My Daily Roadtrip

Mommy lessons – micromanagement

I thought it would be fun, albeit humbling, to share about things I have learned or am learning about being a mom.

But, where do I start? I learn a ton every day and just when I think I’ve got a particular thing down, nope – I don’t. Did I mention being a mother is humbling? Yikes.

The other day, I figured out where I should begin with sharing such things … but first, check out this picture:

Elijah (2.5 years old) painted this 2 days ago – an elderly neighbor of ours fell and broke her hip and is currently in a nearby in-house rehab program. We cannot yet see her, but I thought we could paint a few pictures for her room and to let her know we are thinking of her. I got out some washable paints, paper, and paintbrush, and sat down with Elijah, who was eager to paint and ‘make our neighbor happy’ (as I suggested receiving a painting may do). But soon I realized that I wanted to micromanage his little painting … I had thoughts such as: “Look at all that open space. Maybe you should paint in those areas,” and, “We have so many great colors to use – how about trying out some of the others” and, “No, I don’t want to paint some train-tracks on your picture – this is supposed to be from you.’ But the Lord gave me the good sense to keep my mouth shut. After all, this was his picture. If it was truly his, I needed to let him pick his own colors, paint in the areas he wanted to paint in, and choose to draw his mother in on collaborating if he so desired. I realized that, if I had spoken all that I had wanted to, I may as well put “To: Joanne, from: Dawn” on the paper rather than ”from: Elijah.’ But worse than that, if I did so, I would be squelching his creativity, his learning more about himself and what he likes or doesn’t like to do when it comes to painting, and teaching him that he needs to do what makes me happy instead of learning about his own style. Granted, I want an obedient child, but I do not want a little boy who doesn’t know himself because he’s too busy worrying about every little way in which his Mommy wants him to do things.

I am learning that I need to give my child parameters in which to create along with advice and/or correction when it’s warranted. But I do not need to micromanage him, his creativity, and all that he is learning. I am realizing that there are times I really need to chill out and stop trying to control things that don’t need to be controlled at all. I am tempted to micromanage in way too many areas of motherhood and I really do desire to let things go much more easily. After all, who cares if the 2 piggy banks sit on the table and eat with him? (see picture) Who cares if he decides (after asking permission) to jump in the muddy puddles and get absolutely soaked? Who cares if I ask him to pick out a book for me to read to him and he chooses one of Abigail’s books that has more pictures than words (rather than one I think will be more beneficial to him)? Some things matter. Some things don’t. And by God’s grace, and with time, I hope I will be able to better sort them out and become a less micromanaging mom.



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