I take my job title very seriously.
But lately, I think I may have taken it too seriously. Or, more to the point, failed to redefine my job description as the kids have grown.
When they were little, the job involved doing everything for them. Dressing. Bathing. Feeding, etc. You get the picture.
As they grow, we celebrate their little victories of independence, and our job description evolves … slightly. We’re still the main “doers” …
Then somewhere along the line, we shouldn’t be doing so much for them, but instead showing them how to fend for themselves. Preparing them for a time when they’ll be on their own …
… and if you’ve ever seen my 12- and 15-year-old spread peanut butter and jelly on white bread, you’ll see how miserably I’ve failed at this part of job.
Well, things are about to change around here.
I’d like to credit that change with some big epiphany on my part. How I woke up and saw the light and put a plan in place that involved involving the kids in really helping out around the house … beyond the basic straightening up and putting their things away.
But, alas, it was an injury to my hand that will be forcing their hands to … well … lend a helping hand around here.
I’d like to claim there is some thrilling tale that goes along with how I managed to tear a tendon in my left-hand ring finger that confounded my rock star hand expert and his colleagues …
… but the story is a dull one. I simply jammed that finger in the door jam. Not on purpose, of course.
Following a successful surgery this week where they put a pin in my ring finger …
… and I can’t help to wonder if this tiny pin will set off metal detectors …
… and I can’t stop singing a version of “put a pin in it” to Beyonce’s “Put A Ring On It” …
I’ll be on 6-8 weeks of hand rest. Which means I can still use the hand. Carefully. Gently. With no heavy lifting …
… and we can all attest to how heavy those Swiffer cloths are.
This hand injury will also put a damper on my DIY for the next 6-8 weeks. I may be forced to craft. Or cook.
Or maybe I’ll be forced to be quiet.
Or maybe it’s time to teach my kids how to use a nail gun …
…and a caulk gun…
… and a paint roller.
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ah yes….the whole “mom cannot do everything for you anymore….” It was a moment from which my kids are still reeling–and they are grown-a$$ people now.
I’m so sorry… hope it heals quickly and well!
oh no! you did end up having to have surgery! yep i know exactly what you mean about having them do more…. we are starting for real cooking lessons around here. i was also appalled when i realized that the only one who knows how to do laundry is the 16 year old… how did the 19 year old miss out on that one? we are starting simple like… mac & cheese from scratch. the middle one is learning to make pie crusts as he is the most accomplished when it comes to cooking…. yep he thinks he might want to be a chef. so take care and baby that hand! and yes learning to caulk, paint and use a nail gun are all great skills to learn… the younger the better. 🙂 at least that is what my father-in-law thought when his kids were young.
I totally know what you mean about the kids. I cringed as I watched my 13 year old daughter slice her bagel a couple of mornings ago. We have to let them do for themselves and hope they don’t end up in the ER. Using nail and caulk guns are very important life skills, so I say let them do it for you while you are recovering! Seriously, hope your hand heals quickly and painlessly.
Oh man…those jammed fingers can be a nuisance!
Hate that you’re not able to all that DIY fun stuff…but hey, as long as you can still carry a clip board and walk around with a keen pair of eyes…you should be able over see…peanut butter being spread (or paint), laundry being folded, swiffers being swiffed… and then check them off with a pencil on a job well done. 🙂 Pat
Elena @ `a casarella says
Ouch, Linda, I hope you heal soon! (In the meanwhile, I vote for nail gun lessons. And then a blog post to let us know how it went 😉
I know you were debating whether to do that surgery or not.I am sure now that it is over and you will start to heal you will be glad you did. Keeping you in my prayers that it heals soon 🙂
Michele/ Finch Rest says
Oh my gosh! I am so sorry to learn this news…YOWTCH!!!
You try and truly take care of yourself and heal.
You are right- the perfect time to show them how it’s done. GL with that, teens will be teens.
Fast healing to you!
So sorry to hear about your injury and hope your recuperation is quick! Perfect timing for teaching your children ALL the things you mentioned: cooking, cleaning, laundry, painting, etc. I had to teach myself to cook 3 years ago when I moved in with my BF. I have no idea how to iron or sew, and I’m 51! I so wished I had learned at least the basics from my parents.
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
I hope you have a quick recovery! If the kids didn’t appreciate you enough before, I am sure they will now! I think we all do too much. Sometimes I have to remind myself to teach my kids to do things rather than just do it for them.
You poor thing. Let the kiddies learn & help! You’ve earned it & then some!
Heidi @ Decor & More says
Yikes!!! I would suggest letting them use the washing machine, too. That laundry can really stress the joints. 🙂 Feel better soon and read a book or two!
Oh..hope your healing process is going well….you teaching your kids the “how to’s” of daily chores brings back memories for me…about the day my son called me at work and told me that I forgot to wash his baseball uniform…Well, after a lesson over the phone and further lessons on how to do his laundry…this paid off for him in college…at the university laundromat, he discovered that many of the girls did not really know how to do laundry!!..Seriously…so he got to meet many a girl, giving them the basics of doing laundry…He thanked me!!!
So sorry to hear about your injury! And can so relate to kids who’ve never learned how to do. I wish I’d started much much earlier in making that shift. It was just so much easier to do it myself when they were younger (and I was so tired and so stretched for time). Better late than never though!
If you beep at metal detectors let Brawn know. He was very disappointed when he made it through with 13 pins, some screws and a couple of metal plates.
Heal up fast, you have given new meaning to jam’n a finger.
Glad the surgery went well at least. And it sounds like you are on to something there. There are so many perfectly good, completely under utilized teenagers roaming around, expecting other people to make their sandwiches and paint their rooms. I think this will be a fantastic opportunity to get some slave labor! Um I mean, chance to teach them some life skills. Hope your finger rest goes well.
BethM@Under A Pile of Scrap! says
Who ever said being a mom wasn’t a dangerous job obviously never was a real mom! 😉 I’ve felt your pain – been there, done that. It sucks! Hope you heal well & fast. I’m sure you’ll be going a little stir crazy after a little while and you’ll NEED to be doing something, regardless of your situation. 😀 In the meantime, work it for all it’s worth with the kiddos.
Merri Jo says
So sorry it took injury to spark your epiphany, but yay for SAHM enlightenment. At their ages, not only are your kiddos capable of helping, it’s for their good. Pitching in for the injured, breeds compassion…. responsibility for tasks that others rely upon is career training, and negative consequences for unperformed assignments is prep for real life…..the added benefit–their future spouses will THANK YOU! :-). Hope you have a painless recovery, Linda.
Lol my three grown kids and I were skyping and they recalled how they made their own lunches as a surprise for me in middle school. Then they had to make them ever since because I knew they could. They said they made the same mistake with making their beds and doing their laundry. They said they learned their lesson…. Too late haha! Hope your finger heals quickly!
Kimberly ~Serendipity Refined says
I love it that you got a photo of your pin and I hope that, once you feel up to it, you’ll find a way to frame it or Mod Podge it onto a keepsake box, tote bag or some other equally fab project. In the mean time, I’m thrilled that you’re at least going to TRY to rest and heal and that you’re coercing your children into helping with household duties. A word of caution though, from one who recently “went before” in the “helping with chores” department… Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES should you allow your offspring to help you clean your hardwood floors unless you remind them NOT to use furniture polish….other than that…HAVE AT IT…and take photos….they’re wonderful conversation starters at events like first dates (yeah, I’m THAT mom). xo
I can so picture you singing “Put a Pin In It” with the appropriate hand gesture of course!
Ouch! I’m having a similar conundrum. I tore a ligament in my hand and now have a big fat hard cast. I can’t paint, can barely hold a pencil, no hope of using a mouse. I can read a mean book and watch tv like a champ. Not things my body is used to! I pray you have a speedy recovery!
Hope the surgery goes well. And glad you have your new cow to keep you company!
So sorry about your hand! I hope it heals quickly, and that your children stay helpful when it does! 😉
Kelly @ View Along the Way says
I’m so sorry about your severed finger. (ha!) Take the time to get some rest!
Pat F. says
Wishing you a speedy recovery and a over-due rest. The finger issue is your body’s way of yelling at you and making you slow down, now be sure to listen to it!!
Laurel Stephens says
Thanks for the update, Linda. Hang in there! I just know you’ll make the best of it; you already are!!
Ann Drake says
I was hoping you wouldn’t have to go through a surgery…hope you are doing OK. I never specifically set about teaching my kids how to fend for themselves. It just happened. Some would call it good parenting…others would call it a dictatorship. 🙂 Anyway, one of the best days of my life was when my daughter announced that I wasn’t doing her laundry in a timely enough manner and she was going to start doing it herself. So…this hand thing may be a blessing in disguise. What you can’t do well…they can do for you!
Too funny: I totally was singing (in my head) Beyonce’s song when I first read your post title! Glad you had the surgery, try to rest it….this way you have more time on your hands to plan all your future projects! ~ Kim
I so understand about having kids that don’t necessarily know how to do all the things for themselves that they perhaps should! bummer about your hand! Take it easy and don’t stress it – a swiffer cloth would definitely be too much – let those kids take over!
Sorry to hear about your finger! I can totally relate to needing to get kids more independent. I have moments of sheer panic (usually in the middle of the night!) when I feel like I have failed miserable as a mom. Good luck with your teaching your kids to be “do-ers”! If you find the magic solution (besides finger surgery!) please let me know. 😀
Awww, Linda! I’m a little behind from Spring Break, but finally getting caught up and visiting my favorite blogs. I’m so sorry to hear about your injury!! I was sort of wondering about all the mason jars that I’ve seen on your blog (but not gotten to read about yet). I hope to read that you’re getting better and nearly ready to tackle some more DIY projects! In the mean time, take it easy and be good to yourself!