Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Guilty Of Smotherhood!

Cooking spaghetti. Photo by Eloquence.Image via Wikipedia

When my daughters were born, my maternal instincts snapped into overdrive. As I lay in my hospital bed (on two separate occasions) cradling my newborns who were feeding from my breast for the first time, I swore with all my heart and soul that I would love, protect and care for these precious darlings for the rest of my days.

What WAS I thinking?

There comes a time in every mother’s life, around your first-born’s teen years (not coincidentally), when you suddenly realize you have to stop being such a good mother. As much as you think it’s important to their survival to continue to cook and clean and think for them, you’re really doing these emerging young adults a huge disservice. Somewhere along the way, your babies have to learn to take care of themselves. Fetch their own worms.

Up until recently, I’ve done MOST everything for my teen. (She does her own laundry as of three months ago!) Out of love, yes. But mostly because that’s what good mothers are supposed to do … aren’t we? Now she doesn’t even know how to iron, shame on me.

So I have to play a fast game of catchup. Below, I’ve compiled a list of tasks my teen needs to master in the 36 months I have left with her, before she strikes out into the world on her own; basic skills necessary for her survival out there in a world without mom.

I need to teach my teen how to:

* Iron
* Thread a needle and sew a button
* Cook! We’ll start with the basics – spaghetti
* Clean toilets (it's about time!)
* Plan a meal
* Then grocery-shop
* Moisturize after washing her face
* Balance a checkbook
* Pay bills online
* Bake a cake
* Mop a floor (which could result from the aforementioned task)
* Check the oil level in the car (but not her car. She doesn't have one, nor will she ever!)
* Send thank-you notes
* Compute the gratuity on a restaurant tab (and maybe even pay it??)

What did I miss?? Does anyone want to add anything to the list?

1 comment:

kathleen said...

I would emphasize teaching your child to clean. I was raised with a mother that was compulsively clean. She did (and still does) carry a bottle of Clorox with her on all major overnight trips. This obsessive upbringing came in handy when I started college. I was the ONLY person who ever cleaned. All four years, all eight roommates and I was the only one. What does that say about Generation Y? They are all a bunch of primma donnas that were raised with maids. Or their mothers always cleaned up after them. So teach your teen to clean. Her future obsessive clean roommate will thank-you.