A typical day with my 9 and 6-year-old often involves me asking them to clean up, them complaining, me yelling and chasing after them while showing them every single thing that they have missed, then finally crying out of frustration because I could have just done it all myself and the day wouldn’t have been wasted. And now, you are probably laughing at my pain because I know you’ve been there too.
Motherhood can feel so overwhelming. You want your kids armed with the lessons they need to be successful adults but at times you wonder if they get it. Will they ever learn to pick up after themselves? Will they just be 40-year-old slobs with a wife that nags them wondering what kind of mother they had? Will they just continue to skate through life only achieving just enough to get them by in life?
I want so much more for them. I want them to spread their wings. I want them to push the boundaries of their capabilities. I want them to live life to its fullest. Do you see that? Do you see all of those ‘I wants’? Sigh.
One of the hardest parts of motherhood is the letting go. It’s acknowledging that they are their own individuals and while it is my job to teach them the tools they need for success, it is ultimately up to them to choose to want that success.
So what does that have to do with chores? Pretty much everything. If I can’t learn to let them choose to succeed now with something as simple as cleaning up, then how can I expect them to know how to choose to succeed in the future when it really counts? Mommy will not always be there. Chasing after them and pointing out all of their ‘mistakes’ while cleaning only tells them that I don’t believe they can do it without me. That is certainly no lesson I want them learning. I don’t want to wake up one day and find my 30-year-old son still living with me.
So, what do I do? The thought of letting them clean without my input is giving me agita as we speak. But, I guess that’s my story and not theirs. Best I can do is tell them what is expected then let go of my expectations. And in that…I believe I may have found my fodder for meditation this week.
How about you? How have you learned to let go with your kids?