I know, I know. How can you be a slacker?
Aren’t you the mom who got her child to annual check-ups every year (that one year that you forgot does not count) and helped her with her homework (except math after 4th grade), celebrated with her when she made the tennis team (and then spent every weekend in the hot sun cheering her on) and comforted her when the boy she asked to prom, said no? (Nice job resisting the urge to walk over there and give that boy a piece of your mind!)
In addition to being “Ms. Fix It”, “Ms. Do It Yourself,” “Mother Knows Best,” and at times, “Mommie Dearest,” you have kept the life of another Human Being organized and humming along for 18 years. And you may have been doing this for more than one Human Being at a time!
Years of filling out school forms and attending teacher conferences, waking up in the middle of the night for scary dreams and staying up at night to wait for children who are out too late, has prepared you for your next assignment.
Drum Roll Please! Should you choose to accept it, your next assignment is “Slacker.”
When I say “Slacker,” I am not talking about your personal and professional commitments. Sorry, this isn’t an opportunity to FINALLY put your feet up, eat a quart of Ben & Jerry’s and watch your favorite TV all day – although, now that I think about it – you do deserve a treat, so go ahead.
When I say “Slacker,” I am talking about letting your child make some mistakes.
I know that you have been doing this in “controlled experiments,” under your watchful eye. But now that your child is at college, it may be time to loosen the reins even more and maybe let go of some stress at the same time.
I have to admit that as I write these words, I feel a knot in the pit of my stomach too. I wince at my computer screen questioning this article and my own commitment to let my college aged children make (gulp) mistakes? But at the same time, I know they must.
Why do we have such a hard time with this? Could it be that we remember our own stupid mistakes and wonder how we ever survived? Perhaps we have read too much about the development of the teenage brain. Whatever the reason, there is an opportunity here, if we can muster the courage.
Here’s to bravery! Go Slacker- Mom Go!
Potential Coach Me Quick Slacker-Mom activities for your enjoyment:
1. Don’t ask what your child is eating at college. It’s not a balanced diet and it’s not going to be.
Do take the time that may have been spent worrying about this to make a great dinner for yourself!
2. Don’t ask when your child is going to sleep each night. It’s too late and yes, they may be too tired to study the next day and may in fact, fall asleep in class.
Do take the time to put yourself down for a nap.
3. Don’t ask what their grades are. If they are terrible, you will find out sooner or later.
Do give yourself an “A” for successfully parenting a terrific child.
4. Don’t initiate communication with them by text or phone.
Do respond with love and support when they reach out to you.
5. Don’t let them know how much you miss them.
Do send occasional care packages that let them know how much you love them.
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