My home has been recently experiencing some significant changes. Changes that are wonderful to see but that really represent what is to come. You see, my children are growing more and more independent and while it is what I hope for from them, the results of that independence means that I am no longer as needed by my children.
This past summer, my children began picking their own clothes each day. They are now able to get up and get themselves together each morning without my having to provide much guidance and/or direction. Sure this means that they are becoming more independent and that’s a good thing. It also means that I get to sleep a little longer each morning and I should be grateful for that but it hurts not being needed.
As school started we also started allowing them to fix themselves their own cereal in the morning. Each night, before going to bed, we set their bowls and spoons on the island but they are now able to get up, get dressed, go downstairs and fix their own breakfast all on their own. They have even learned and remember to take their vitamins each morning. This is great news. I get to sleep later but it really is the beginning of the end. My kids don’t need me as much as before.
Unofficially, my kids have chores. They are responsible for letting the dog out to use the bathroom and they are also responsible for picking up his poop from the back yard. To most, that is great news. I mean who wants to have to pick up poop. I like that they are able to do it and to help out. It gives me more time to focus on other things…but it also means they don’t need me to do it…and well, is that really what I am after?
Yes, we still have a sitter/nanny and she helps keep the larger items in the house together but the kids also have special chores like dusting, that are just for them to do. Before, dusting was something to keep them busy. To allow them to feel like they were helping out but they are getting so good at it. So much so that I needn’t go behind them and re-do it. This is great news right? Again, I get to sleep just a little longer or I get to watch the news uninterrupted (I am a news junkie) or I get to focus on some other chore but again, it illustrates how my children are growing and they don’t need me to guide and/or instruct them on as much as I used to.
My children also are finding their time watching TV and/or playing on their tablets more enjoyable than sitting, leaning on and talking to me. Sure I still restrict the amount of time they have with those things but previously, I was the center of their world. They are developing interests and things they would prefer to do such that they find not being able to watch cartoons and/or play on their tablet in order to sit with me painful! When did I become painful. I have become a cross to bear until they can go back to doing other, more enjoyable things.
Shouldn’t I be happy about this? My sister Maylyn would probably say its about time. That I have babied them for far too long and they need to be more independent (I can hear her asking me what is the problem)…but I liked being needed. I liked having to do things for them. I liked them waking me at 6am on the weekends with their morning breath whispering “Daddy, I’m hungry?” I liked being able to sit on the sofa with one on each side of me talking about their day and/or any other silly things. I liked being their source of entertainment.
So now I can sleep in just a little longer and my mornings are not as hectic as they used to be. Now I get time to do whatever I want to do instead of doing what I need to do for them…and well, its strange. I feel more me-focused and I guess I didn’t realize it would begin to happen this early. What’s the next couple of years going to be like. When will I officially become useless, uninformed and unintelligent to them?
Oh and BTW, their feet are growing like weeds!