Thursday, February 12, 2009

Stealing From "Dirty Little Secret"

Last night, I finally had time to catch up on some of my favorite blog reads. I commented on one of Dirty Little Secret's posts. I swear sometimes reading what she writes is like looking in a mirror.

Anyway, I decided to scarf the idea of her post and use my comment for today's entry. The title of her post was "Is There A Difference Between Mommy and Servant" and discusses what children should be doing for themselves and at what age certain things should be expected.

It seems that many moms today tend to do so many things for their children that maybe the kids could be doing on their own. I think this leads to dependence and an incredible sense of privilege for said children.

I have 2 children. Ages 14 and 11. For the last 10 (at least) years, Dear Mother and I have had an ongoing battle. Dear Mother is of the old fashioned sort. She made me a brown bag lunch every day when I was in high school. Accepted my bouncing from living on my own to moving back home during my college years and always taking care of my every need no matter where I happened to be living. And I swear, she continued to do my laundry after I was married. It was like a cleaning delivery service, only free. To this day, even when we "visit", Dear Mother is running about making sure we are OK. "Do you need a drink?" "Are you hungry?" "What can I get/do for you?" As wonderful as this is, for me and my family, it predicated my entering the matrimonial state with nary a clue!

In a partial insanity of wanting my children to be self-sufficient if there should be a worst case scenario catastrophe and a partial (I admit) pure sense of laziness, I have expected A LOT from my children from a very early age. Hence, I think Dear Mother thinks I am a terrible mom.

I have a whole laundry list of terrible mom ways, but the following are a few of the most irksome to Dear Mother:

I have not made my children breakfast or lunch in at least 5 years
They are to wake themselves EVERY morning and will be in big trouble should they miss the bus
They are NOT to wake me, if I should still be sleeping, except to say goodbye (which is mandatory)
I do not pick out outfits, iron clothes or pack backpacks
Plus . . . oh so much more . . . And this has been our way of life for a very long time.

As terrible as this all sounds, I truly believe my children are better off because of all this. My son can make a killer Grilled chicken with caramelized onions over fettucine in a white wine sauce. If he does not win the love of a female with his amazing culinary skills, his ironing perfection will surely do her in. And if all else fails, he will at least be a neat, well-nourished bachelor.

My daughter can whip up an egg sandwich for breakfast, brown bag a lunch, shower, get dressed and pack up her backpack, feed the dog and let her out in a mere 20 minutes. She has it down to a science.

At the end of it all, I get gently roused from slumber to "Bye mom, have a good day, we love you." And there you have it, I sleep through the fighting and the demands. I sleep through the "I wants, I needs, Go gets". So although, I am sure that many moms out there would disagree with me, and are probably appalled by my terrible mom ways, I truly believe that my children are self-sufficient, better off and happier for it. Which definitely makes me better off and happier for it. And you know what they say . . .

A Happy Mama Makes For A Happy Family!


Chris said...

Wow! I love this! I want my kids to be that self-sufficient! I think it's brilliant. :)

Thinkinfyou said...

I think you are doing a wonderful job!You teaching them to be responsible for themselves. Bravo to you!