When to Let Go

let go

Last week was the week of revelations for me.

Apparently, when it comes to getting the kids ready for school in the morning, I am the only one getting up, fixing a hot breakfast, and packing lunches. I am giving up precious sleep when my little birds could be getting their own worms.

Who knew?

I never gave much thought to what I should be doing (or not doing) for the boys. We have slowly transitioned from some things. I don't:

  • comb their hair (but, oh it kills me not to fix it the way I want)
  • brush their teeth (again. yikes.)
  • make sure everything is in their backpack/notebooks
  • lay their clothes out (okay, we have a dress code, but still...)
  • take them to the bus stop/pick up from the bus stop
  • hound them about homework and check every paper (well...maybe I do this one a little)
After an informal survey in my online mom's group, I asked how they handle school mornings. While I waited for responses, I worried that in my attempt to make them independent and (eventually) self-sufficient men I was actually make them dependent. On a woman. 

This can not happen. 

It's not that I haven't taught them anything. Just this summer, I did teach them how to properly sort clothes and how to start the washer. They can also:
  • make themselves something to eat (e.g., cereal, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, anything microwavable, lunch meat sandwich)
  • get themselves up (if they set the alarm, that is) 
Jeez. Now that I look at it written down, I am not sure why I am still making breakfasts and packing lunches. I know by the time I was their age, it was my responsibility to get up and get myself to school. 

I asked Nicholas what he thought about my getting up with them. His words were, "I like it. It's not that I couldn't do it. But you make eggs. I can't make eggs. I'd just mess them up." 

He was totally sincere, too. A rarity for the hormonal ,unpredictable, pubescent tween.  

The verdict from the mom's group was split. Some still do it all while some just oversee. So while clearly the boys are attached to the umbilical cord like my husband would like to claim 99.98% of the time, it's not like I have totally messed up. 


1 comment:

Lori Helms said...

I'd be willing to bet that they are (as far as teen/tween/pre-teen boys CAN be) fairly well-adjusted, intelligent, and independent kids. If you are really feeling guilty about doing "too much" for them, I'd also be willing to bet that you'd feel equally guilty if you stopped all of a sudden. Maybe you could start having them get themselves up and get their own breakfast one or two days a week; same with fixing and packing their own lunches. I think my son was in middle school when I did that with him. I'd still do a hot breakfast now and then, but quite often he'd have to do his own. My daughter is home schooled and 15, so most of the time she does her own breakfast, but if I'm fixing a hot breakfast for myself, I'll do hers too, of course. Both my kids are pretty self-sufficient in the kitchen, but it does take time, and I was probably more careful than I had to be about turning them loose in there.


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