Being a mother is one of the most rewarding jobs a woman could have. Yes, of course, each stage of development comes with its own challenges, but as I have helped my child learn some important things in life, so have I learned along the way.
For the past 15 years, I have been the main person to do my daughter’s hair except for occasional trips to the salon. Yes, of course, she is old enough and has done a great job of styling her hair in the simple ponytail when she wants an up-do. But certain styles where she likes it wavy or crinkled, more effort and skill is required and has to be done the night before.
One day after a long day of work, she asked me to prepare her hair for the next day. It was late, I was exhausted, and just didn’t have the time nor energy to comb her hair. I suggested she give it a try… needless to say, that did not happen. I realized quickly how much time I invested in not showing her how to be independent, at least in this area, but maybe in other areas, as well.
Over several months, I promised myself I would have to give a hard “No” to let her try it on her own. The few times she attempted to try, she didn’t make it far and I’d give in. But one evening, after another long day of work, I was determined to get some rest and gave a real firm “No” and encouraged her to try it again for herself. She was not happy but I was determined. This had to work, I couldn’t and wouldn’t be the mother doing my daughter’s hair once she’s in college!
As much as my heart hurt to see her frustrated and struggling in the mirror for hours, she endured and by midnight, she finally finished several braids before the next morning. That was a proud moment, not only for her, but for myself, as well. I didn’t give in and she learned how to persevere, problem solve, and endure until she figured it out.
As a mother, I have had many moments realizing that if I do everything, she won’t learn how to do certain things for herself. If you are one of those mothers who does it all, take a moment to realize your child isn’t learning from you doing it all.
Allow the space and time for your child to grow, develop, and mature in some of the most basic things in life. From cooking, laundry, financial management, to setting the table, balancing life and school work, etc. Hopefully, you too can take a moment to find those invaluable teaching moments that allow your child to blossom, grow, develop, and mature.