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I’m certainly not an over achieving mom. My kids think breakfast is a special meal reserved for weekends and holidays. Much to my daughters’ unhappiness I don’t pack lunches. They can do it and I will always mess this up. It’s an area that’s wide open for me to take the blame for a bad day. ” the whole day went badly and everyone in my class got gummies in their lunch boxes and I didn’t, EVERYONE ALWAYS gets soup in their lunch and I only get a cold sandwich. Why are you ruining my life?!”  Yeah well, I’m still ruining at least one of their lives by not packing their lunch. But I’m ok with that. And everyone takes part in their chores and my new rule is: if you don’t like it that’s fine, but don’t like it silently. And the consequence for not liking it out loud? More chores.  It’s pretty effective and I have to listen to a lot less sighing or I have a cleaner car. 
But there is still this gnawing guilt for not doing more. Mind you its not gnawing enough to motivate me to change, its just smoldering annoyance. And i dont need that because that feeling creates this need for me to try to defend what is in my heart. So when my kid says “Im the only kid in the ENTIRE school who has to put away my own clothes” i feel like ive got to respond with any number of stories from “when I was your age” to “do you know there are starving kids in Africa who would love to have clothes (plural) to put away not to mention all the kids right here in our very own city”. It’s completely ineffective and I’m completely frustrated that my kids think of me as an ogre. 
It goes back to the story of needing to get picked for the kickball team. Why? That’s not who I am, I shouldn’t need to be considered a star kick ball player. I wish i did not feel like i need to justify why we do the things we do. Chores are after all part of being part of the team and much cheaper than if I charged for their portion of rent or food. See still justifying.  
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4 responses »

  1. Send them my way when they complain! They can commiserate with my children who also pack their own lunches, put away their own clothes, put clean sheets on their beds and all manner of indignities. To top it off, I make them make the pancakes on the weekend – from scratch! I think it makes them more self reliant while saving my sanity all at the same time.

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  2. Remember…your primary job as a parent is to work yourself out of a job. Self reliance is developed by ” on- the- job training.”

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  3. You forgot walk, feed, and clean up after the dog, empty and fill the dishwasher. set and clear the table. And if you didn’t, maybe they’ll feel lucky not to be my kids. I do make them breakfast, though. I loves me some breakfast, and they whine too much if I eat my eggs in front of them without giving them any.

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