A balancing act
Apparently, somewhere in Actual Fact-land, according to a source who shall remain nameless, there is a mother out there who wakes up at 6 a.m. for the sole purpose of making smoothies for her children. Well, O.K. so what? Well, it just struck me as a little odd, seeing as how when I go out for smoothies, it is usually a teenager who makes them. And these children who are rising at six for fruit filled dreaminess are also teenagers. Teenagers incapable of using a blender, apparently. These same teenagers, along with their younger siblings, are also incapable of making their own lunch, getting through the school day without calling their mother on their cell phones, and won't eat food made by anyone else - packaged or otherwise (but they will eat fast food). People! What are we doing to our children? We love them, so we make them smoothies. But we forget to teach them to make smoothies for themselves. We love them, so we put barbecue chicken and kiwi in their lunches. (again - this mother, not me) We don't want to force them to cook for themselves - after all, we are the caregivers, the nurturers, the MOTHERS, feeding our children is our JOB. And if they like my food so much that they won't eat anything else anyone makes, is it my fault? Well, maybe not. But maybe it is. It is also our job to socialize our children so that they can interact with other adults in a meaningful way when they reach adulthood. That part seems to get neglected. And so we send them off to college, off to meet new friends, possibly live in a new state, face unheard of academic pressures, and just generally learn to be adults, and they don't even have the comfort of knowing that at least their smoothies will taste the same. These kids are far from unique. There are plenty of kids who reach 18, leave home, and are just shocked to the core when they start to do everything for themselves that their parents did for them. Make car insurance payments? What? What is this "laundry" of which you speak? Oh! A credit card! Goody! "APR?" Gobbledy gook that I don't understand. After all, nobody mentioned it at home, so it must not be important. I myself had very few life skills when I entered adulthood. I still lack them. I cannot solely blame my parents. I didn't feel the need to educate myself as to how to barbecue chicken. It didn't seem nearly as important as who asked who to what dance and what they wore and was it fun and can you tell me all about it again, and let's rehash the evening ad nauseum. It's the nature of teenagers. Total self absorption. Well, maybe it was only me who was self absorbed as a teenager. But we do need to teach them to 'snap out of it' (face slap optional). HERE is a washing machine! Use it! HERE is some raw chicken! Don't give yourself or our family salmonella while you're cooking it. THIS is a blender. Press the button to acheive smoothie nirvana! I know there are always things we could teach, and the pressure to teach them everything is enormous. There will always be something. ("Mom! Why didn't you teach me how to deal with two-year-olds!") I am not trying to dump more guilt on an already guilt-filled demographic of mothers. I am just trying to achieve some perspective -some balance between serving our children and making them self sufficient. Plus....and this is a big plus....if they make their own smoothies....you can sleep in much longer.