Hopefully, I’m equitable if nothing else – ready to point out my challenges as well as the kids’. This week has provided ample opportunity for me to showcase my skills as a slacker, flake, & enabler.

We’ve actually eaten out every night this week. All my fault. In fact, truth be told, I’ve only been to the grocery store for milk and frozen waffles over the last several days. Thanks goodness I made a Sam’s trip late last week. We’ve at least had fresh fruit (the blueberries as so good right now).

Monday 6:30
Leaving soccer practice with Slow Walker, I call Coach Dad who is bringing home the 2 girls from volleyball.
“Honey, I’ll meet you at Chick-Fil-A.” I say, thinking I’m on the sly.
“What?!!”, response from my back-seat.
“Oh, we’re going to eat dinner out …”
“But it’s MYYYYYYYYY NIGHT. I wanted to make blah, blah-blah.” (I can’t remember what he said. His whines hit right on the most aggravating tone of my bum ear … so I tend to block it out. Oh, well. A name change to Drama King might be in order if he keeps it up!)

Tuesday 6:30
Walking in the door with bags from crowd-pleasing Boston Market…
“What’s this??!!” hands turned up, shoulders shrugged, our indignant cook for the evening standing in front of her pot of water waiting to start the famous pasta extravaganza questioned me.
“Oh, honey … we just finished your sister’s volleyball game… and …. well, I’m sorry. I thought it would be easier.”
Pause …………….. “All right. But next week, I’m cooking! You did this to me last week, too.” (I did. )

Wednesday 6:00
Sister Save-a-lot, “Mom, how much money do I have in my account? I really want to buy CPK for everyone.”
CPK. One of the most expensive eat-out options we have in our repertoire.
“Are you sure? It’s crazy expensive.” … does she know a neighbor friend is joining us?
“I’m sure, Mom. Everyone loves it. I really want to do this.”
Sweet thing. I fight every urge to pay for her, then transfer the cash from her to our account.

Thursday 5:30 (at least there’s time to cook tonight!) on our way home from a volleyball game,
Teen Take-Out phones from home, “Mom … Since you paid for everyone else’s dinner this week, do I really have to cook?”
“Yes. Your brother and sister wanted to cook, and Save-a-lot paid for her splurge.”
“Please, Mom. …. Come, On. How about Jack’s? ….. Pleeeze” he asks as we just happen to be driving by the burger joint.
Ugh. “All right. We’ll be there in a few minutes.” Cheers of delight stereo through the car.

{Okay … so I put money back into Save-A-Lot’s account. The slacking was worth it just to be able to do that. The good thing about eating out too much.. it makes you crave home-cooked meals!}

I’m embarrassed to admit that I was one of those drivers today that would have warranted a judgmental head shake from any of you. I needed to hop on a tele-conference call and thought that calling while driving was a brilliant idea. This way I could participate while knocking out my errand to Teen Take-Out his lunch at school and be back in time to meet a group of ladies coming to my house at noon. (Another indictment of my laziness in the grocery-store run category, battle with enabling and misuse of a mother’s innate skill at multi-tasking.)

I’m driving down a curvy road, reaching behind my seat to hand the baby his milkshake (the perfect silencer), while dialing the number. Bummpp … Bonnkkk … Bummmpp … BEEEEEEEP. Who knew your car beeps at you if you happen to run up on a curb. That’ll make your heart race!

I had to take a few moments to gather myself before participating in the call … thankful it was just a warning. Yikes. Lesson learned!

I’m working on it. But why is it SO much easier just to do things yourself? I’m the absolute worst with the oldest. From taking his lunch, to finding him job opportunities, to organizing his homework for him. I’ve nipped several areas. But it seems the more I stop enabling, the more I realize I’m doing it.


While at the volleyball game last night, I had a delightful conversation with a very wise and insightful grandmother who had come to cheer her granddaughter to victory. The topic of summer plans came up and I told her Teen Take-Out and our oldest daughter would be working (he at least 2 days a week, she something along the baby-sitting line).

She told me work is wonderful for a child’s self esteem (echoing Chuck’s message to us March 3 & 8). She mused how few kids walk that road even though the benefits are great. She then pointed to building self esteem coupled with nourishing their need to know unconditional love as a parent’s critical role in raising their kids.

Unconditional love … a hard thing for a kid to believe. “I love you no matter what you do.” So often, redirecting, correcting even admonishing are taken the wrong way. They think we don’t believe in them, we don’t trust them, we don’t love them. She encouraged perseverance. I guess the key is to keep on keepin’ on … knowing that eventually they will snap out of it and get the message.

Food for thought.

Last admission: I just got home from running Teen Take-Out the poster board that he had forgotten to take to school this morning. He was so genuinely apologetic, it touched my enabling heart. I brought a couple extra for those whose mothers appropriately allowed their child to live with the consequences. Spreading the love …

Thanks for walking the road with me.

Check out this video. Hope it inspires you …

maybe even your child when things just aren’t going their way

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