The other day I hit my limit. I was already stressed due to work deadlines, soccer games and all the many other “priorities” pulling me in a billion different directions.
And the funny thing is, what pushed me over the proverbial mom edge was a sandwich.
It probably did not help that I was running off 12 hours of sleep in the last 24 hours. Again, certain “priorities” demanded my attention more than my bed. So let me paint my moment of total psychosis for you.
My son asked for a sandwich for lunch. We were in the last days of our meal plan for the week. You know the one where you literally have a jar of mayonnaise and empty carton of milk left in your refrigerator?
I made the requested lunch and set it on the table for him. My son entered the kitchen, took one look at the sandwich and freaked out because I had put the mustard on the wrong side. Apparently, there is a method to sandwich making that I did not get in Mom 101.
- Lay the wheat bread on the plate (I get bonus points for the healthy bread, right?)
- Place cheese on the bread
- Spread condiments (aka mustard)
- Add meat of choice (turkey)
- Place the other piece of bread on top
- Cut in halves if preferred
I might as well have spit on his sandwich. He refused to eat it and proceeded to grumble about how he hated the mustard touching the bread. And yes, I am aware there are deeper rooted issue there but I digress.
I highly considered, for longer than I care to admit, opening the back door and throwing the sandwich into the yard. I am sure the birds and squirrels won’t mind the sequence of bread, mustard, cheese, turkey.
Here is my point (if I even have one). There are some things we do for our children and there are some things they need to do for themselves, especially if they are at an age where they can help. My son is nine years old and is fully capable of making his own sandwich. In fact, he is fully capable of a lot of things but I continue to do it for him.
Many moms are just like I am. We do and do and do and before we know it we are off our hinges over a sandwich.
Maybe it is time to step back and let our children step up. It is time we actually teach them life skills instead of making them totally dependent on us. I think we would all be better in the long run.
I struggled for a while with the thought I was being a bad mom when I required them to do certain chores and cooking. The sandwich meltdown actually showed me I was not making them do enough. I want children that can function well in their adult life. I don’t want to raise a man-child. I don’t want to raise a damsel that is incapable of figuring out what to do. Our job as parents is to teach them how to function and to function well. Way too often do we see the opposite in society.
I guess some poor, overworked mom never stopped making their sandwiches.
Sarah West is a homeschool mom, freelance writer and first-time author of Walking the Talk: A Parent’s Guide to Intimacy and Healthy Relationships. Sarah often writes on matters of faith and family, and believes in bringing back the conversation around the dinner table. You can connect with Sarah and keep up to date with her writing through her blog at A Life Inspired, Facebook and Twitter.