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Growing Up: It’s a Process

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Written by Amy Dingmann of The Hmmm…schooling Mom.

I’m glad my kids are growing up. Parenting children who are getting older and gaining independence has its perks.

For instance, I have nothing to do with bath time anymore, which gives me at least a half hour of free time I didn’t have when my sons were little. The only thing I have to worry about now is making sure there is manly smelling shampoo and body wash for them to use.

Oh. And when they’re done I have to remind them to pick their clothes up off the bathroom floor.

“Please pick your clothes up off the bathroom floor.”

I mean, these kids are teens. They should understand how this works.

“Please. Pick your clothes up off the bathroom floor.”

Seriously. It’s not that hard.

“Pleasepickyourclothesupoffthebathroomfloor.”

And then one day after showering, one of my sons did! Sweet Jesus! He remembered! He actually picked his clothes up off the bathroom floor and brought them to the laundry room!

…and laid them on top of the closed washer.

Sigh.

Son. You write music. You have built your own computer. You can cook a decent meal from scratch. Please tell me that you do understand you have to open the washer and put the clothes inside (preferably, with soap) because a hose is not going to magically snake its way out of the washer to rinse the teen boy funk from what you’ve been wearing.

So many sighs. So many deep, heavy sighs.

Growing up. It’s a process.

Hear me now, mamas of kids who are getting older: growing up is a process.

But here’s the thing.

Maybe in some way, we’re all still in the process of growing up. Because the fact that my sons cannot get the laundry in the machine is no different than the fact I sometimes can’t remember to take the laundry out of the machine before it starts to smell musty. Or that if I do get it into the dryer, there is a good chance it’s going to be cold and wrinkled before I think about it again.

Let’s face it. The only reason my family thinks I’m a grown-up who is amazing at doing the laundry is because they haven’t figured out that I just restart the dryer and fluff everything up again.

Can I get an amen?

It’s great when our kids show signs of moving on and moving forward and becoming more responsible. And there is so much of that as our kids get older! Their brains are exploding with creativity and all the and growth about things they can do and handle and be.

But there is also so much of the other stuff which is what do you mean you can’t find your math? How can you not remember how to use the coffee pot? Aren’t you just the kid who edited a 14-minute video using a brand new software you just got a few hours ago?

Growing up is a process.

But what if they don’t grow up? What if they can never complete a task?

I get it. We want our kids to be responsible. We want them to prove they’re going to be able to adult with the best of ‘em. We’re fearful when they can’t complete a task because we think it means we haven’t taught them well, or they aren’t listening, or that they flat out don’t care. That’s when we start to envision them living in our basement when they are 45.

But y’all, I’m the proud owner of a house (or at least a mortgage), and I can assure you that sometimes the water in the sink gets cold before I finish the load of dishes that is in it.

Because life. Because a million things are going on in my head. Because…hey. Isn’t that exactly what’s going on with my kids and their ever-expanding minds as well?

Why am I freaking out at my kids for not remembering to bring the stack of dishes out of their bedroom when I literally cannot remember what I just walked into the living room to do?

Puberty does crazy things to your brain and memory, whether it’s your first time through or {cough} your second {cough}.

It’s okay. Your kids WILL grow up. And they will adult.

As our kids grow, we’re proud when we see glimpses of responsibility. We cheer because we view those moments as hints that our kids might actually grow up to handle what life throws at them.

Which is great. But let’s not freak out too much when they have moments of irresponsibility or forgetfulness. Because seriously, adults still have those same moments, too.

Sometimes we equate growing up with being responsible or remembering to do the things we’re supposed to or completing the task we are given. And while all those things are important, let’s not get too hung up on them. Because growing up is a process for all of us. Our brains are busy, life happens, and the struggle is real.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a load of laundry that needs to be fluffed.

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3 Comments

  1. Ha, as I am reading this there is a load of laundry in the dryer. 😛 So true I find it so annoying when I trip over the dirty laundry, dishes in the bedrooms and all the stuff. Yes as parents, we do the same dang thing.

  2. Excellent points! Great post – made me nod and smile. 😀🙌🏻😀 Thanks for sharing – glad I saw this today. 👍🏻👏🏻👌🏻

  3. “because they haven’t figured out that I just restart the dryer and fluff everything up again.”

    Ha! This! There’s a reason dryers come with that fluff cycle. 🙂

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