I’ll be the first to admit, I am OCD about things like household chores. When my kids say they want to help, I grit my teeth and say sure. Usually, in the middle of the “help”, I lose my cool and use the “let me do it” line. I hear myself say those words (usually out of silent frustration or impatience) and watch the spirit slowly fly out of my children. Then comes the infamous mom guilt.
Whether it’s the kiddos helping me load the dishwasher, fold the laudry, pull the weeds, or whatever task they have chosen to help with, the type-A power trip to make sure the task is done correctly rears it’s ugly head. I’ll intervene and take over leaving them wondering what they did wrong when in reality, they did nothing wrong at all! I have to teach myself to let these kids do whatever the thing is they want to do themselves.
Like I said, I am severely OCD about the way things are done in my house. I want order, cleanliness, and consistency. At what expense though? Certainly not crushing spirits! I have to learn to let my kids be and show some independence. Both my girls strive to do things themselves, but *enter mom*. My 2-year-old is crazy independent but she moves so S..L..O..W. Like she will do the thing, but she will take 25 minutes to do whatever the thing is. I’m dying inside. I’m training myself to just let her be, but my gosh sometimes it is so painful! Please tell me I’m not alone or insane mommas!
Anyways, I am learning that I can’t always be there hovering and doing everything for them. This doesn’t just pertain to household items, it also applies to other areas of their lives. I certainly don’t want to set them up for failure so I know I have to let them do things themselves. As mothers, we just want the best for our kids. Giving them the opportunity to succeed and fail is what is best, but it is just a hard pill to swallow when you crave consistency. Realistically though, life doesn’t allow for perfection all the time…. so get over it. Am I right?
Here is what I have learned while allowing my children some independence:
- Kids have the ability to learn real independence when a parent isn’t constantly hovering.
- They are able to build up their spirits and feel like they are contributing to the household.
- Kids are held accountable for their chores and actions.
- It shows that I trust their decisions which is setting us up for trust in the future.
- Failure teaches them lessons and makes them stronger.
- Coddling them does not do them any favors and makes them unteachable.
There are still many things I will do for them because they are young. But, at a certain age, they are totally capable of handling things themselves. I’m sorry, but I don’t need to be picking up their dirty laundry and separating it, nor do I need to be picking up dirty dishes. Do I really need to be cleaning toys, rooms or bathrooms? Not really.
Sorry kids, the free maid services is done!
Maybe I just had a nice little wake-up call for myself!
What are you learning as you are letting go?