A few years ago my sister gave me this book.
Not to make light of my responsibilities of parenting and training my children, but this book was funny. I just liked her light-hearted look at NOT giving yourself a heart failure trying to get your baby into the best preschool. I liked her idea of letting the kids find their own entertainment instead of buying them all the newest electronic fads.
In some ways, I am a slacker mom.
Don't get me wrong, I take my role very seriously. It's just that I'm too lazy to do everything for my kids. I have no desire.
Oh, I used to. You would laugh if you could go back and see me with newborn Sweetheart. Oh the fussing and carrying on! The washing of toys in the sink every night. The sterilizing of things. The organization of her baby food cabinet. The bathing. The clothes folding. I LOVED being a mommy.
Somewhere along the line, I got over needing to do every single thing for my children. It's like when I was decorating Sweetheart's nursery. We had money back then and we ordered all new furniture for her room. Then my aunt offered an old crib mattress she had used for her grandbabies. My uncle told her, "Brenda won't want that! Don't you know new parents want to buy all new stuff for their baby?" I told her not to worry, I had gotten over THAT about $2,000 ago!
By the way, the girls are still using that furniture and I plan on sending it with them when they move out one day. So, it was a good investment.
But back to my story. Somewhere along the way, I stopped feeling the need to do everything for my kids. They make their own beds. And no, it isn't pretty. They get their own snacks and drinks. If Little Bit can't reach something I tell her, "Better get a stool." I spent 15 good minutes today making a list of things I needed the kids to do, complete with pictures from Google images, so Little Bit could read it. It took time to make that list, yes. But now they can independently do the tasks I need them to do.
I could have done it myself, but then they wouldn't know how.
Let's just say, I refuse to still be washing my children's clothes for them, fixing their plates, cleaning their rooms, and taking care of their every need when they are nearly young adults.
Will I help them? Yes. Will we do laundry together? Yes. Will I cook most of the time? Yes. I will not make them take over all the things I should be doing as a homemaker, but they will learn how. We will take turns. We will work together.
I tell them to think of their bedroom as their little apartment. One day they will have a whole house to take care of....their bedroom is an excellent training ground.
I was always appalled as a first grade teacher when I watched certain parents carry their child's backpack for them, hang it up, tie their shoes, tuck in their shirt, and wipe their nose. The child just stood there like a rag doll letting Mommy do every little thing for them.
And then their parents wondered why they couldn't complete their work in class. Hmm.
I don't know. Everyone has different tolerances. And raising boys is somewhat different. And when your kids are younger....it really is just easier to do it for them. But for me, with two elementary aged kiddos, teaching them to be independent works for me.
And it appeals to my inner slacker.