Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Teaching Responsibility

A little over a week ago, Marcus left to spend a month working for my family. I'm missing him, he's homesick but what a great opportunity.

Growing up, I had a job. I worked at a burger joint I can't remember, McDonald's, Dairy Queen. I worked at a grocery store and as a waitress at another restaurant. I loved having my own money but sometimes I hated that my friends were out cruising on Friday while I was slaving.

Times have changed though and it's harder for our kids to find jobs. Unemployment is high and unfortunately jobs for teens can be scarce. So when Marc was asked to go work, we jumped on the opportunity.

He has a goal. He found a 1977 Ford Pickup that he wanted to buy. This job has allowed him to pay for it plus some extras (like a stereo as it didn't have one when he bought it). He'll have some gas money, some money for insurance, and the truck will be his. . . every dent, rust spot, and oil change:)

While I know it's a great thing for him, I'm struggling occassionally with feelings of guilt and worry.

I feel guilty that I couldn't buy him a truck. I feel guilty that he didn't get a nicer truck. I feel guilty that he's spending a month away, homesick, missing his friends, because my financial situation is a little tight and so an extra vehicle wasn't in the cards.

But then I remind myself...he'll take better care of it because he sweated and worked his butt off to pay for it. I remind myself I had to buy my own vehicle and I don't hate my parents because of it. It's also a great lesson in budgeting and financial matters. I won't get into it today but our country is in a world of hurt from overuse of credit cards, buying things we don't need and/or can't afford.

Then of course, there's the worry. He's up in the woods with my uncle and some other family members. What's he going to do without mom? The other day he left my mom's house and forgot his food. I worried non-stop about what he'd do. Did my uncle have food for him? Could my grandparents take him a sandwich? But then I reminded myself that he's 17 and in just two years, he'll be out of high school and on his own. Oh, I'll be there to help but I'm not going to be there every day to make sure he's eating. I can pretty much bet that he won't forget his food next time.

It's made me realize how much I do for the boys and has made me wonder if I'm doing too much. Funny thing...one of the bloggers I read just posted about this very thing (read it here).

When my kids are thirsty, I get them a drink and bring it to them.
When my kids are hungry, I hop up to get them something to eat.
I pack their bags for trips.
I make Nate's plate and sometimes Marc's.
I don't want to waste my precious time with them doing chores, so I do them when they're not around.

The kids are my life and I don't begrudge doing things for them, but reading the blog, thinking about Marc almost an adult, and I'm suddenly wondering if I'm doing a disservice. I see a few more chores in their future. I see some more responsibility. I see less waiting on my kids hand and foot.

Truth be told, you know me well enough to know I'll still do nearly anything for my kids and that won't change. But I do think a bit more responsibility is in order. And in that, I'll give them a great gift...responsibility, accountability, problem solving skills, and more!

Love my kids. And I'm very proud of Marc...he's toughing it out despite being homesick. He's working hard and doing a great job!

1 comment:

  1. I think you are a fabulous momma, and you should be proud you have a son(s) that are confident enough to go tackle this great big world, even if they do need to call momma now and again!