This morning, while working on my side-gig as a social-media-manager for beginner bloggers, (contact me!) and showing someone the difference between my Facebook page, and my blogs Facebook page, the time-hop popped up with the teeny tiny baby Priscilla and Juliet. They were one and three and I was as tired as Priscilla looks. I was really just treading water; changing diapers and feeding people that were crying, and feeding me so I didn’t cry.
But this was 4 years ago and everyone in it has more hair. Also, more words. So many more words than I could have ever imagined. So many words y’all. Just so many.
It is July 2017, and my kids are 5 and 7. They go potty by themselves and can even get their own snack when they are so hungry they are crying. They can go get ME a snack when I am so hungry I am crying. But there are times when I simply revert back into mom-with-her-hands-filled-mode. I just move through the paces that have been in my house since our second child was born. But y’all, I am no longer the only one who is capable of helping us get out the door when Christian is teaching summer classes.
I think that sometimes parents get stuck in the mode of whatever they are doing. There is an old family story my mom tells of her being half way done cutting up her own father’s steak before she realized what she was doing. My Grampy didn’t need his meat cut, it was just the mode she was in. I get that. I have been there, I have opened Christian’s food without thinking about it on numerous occasions.
But Y’ALL this is how helicopter parents are made. One moment you are tying the shoes of someone who probably can do it herself and the next moment you are calling your 25 year old’s boss to let her know she isn’t feeling well while you make her a doctor’s appointment for a flu shot. This is not how I want to live my life. In a moment of complete stress last spring I calculated when I was going to be an empty-nester and WOO-HOO 46! I will not be spending those glory years doing laundry for grown-ups I did not marry. I am hoping for a ridiculous amount of European vacations and ordering in dinner more than 4 days a week.
So, as of July 2017 here are the things that I am no longer in charge of. Mom’s role is constantly changing and there are a host of things that I am no longer willing to do.
1. Finding shoes that are not mine. My kids sometimes misplace the shoes that are still on their own feet. I am aware, after picking up my own house, that the leaving your shoes any old place gene is from me. I can’t even keep track of my own shoes, I certainly should not be finding everyones. If you can’t find your own shoes, you can’t go where we are going. Too bad, so sad, and yes I cringe a little when they wear mismatched rain boots instead of the adorable sandals we spent 6 hours picking out at Target. But if you wore them, and you lost them, you find them. I will not be scouring the house, looking under couches, checking behind the toilet for the shoes that you only decided were important when you couldn’t find them. Everyone finds their own shoes.
2. Being the Snack Fairy. I get it. You are hungry. I buy your clothes and your shoes I promise I know you are hungry. I am fine with that. You can eat as much as you want. You have shown me that you are fully capable of opening the pantry and the fridge. You know what the snack foods are. Eat them. If you don’t want to eat the cheese sticks, fresh fruit, granola bars, or crackers you are NOT. THAT. HUNGRY. You know are awesome Title One school feeds you breakfast AND lunch during the school year. I am struggling as it is to feed you three times a day. That just seems like a lot. I certainly cannot do it extra. I have made my provisions. You do you.
3. Refereeing. For the benefit of my own sanity, I can no longer referee your fights. I am so sorry. If your sister is doing something that makes you crazy, walk away. There will be plenty of people in your adult life who will make you nuts, you might as well learn how to work with them or walk away now. When you get promoted for knowing how to deal with impossible team members, you can thank me.
4. Taking Your Turn. I will no longer be taking your turn. So, when it is your turn to get the dog out of the cage, help me set the table, or put away the silverware then you need to do it. Here is the thing about your turn. I know I only have two kids so I should theoretically be able to know whose turn it is, but HEY not my job either. I am doing the best I can, and since my children can’t figure that out without fighting (see rule #3) then I guess we will just have to assume that with only 2 kids and 18 years of guessing it will all wash out in the end. If it doesn’t after that time, you can move out! If I say it is your turn, that means it is your turn. I won’t be doing it anymore.
That’s it. That is what I am not doing. See you in two years when y’all will be walking the dog all by yourself, and also your own laundry. I am looking forward to it. Have fun for now, when I still fold your panties. I promise, when you go to college knowing how to do all of that, you will thank me.