The above image is a picture I took a few weeks back when the weather was just nice enough for a morning walk. Its since been snowy and rainy but I’m hoping for warmer weather this weekend.
As for my blog topic, “learning to let your kids do more”, I wish I could say this came easy for me. That I could just casually stand back and let my kids take the reigns in some of the daily tasks that need to get done around our home. But its something that has to take place for their own personal development. It wasn’t easy for me until I was forced into making that change and its still not easy for me knowing that the task I’ve given them to do, probably won’t be done to my satisfaction…but I have to let go and kindly give direction in a gentle way that doesn’t make them feel like a failure.
About a month ago I was preparing myself for a solo trip to California to see my “foster parents”. It’s easier calling them that than explaining the whole story behind it. Basically, they were my family for the last year and a half of high school and I will forever be grateful for that. Anyway, I was looking forward to the visit, but also nervous about leaving the kids. Not that my husband can’t handle dad-hood, but a large portion of my time as a mom is making sure things run smoothly at home so he can focus on the important things.
Anyway, I was a little worried that he’d have trouble keeping up with packing school lunches and making sure the kids got their library books in their backpacks, that they’d get to school on time and that JJ took his pill. But in hindsight, I shouldn’t have worried at all. The morning school rush has always been my territory so I couldn’t picture it any other way.
That morning the shuttle to the airport picked me up on my front steps and took me down to DIA. I was kid free for a week! It was going to be great! I honestly didn’t worry too much about the kids. I knew they would be fine. They’d be a little hyped up eating pancakes for dinner and playing a little too many video games, but time with Dad was just what they needed. I’m the rule maker most of the time and the person that makes kids move magnets on chore charts. Dad doesn’t make them move magnets on chore charts.
My time in California was a learning experience in a number of ways. It first gave me the opportunity to visit with Mel and Rich one on one. I can’t remember the last time we did that. Probably over 13 years ago. Second, it was an opportunity to launch the home-based business I had been thinking about doing for about six months. See I’ve started a Virtual Assistant business where I will be helping clients set up their websites, design their graphics and other visual content, along with any other things I can assist small businesses or individuals with. Mel and Rich, being as kind as they are, decided to fly me out to CA to see if I could help their small church with their visual content needs that would consist of editing church videos for online publication, creating church fliers, ministry cards and any other visual content needed. I am excited about this because it will help me become better at what I do.
I learned quickly during my time there that I had to up my game and really really pay attention to detail. I’m hoping I will get better at this with practice. That I’ll have it down to a science and I’ll be able to take on a few more clients as I design my virtual assistant business website over the next few months. How does this relate to my blog title? Well letting the reigns go so my kids can take over some of the things they need to do, like pack school lunches, or do the evening dishes and take out the recycling has taught me that if I don’t push them to be more independent, I am not only holding them back, but I’m adding more to my own to do list where other members in the family can take up the slack a little.
It might sound easy to let go of the reigns for many, but it just became second nature to pour the milk, to spread butter over the toast, to put things away in the kitchen that I never once thought my children could be doing this all on their own. Now that they are, I think they enjoy their newfound independence, not waiting for mom to get them a snack or make them breakfast. They get up in the morning and do it all themselves. I walk out of my room and make my own coffee and I get to sip it first before someone asks me for something. It’s definitely a welcome change in our home. I make the dinners, the boys clean up after the dinners and pack their school lunches and I get to catch up with emails or design something or spend time with my husband.
Speaking of spending time with people! We are excited to take the camper out this weekend! Now I’m hoping the weather will cooperate. We are going to Jackson Lake and I’m really happy to sit around a campfire, away from a computer, enjoy some smores and drink something fun! I’m looking forward to a few morning walks by the lake! (That, we will be doing a lot of this summer!)
This was a picture I took of Scott. Sometimes he where’s this hat. He calls it his Indiana Jones hat and I think he looks really good wearing it, don’t you?
What are your weekend plans? Is the weather warm where you are?
Do you also find it hard to let go of the reigns and let your kids take on more responsibilities even if it means you have to deal with sloppy attempts? What are some of your strategies for handling those situations?
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