Failingby Lindsay Gallagher on 03/27/2012
Sorry guys, I have no choice, the time has come for me to let you fail.
I’m talking to my kids, of course, the ones who forget their lunches and homework assignments, lose their sweatshirts and inhalers and shorts. Since both schools and all their activities are relatively nearby, I have always been able to swoop in and rescue them from hunger or embarrassment, bringing that lunch box that was left on the counter, that PE shirt that was still in the drawer. I’ve brought homework packets that were finished in a rush at the breakfast table, only to be abandoned next to a half eaten plate of eggs; I’ve purchased new ballet slippers when the old one were not in the ballet bag. I’m the worst! So I am going to reform. Or at least try. I have been working on other things and not writing this blog. I don’t have time to write entire essays on my sucky parenting skills, so I thought I would pin-point my biggest shortcoming. My kids are young enough to survive a bad grade, hardy enough to go without one meal (and friendly enough to score an otherwise unwanted apple from a pal). If the punishment for no PE shirt is 10 laps or a 100 push ups, then so be it. If Tess has to miss recess to finish her reading log, that’s one less 1/2 hour of beliebing for her. If Ronan forgets his swim cap at a meet, I guess he’ll just have to swim with extra drag on his head, even if it costs him a new personal best.
Just writing this gives me the chills. I am as doubtful of my resolve as I am certain that it will be put to the test. Maybe if I check in here, I will stick to it. I will get the support I need to stop over-supporting my kids.
Yesterday, I told Ronan that it was bad parenting: reminding him, prodding him and helping him the way I do.
“At some point, I’m not going to be able to help you. I’m going to have to let you fail,” I said.
“But you would never do that to me,” he said.
Sorry buddy, but it’s for your own good. It’s true, that in the end, he may be right, I may be too weak, so for the next few weeks or months or however long I can stand it, I will try to blog about this. Please share your super-mom stories, the times that you’ve flown in to save the day. Or the real super-mom stories, when you let your kids learn from their mistakes.
Ronan left his favorite sweatshirt on the floor and the puppy chewed a hole in it. If I had not told him 100 times to pick up his stuff, had not warned him that the puppy eats things, this would not be as big of a dilemma. He even helped pay for this sweatshirt with his allowance. Now I can’t get him a new one, even though I really really want to. Ugh!
PS: I found my ring! It was in the bins in the kitchen where we keep the sports gear. I offered $20 to each child if either one of them found it, but they weren’t motivated to look for more than a minute or two. It took me 3 weeks to get to that bin, but it was there all along. I am wearing the engagement ring on the inside from now on. ;-)