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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Sometimes Letting Go Means Letting it Be

So, I have these days where I make mad dashes from the computer to my errands or from keyboard to household jobs. Today is one of those days. As I was vacuuming the stairs I was thinking so deeply about parenting (while rocking out to Pink on my iPod) that I just barely missed getting clobbered by the vacuum cleaner as I stretched beyond the limits of the reaches it's hose attachment thingie. With a rush of adrenalin and the need to get these words down, here I sit.

No, my life didn't pass before my eyes, but I did think that at Parent Night tonight I could have had a black eye or that I could very soon be in the market for a new vacuum cleaner!

Anyway, as I was cleaning the carpets, I was thinking about how sometimes, we as moms don't allow our spouses or partners to just parent in their own way. I'm guilty of this. I know how Young One likes his eggs, Dad just couldn't possibly do it the same way. Dad can't possibly match clothes. (well, this is most certainly true in our home, but they're just clothes.) What message does this send our kids? Not only does it teach them to be inflexible, it also creates an environment where you, as mom, are the be all end all. The, "here, just let me do that" takes away from your kid more than it helps.

This is something that I've been working on for a long time. Well, since Young One was born, anyway. I'm a bit of a control freak. I'm really good at reading people and knowing what they need or what they're thinking. I can multitask and anticipate needs really well--that's why I was a great nurse. My docs never needed to ask for a thing. Now Hubby isn't this way, but that doesn't mean his methods are inferior. It just means that they're, well, different. And different is sometimes, more than I'd like to admit, better.

So, every day, I'm letting go of more and more of the control. Young One demands it as he's very independent. I honestly can't remember the last time I made him breakfast (except for weekend treats). He usually is really good at picking out his own clothes. He cleans his own room when the clutter gets deep enough on the floor. He needs me more on a different level than he did when he relied on me for physical needs. And he needs his dad to do things for and with him, just because he needs a strong role model who goes about things differently than dear old mom.

Letting go means letting it be. By that, I mean, sometimes you just have to let things slide in the interest of promoting independence or letting a different point of view rub off. That doesn't mean it's going to be easy, but sometimes you just have to remind yourself of what's more important. Is it more important that his clothes match perfectly or is it better to foster that sense of self that he chose them himself? Is it more important that the eggs are soft scrambled just the way he likes them or is it better to discover a new way of eating eggs, like the Daddy Omelets that were so popular in preschool?

We moms aren't the be all end all. It's what we do now that will make them want a relationship with us when their older. If we do everything for them our way all the time, what will they do when we set them free?

I'm so lucky. I get to work at home, and my job is making a Home for my family. I have a spouse who respects the fact that my job insures that he can do his. I don't need to justify my days to him. He doesn't worship the almighty dollar, wanting more, therefore wanting me to get a "real" job. He knows that I already have one. Our partnership isn't always easy. Being a control freak, I'm pretty certain that I make it difficult for him, but I'm working on it. Thankfully, though, we balance each other out. So, appreciating that he lets me be, makes me want to let him be and that sometimes means, letting go.

Tonight is Parent Night at school and I'll get to see all kinds of parents, some new and some that I've known for years. Most of us are kindred spirits, but there just might be more from that mom who at Meet Your Teacher Night just had to get in there and micromanage her kid's school experience (God help him and our teacher!). Let it go, sweetie!

I wrote this a couple of weeks ago and just now scheduled it to be published. As I'm setting it up, what comes across my computer screen, but this quote:

"The worst thing you can do for the ones you love are the things they could and should do for themselves." John Wooden

Well said.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there,
    thanks for your comment the other day. I'm so glad you did because now I get to see your BLOG!!
    I totally agree with everything you said. It is hard to let someone else "do it" and not just do it ourselves. I have a hard time when my kids pick out things to wear that don't match. IT MAKES ME CRAZY!! My husband doesn't understand why this bothers me and really I don't know either.

    Like you I also have a spouse that supports me staying home, he has never wanted it any other way. And now that all my children are in school full time I can focus on what I want to be when I grow up :):)
    I haven't quite figured that one out yet but I'm working on it!!


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