So I am a mom to older kids, and I’ve made it through the phases of childhood. Now I’m transitioning in the new phase of adult children with one adult married child and one child about to be considered a legal adult in less than 6 months.
Well this blog post is about that soon to be 18 year old, my son, Colton. Colton has a special talent for making me laugh while at the same time making me want to pull out my hair. Case in point, the past Sunday morning he asked me to pick out a shirt for him. I went to his closet and I noticed several lopsided hangers with some shirts hung crooked, collars flipped, and one button down shirt inside out (still not sure about why he would take a button down shirt off like that). I just gave an eye roll and fought going into Monster Mom and start complaining to him about it, then I saw this shirt. I mean, come on. WHY? I pulled the shirt out of the closet and showed it to my husband and say “well, he did hang it up”.
Now I fought the desire to fuss at my son, because I remembered a piece of advice my sweet friend Tonya recently told me she had been given – To just be patient. So I decided, I will just be patient. So I took the shirt over to him, and I laughed and said “I’m glad you hung up the shirt, but maybe next time take 10 more seconds to get it on the hanger the right way” . And he laughed and said “yes ma’am, I can try.”
Now, whether he tries or not, I’ll find out, but really it’s okay if he doesn’t. It’s okay because eventually it will be his decision to organize his closet. I have to let go and relax about that stuff, because it is not worth the fight. And I would rather laugh about a shirt hung wrong than possibly start an argument.
Over my years of parenting, I’ve tried to follow the idea of “pick your battles”. As my kids have gotten older, I’ve noticed the battle picking has changed. When they were little things like putting away clothes and cleaning rooms were important to me because they needed to learn those skills. By now, they know the skills (applying them is a completely different thing). As they’ve gotten older each child has developed their own standard of organizing their room. Its not my way, but its okay because it’s their space and they need that opportunity to grow and learn what works for them. I do still have some rules that involve food and trash, and the big one, I have to be able to open and close the door. But the advice of my friend ‘just be patient’ coincides with picking my battles. And I don’t want to be battling with my kids over a shirt hung wrong or a cluttered room. I want to give my energy to building a good healthy relationship with them and showing them an example of love and kindness.
As hard as it is to let Colton have his room how he wants, I do have hope. For instance, my daughter Cecily, before she married, I worried she would drive her future husband crazy with her special type of organizing and lower than my standard of clean. But she does a good job with her house and so far she hasn’t driven Parker crazy with artistic organizational skills.
I do want to go on the record for Colton’s future wife, I promise I did try.
and in your knowledge self-control; and in your self-control patience; and in your patience godliness;2 Peter 1:6
Until next time
Lots of love to you and yours
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