Sink or Swim :: Raising Independent Human Beings

Sink or Swim :: Raising Independent Human BeingsI’m not sure if it’s because my oldest in about to begin his last year of High School and last year at home or if I’m just having one of those “mom moments.” As I clean my house , I realize that I’ve been doing quite a good job at this task since I was a teenager. My mom and dad had my brother and I doing chores (dusting, vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, cooking, mowing,etc) since we could walk! Well, maybe not that early, but it sure seemed like it. As a kid I hated chores, but when I went off to college, it was a “no-brainer” to clean my dorm room, organize things and do my laundry. Cooking was easy, too… but who can’t cook boxed mac and cheese by age 18?

I’ve been a stay-at-home mom since 2001 when my second child was born.

I’ve dabbled with working part-time the past 3 years, but am now back at the full time mom gig. I LOVE IT! However, I think being at home and being able to do all the house hold chores has sort of backfired on me raising independent children. I have always cleaned their rooms, done their laundry, cooked for them, etc. This was my “job”, and I was proud to do it. I loved how it kept me busy, too, because I am not one who sits down often.

As they’ve gotten older, I’ve given them chores and taught them how to clean, cook (some things) and do laundry. My kids are now 17, 15, 13 and 8 and they do a pretty good job of doing their chores, but I still worry. Will they be able to do all those things when I’m not around? Will their clothes shrink or turn colors when not properly separated? Will they even remember to do their laundry (the boys concern me more than the girls). Will they know which cleaners to buy? Will they cook healthy things? Will their grades fail in school because they are stressed about getting “chores” done?

However, there are days where I just say, “They will sink or swim!”

Isn’t that what we all do? We have all had to learn things the hard way. Our white clothes turned pink because we forgot a red sock was in the load. We’ve burned countless recipes ( I still do!). We’ve worn dirty clothes or no underwear because we just didn’t get the laundry done. Frozen pizza for dinner, again….great!

I guess only time will tell if my husband and I have raised independent human beings or not. Until we see if our kids “sink or swim,” we just have to work hard to teach them, encourage them and even force them to do things that will make them independent. One of the “joys” of parenthood will be to see our kids grow into those “independent human beings” we all try to be! Until then, there will be some tears, ruined laundry, burned food and tons of memories made!

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