Family, Kids

I’m an enabler.

“Mom! I’m thirsty.  I want some water.” (said standing next to a water bottle).

“I want to go outside, where’s my hoodie?” (said standing next to his jacket hook).

“Have you seen my (insert item here)?” (said usually standing next to said item).

I can’t remember the last dinner we had that didn’t feel like a squat workout.  I wipe more bums than I care to admit.  I’m pretty sure my fitness is due in large part to the fact that we have so many stairs in our house because I am up and down like a yo-yo, retrieving items for kids, or just plain retrieving kids.

But something snapped in me yesterday on the long drive home, as I leaned into the back seat to fix something or give someone something.  I barked “That’s IT!  No more!”

I now have a new goal: no more enabling. How can 3 sometimes fiercely independent little people be so helpless?

Actually, helpless is the wrong word.  So is needy.  I think the actual word is lazy.  And the fact is that I don’t think that they mean to be lazy.  I have just enabled them to be so.  Sometimes, it’s easier on me to do everything for them – it’s faster, things get done my way, my patience gets less of a workout.  So you see?  I’ve taught my kids that if they ask me to do something for them, I’ll usually do it, thanks in large part to my control-freak tendencies and need to get things done quickly.  Voila!  I have created kids who expect me to do everything for them.

So now, I want to teach my kids to take care of themselves, teach them when to ask for help when they really need it and teach them to better help each other.

I think that’s a loftier goal than trying to qualify for the 70.3 world championships.  Training starts today.


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