Parenting success does happen. As parents, we have many days of doubt and despair. We often wonder, are we doing it right? These intense periods of self-doubt allow our moments of success to stand out. Not only do we never forget them, we bask in their glory. Boy moms are often stereotyped as running herd over wild households. This depiction is mostly true. Our boys tend to be loud and smelly. However, we sometimes get some things right.
Over my almost sixteen years of raising boys, I’ve had many a mishap, and I would like to think many successes. My biggest success to date I believe is raising two boys, ages fifteen and ten years, who can effectively clean up after themselves. When I say clean up, I don’t mean clear the table and pick up toys, I mean fully domesticated young men.
My boys do laundry
My sons do laundry for the entire household, including for me. They are competent at sorting colors, measuring detergent and fabric softener. They even know what needs to be air dried to prevent shrinkage!
My boys can iron
In many city households, irons don’t exist. It is rather convenient to pull clothes from the dryer, hang or fold before they wrinkle. My experience is that even when that is done, some clothing pieces still appear a bit unkempt. Hence the need for a steam iron. My boys are adept at using an iron on both their shirts and pants, giving them that extra crisp, clean look.
My boys clean
Once again, when I say clean, I don’t mean picking up mislaid toys and clothes. They can really clean the house. So, they vacuum, sweep, and wipe floors. They hand wash dishes, clean the stove and clean the bathroom, including shower and toilets. I have the privilege of asking them to clean and then seeing a clean house.
Rome wasn’t built in a day
The skills they have didn’t happen overnight. It took a lot of conscious effort and frayed nerves. Lots of episodes of losing my patience too. I’ve also been criticized about having the boys do so much. My response has always been the same. Other than teaching them the importance of contributing to the home that they live in, how old will they be before they can afford to pay someone to do all that for them? And who will be doing it for them until that time? Parenting is personal and private. For me, I’m super proud of them.
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