I just dropped my youngest off at a birthday party…on the other side of town…and we had to pick-up gifts on the way. She had forgotten to pick-up gifts the night before (when she was out with her sister and my credit card) so that was annoying. But ya know what? For a 13 year old who is still learning the ways of the world she handled the entire situation beautifully. As we talked about how well she did, we decided she has mastered Mom management.
Sure the party was on the other side of town, before my workday ended, we had no gifts and had to make an extra stop. How did she avoid a lecture and some mom crazy? Read on:
- Know thy schedule and make sure it is on my calendar. She did this weeks ago when the invitation arrived.
- Provide a pleasant reminder at the beginning of the day.
- Give me a pleasant 5 minute warning and ask if there is anything you can do to help. For me this includes finding my car keys.
- Be pleasant when we are on our way. Ask me how my day was and more importantly tell me about yours.
- If you need something (like a gift) ask “is it ok if we leave early to pick-up…?” Best if you can make your sister do it the night before – oh, you forgot, “mom, sorry I forgot to get it while I was out.”
- If you leave gifts to the last minute, you should have a plan to conveniently pick them up. My daughter thought this out and got her friends gift cards to Starbucks at Acme. Practical, easy, and very very useful. She asked if we could pick up three total since she had two other parties to attend and we should pick them all up at once.
Brilliant! After all, the Mom in our house is running a business, preparing a household to move, and helped you earn your spot on the JV cheer team at your new school. I am juggling quite a lot and am not a big fan of being treated like a taxi service. My daughter realizes her attending these parties is not a right and I have no responsibility to drive her.
My children are very well aware my responsibilities to them only include food, shelter and clothes. They know that extras are my gift to them. Sure, I provide far more than the basics but they best be appreciative, help out around the house, and manage me when they need to.