Good morning! Well, truthfully it has not been a good morning. It’s been a mom morning. You know the kind where there doesn’t seem to be enough coffee in the house. Oh wait, and the ‘out of creamer’ kind of morning. The kind of morning where not one child is dressed appropriately for school. The kind of morning where, of course, no one followed through with that rule in our house of having decent clothes laid out the night before. The kind of morning where you say Jesus’ name more than once, and you aren’t sure if it was in the heart of desperation or anger (Yes, honey, I promise I repented!!). We are honest in this right? So in this kind of morning, my heart yearns for mom companionship. The non-judgemental mom friends. Not the ones who have gotten up at 4 am to cook breakfast for the entire family, those kind of friends are the ones I need on other days. But today, I just need to reach out to those of you who struggle like me on certain mornings. And yes, even you high achievers have these mornings if you are honest! I feel as though it is time for honesty as parents. So here is where I’m at and where I want to go. I want to go through the adventure of seriously turning chaos into order by thinking long term about this parenting thing and I want to stop beating myself up for expecting my kids to be kids, yet hold them accountable.
From the counseling standpoint, I encourage parents that children need to know expectations and boundaries, and these need to be verbalized repeatedly. They need to know that they are protected, yet allowed to roam freely within those walls of protection. Children are amazing at solving their own problems, if we encourage this. However, when we do so much for our children they lose this creativity. When parents create order based on perfection and do things for their children so it is a quick fix, the children lose out. I admit, I do this. I lay their clothes out some nights because I want to skip the fight of my 11 year old trying to skimp on dress code. In this, she loses and I lose, too. She loses the chance to learn responsibility of an expected task. She loses getting to see me be thankful for her following through with what I’ve asked.
I lose conversation time of being able to teach her what is and what is not appropriate (have you guys seen how short clothes are now?!)…these are life lessons, parents! We wonder why young adults struggle with dressing appropriately for interviews and jobs. Well wonder no more, and step up to the parenting game with me. I know it seems a small step, but for the love of a future generation who will be taking care of us……let’s let our kids make mistakes. Let’s let them create freedom in boundaries. Let’s join together and not judge each other as ‘non-perfect’ parents…and turn our homes from chaos into order. Together. It takes all of us, and I promise if we all join in, they can’t gang up against us right? Power in numbers!
Mindi Amberson is a school counselor at Wellborn Elementary and an Independent Contractor with Garrett Counseling. Mindi was awarded ALCA Elementary School Counselor of the Year in 2016.