When mom is done.

Posted By on October 18, 2012

6 p.m. Thursday evening. Dinner is a vague and unpleasant thought. Cameron complains of back pain.

Jing Wen just threw his pencil down in retaliation of homework. My two younger ones justĀ devouredĀ a bag of Barbara’s All Natural Cheese Puffs … so, I didn’t feel too guilty … but I still knew they were hungry.

My husband whispered to me, “El Taco?”

I sat down in front of the kids as they were playing a card game… just about to announce that we were going out for Mexican, this came out instead:

“I am sad … and frustrated. It’s dinner time and I have nothing cooked, I don’t even want to cook right now. Daddy’s not feeling well. I feel really lonely – lonely doing dishes by myself, lonely doing laundry … lately, I haven’t noticed any support. There was a point when you were all very helpful. These last week, when I ask, everyone says “no”. But people still need to eat and need clean clothes to wear. So, I do it, even when I am tired. But today, I just can’t do it anymore.” I stopped there, wiping away my tears.

Burian came up behind me and patted me gently on the back. Clayton gave me a hug.

“So, what are we going to do about dinner?” I asked.

“I’ll cook dinner.” Jing Wen announced with great enthusiasm. “I’ll make a noodle stir-fry.”

And then they were off. To keep this story short and sweet, I’ll just list what they decided to do: They prepared and made dinner, cleaned the bathroom sink, washed and dried a load of laundry, did all the homework including the extra credit, took out the recycle, fed the chickens and collected eggs. Jing Wen even read “Harold and the Purple Crayon” to Burian. And after they were all cleaned and tucked into bed, they all hugged and kissed me goodnight.

A friend once asked me, is this considered guilt tripping the children. And I answered, “No, that would involve manipulation and ego.”

How would my children be able to understand what’s going on in my world, if I didn’t communicate it in an age appropriate way? How else would they learn the affects of their actions or inactions, in the world (or their home)? What I share with them, I share with sincerity, authenticity and no attachment to an outcome. Their solution was above and beyond anything I’d imagined, but they tend to do that when I let go of expectations.

I speak to them with trust in my heart that they have positive intentions and they truly care about me and the well-being of the family. By letting them know where I am, they learn to listen, to be compassionate and to build confidence by showing me, and especially themselves, that they have the power to change the world, one step at a time.

About The Author

I am a Chinese-American mother of three boys, parenting with the traditions worth keeping from the East and West. I continue to learn new ways of raising a family and myself.

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