As a mother of two, I have found myself in the habit of doing. Doing what? Whatever.
I can help a child study for a test while cooking dinner, washing a load of clothes and monitoring my soon-to-be 14 yr. old daughter’s Facebook wall. I manage to run a business, keep up to date on teenage social life, make basketball games and still get dressed for a night out with my husband.
The Admission… It’s not as easy as it looks and some days I wish I could just stay in bed with the remote control and have MY Mommy come over and take care of me! Of course I love what I do, but some days I just don’t feel like doing it.
I had the privileged to speaking to a mother recently that has done all of this before. With a child already raised, she gave me unsolicited wisdom that I drank up like a cool glass of water. Her advice?
‘Sit on your hands… There are things that your kids will learn to do on their own if you are willing to not do everything for them.’
She went on to tell me how she gives her younger children much more responsibility after doing everything for her older son and seeing how dependent he is as an adult. Now her kids pack their own lunch and if they forget their drink she won’t be the one running up to the school to take it to them. ‘They won’t forget it again’, she says.
Ouch! But could I really do that?
I have always taken great pride in the fact that my kids were so incredibly independent. But independent in spirit and independent in day-to-day living are two different things. Admittedly, I still pack my kids lunch for school and just this morning chased down the school bus because my son forgot his gym shoes. As I drove back from the bus stop I began to question whether I helped him or hindered him. Would him suffering the consequences of NOT having his shoes make him remember them next time? I’m not saying that I won’t do ANYTHING for my kids, but perhaps I would better parent them if I sat on my hands more often…