This isn’t mean in the sense of stingy with money (though I may well be that too) but in that I don’t coddle my children and do expect them to pull their weight now and then around the house.
Apparently NONE of their friends have to make their own beds (seriously?) or help with chores, both of which my boys are expected to do on a regular basis. They also have to eat healthy cereals for breakfast when ALL of their friends can eat whatever sugary junk they feel like whenever they want to (yeah, right).
My poor kids… doesn’t your heart just bleed for them?
My worst crime though (and I know you will all be horrified) is that they do their own packed lunches for school. Yes, you heard right, their OWN packed lunches.
Whenever other parents hear about this they usually say that they wish they could do that, but I can see in their eyes that they think I’m a rubbish mother, especially as my boys have only just turned eleven.
It actually works rather well. Obviously I do all the shopping still, and we have a ‘guide’ posted in the kitchen to remind them what to put in their lunch box, but they make the sandwiches themselves and ensure they have everything they need, i.e. sandwich to fill them up, snack with calcium (usually cheese or yoghurt), two portions of fruit or salad, a treat and water to drink.
You see I think there are enough boys and men in the world who expect someone to look after them all the time and do everything for them. They’re not only learning how to create a balanced meal and how to cut bread without removing a finger, but they are also learning to be independent and not to always expect others to take care of their needs.
I have friends who still make packed lunches for their teenage kids and for their husbands, and that’s their choice, but it’s not for me. I don’t love my children or my husband any less, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect everyone in the family to take responsibility for themselves and I’m sure my children’s wives will thank me in the future!
It also means they tend to be more grateful when I do actually do something for them. For instance on their birthday last week I made their packed lunches for them as a treat and they were very grateful. Much better than me doing it all the time and them just taking it for granted
What do you think? Am I very mean? Do you do everything for your kids and let them do and eat what they like or are you a mean mother too? Surely I can’t be the only one…