestly. But, my parents knew that I needed to learn that life isn’t always expecting the fun and being entertained – it also meant learning to do the hard things.

Sometimes I feel guilty because I have to say no to doing fun things with them. I don’t say no because I don’t want to do stuff with them, but rather because I have to work or save money or just the build up of chores and housework is more pressing. And then I feel guilty that I’m not being a good mom or they’re missing out.

But here’s the deal – when we teach our kids the balance they don’t always expect to do something. And then they learn to appreciate the special things for what they are – special, not expected.

But it’s hard. It’s hard to say no. Or it’s hard to make them do chores because, let’s be real, sometimes I would be way faster than they are or I don’t want to deal with complaining.

I’m not letting them down when I have to do hard things instead of fun things. Instead I’m teaching to them the hierarchy of needs. You can’t eat unless you work. That’s a basic one in life, but in today’s world, it’s easy to forget.

So I make them do things. If they leave a dish on the table I’ll call them down, from upstairs and have them put it away. And not just on the counter, but rinsed in the dishwasher. And if the dishwasher needs emptying I’ll make them start there. Why? It teaches a code of responsibility.

Doing the hard things makes room for the good things. 

feel guilty

So no guilt if sometimes you have to say no to the fun things. No guilt if you have to work. No guilt.

Rachel Marie Martin
Rachel Marie Martin
Rachel Marie Martin believes in the power of the human spirit to overcome, to thrive and to find deep joy and because of that she pours out her heart via these platforms: she is the writer behind the site, partner of, co-host of the Amplify Podcast, and a featured writer for The Huffington Post. Her top blog post, “Why Being a Mom is Enough” has surpassed 1.9 million Facebook likes and she has had her articles translated into over 25 languages. Her site reaches millions and has a robust, engaged Facebook community. Her articles have been featured by The Huffington Post, iVillage, IJR,  Star Tribune, iVillage, Stuff New Zealand, PopSugar, Parents, What to Expect, Mamalode, SheKnows, NBC Parents, Scary Mommy,, Dr. Greene, and many more. Her first book, "The Brave Art of Motherhood", published by Penguin Random House is available now.  She speaks worldwide about a variety of empowering topics ranging from motherhood to social media marketing to website strategy to writing to creating an authentic community. She believes in living each day intentionally and loves working with others to cultivate a vision, realize their potential and see their dreams become a reality.

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