I'm a pretty balanced mother. I try not to spoil my kids rotten and I also try to encourage independence because I understand that I am raising future adults, not eternal children. My kids do their own laundry, make their own lunches, and are generally pretty self sufficient. I see myself as sort of a coach, here to give them pointers on where they could improve while not getting into the game and taking over unless absolutely necessary.
There are a few things that I honestly enjoy and believe are part of being a responsible mother and one of those is food. I generally make a meal plan and grocery shop for said plan every single Saturday. Especially if I am going to be out of town. Then last week happened. I became sick quite suddenly on Thursday afternoon. This was a huge problem because I knew I was planning to leave town on business just 4 days later, on Monday. That meant that Friday and Saturday should be my big preparation days to make sure that everything was in perfect order in my absence. I should have been meal planning, grocery shopping, making sure car pools were in place, and making my once monthly trip to Costco since we were out of basically everything. But none of it happened. Instead, I laid in bed for three whole days, unable to do anything. Then, Sunday night, my mind began to wake up.
I started panicking as I realized that literally nothing had been prepared. Not. One. Thing. I had visions of the children ordering up pizza for every meal, or maybe loading up on Pop-Tarts and gatorade at the neighborhood convenience store. What if they didn't do their laundry and they went to school with dirty underwear? What if they skipped school all together and watched TV all day? My mind was in such a frenzy that I almost didn't go. I convinced myself that it would be totally irresponsible to leave things in such a state of chaos. What if the neighbors called CPS on me? What if my kids grew up scarred by the experience of being abandoned? It was my husband who brought be back to reality. He reminded me that they are actually all teenagers and that even if they do order pizza a few times, it will be okay. It will be their chance to make their own decisions about how they will live, since they will all be on their own soon enough anyway.
So I went. I go on that plane and I enjoyed 4 amazing days of growth and insight. I was totally lit up by what I learned. I came home on cloud 9 and shared my passion with each of those kiddos. It turns out things went just fine in my absence. Sure, there was a little drama. Yes, there was ice cream consumed. No, they did not eat the vegetables I left. But they did okay. They learned about team work and compromise and cleaning up messes they didn't make. They have a new appreciation for my usual food preparation efforts. They know that when I put my own growth and development first, it always works out well for them. I challenge you this week to relax just a little bit. Its okay if things with your family don't go as smoothly as planned. Just trust that everything in life will work out to be for your very best learning and growth. I promise, it will.