Friends and parenting go hand in hand

My day started out meh and went progressively worse as the hours ticked by.

Note: as I’m typing this it’s not even lunchtime yet. 🙄

I complained to a friend in Germany that my day is shaping up to be a crappy one and she responded that I could choose to look at it that way.

Alternately, I could choose to look at it differently.

She reminded me that I have a choice.

Huh.

For instance, one of the annoyances is that the teen girl often forgets to empty out her lunch bag. What irks me more than her not emptying it out the night prior is that she leaves the containers in the sink for me to look at all day (in the hopes that I’ll wash them.)

Been there, done that. Not anymore.

It’s a simple chore, to empty out her lunch, to wash the thermos and containers, to put them away so that the person who makes her lunch the next day has them readily available.

I don’t actually mind making her a lunch. She’s almost not a child anymore at 13…but she still likes the little surprises I put in her lunch. A special chocolate, a Christmas cookie, fresh berries…

But I refuse to wash up her lunch stuff. You should see how pissed I get when I come home on Sunday from my mom’s place (where I spend the weekend) and see her lunch bag in the hall closet where it’s been since Friday evening!

Argh.

But again, my friend redirected me. She said:

What a wonderful opportunity for her to learn natural consequences!

Right she is.

In fact, I did just that this morning.

I left with my son 20 minutes before my daughter had to leave. (I drive my son because he’s 25 minutes away and because covid bus is not an option.) She walks to school. I left her in charge of her own lunch.

When I returned, I saw that she must have taken her lunch bag because all of her containers from yesterday’s lunch were chucked in the sink. (For me to wash? I think not.)

I placed them in a bowl and left the bowl on her spot at the dining table.

You may choose to see this as a passive aggressive method of parenting. Go ahead. Judge me all you want. But do it silently or on your own blog.

Incidentally, my friend in Germany, who has 6 kids, dumps the kid’s dirty dishes or dirty laundry on said kid’s bed and shuts the door. It didn’t take them long to figure out that mom put her foot down.

So.

That was one of 3 things that happened this morning that had me somewhat derailed. It’s just such an endless slog. We’ve been through this exact issue countless times, and it looks like she’s just beginning another one of her ‘I forgot’ phases.

Sigh.

Now that I’ve emptied my head into my laptop (and WordPress) I can take a breath, and get on with my own life.

You know what I really need to do?

I need to go up in the attic and take down Christmas decorations, lights, and a tree stand.

Not sure if I’m really into it this year. But maybe it’ll add some joy to this place for a little while, the decorations, and especially the lights. These days, it starts to get dark around 4 pm and some soft Christmas lights might improve the ambiance in time for evenings.

Hello Tuesday. You’re on notice.


49 thoughts on “Friends and parenting go hand in hand

  1. I feel your pain! I get so annoyed having to repeat the same things to my teens constantly. It’s hard for me to maintain a passive-aggressive consequence structure since their crap gets in the way of others. While I love them deeply, I can’t wait for them to go move out on handle their own messes without me having to witness it.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post. I like the idea of choice. Not only for you but for her too. Either clean it or find an alternative. I hope she’s doing her own laundry too. 13 is a great age to learn all these tasks. Oh and don’t forget to introduce her to a toilet brush. Keep writing.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol!! Hey… it’s been almost a week (?) since I’ve “harassed” you.. you’re overdue. But there’s hope! You can always tell me to go away and I’ll go! I’m annoying but pretty obedient.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Kids will always push the boundaries won’t they. So I suppose it’s our job to follow through with natural consequences so they learn the boundary is real and that they can believe we will tell the truth. It isn’t fun and they won’t always like it but it’s the only way. A pushover parent is of no value to a child. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I can tell you this much. They grow up fast. You won’t be having this struggle much longer because one day she’ll wake up and decide to do it all on her own. You may even miss those dirty containers piled up in the sink. Maybe she’s giving you the chance to be in the moment with her as she grows.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So much of how we live our lives us attitude. Focus on what’s wrong and everything will be. I love to bitch as much as the next person, but I usually do it with humor and realize how blessed I am.
    😊

    Liked by 4 people

  6. YES! Modern kids are too sheltered. This is a wonderful step towards personal responsibility for her, and enhanced freedom for you. If you wanted permanent dependence, you’d have raised a pet. (Oops, you’re doing that, too.)

    Liked by 2 people

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