Parenting Signposts – How I Measure Success

When my kids were little there were all sorts of ways to indicate that I was being an acceptable parent. I even had this thing called a baby book that I could track their milestones in. My oldest son had everything tracked, perhaps even the exact time he reached that milestone. The middle child came along and I wrote it down on a post it note and hoped that it would find its way into the baby book. Then there was the youngest child. I was at the point of parenting where we celebrated getting out the door to the pediatrician on time. Having shoes on our feet were a bonus. There was no record keeping of this child.

But now he is the only one left at home and I now have this thing called Facebook to help me document. I use Facebook as my journal. And each day I use an app called Time hop that allows me to look at years gone past. So it is only natural that I want to track what is going on in my children’s lives. But now they are older and it isn’t socially acceptable to post what I want to celebrate. There are still things that I am proud of and I still want to post, but I hold off. Things like, you brushed your teeth this week! Or, good job on remembering to put on deodorant!

Being an organizer there are things that I expect my children to be naturally good at. But there is a struggle that is real. It is not happening and I am resigned to it. But when they reach those milestones I want to cheer! I want to post to Facebook. But my friends would think I was weird and my children would block me on all social media sites.

Here are some signposts as our children grow that I think we should celebrate:

Knowing how to load and unload the dishwasher. Look at the dishwasher as a puzzle and load it with the goal of fitting in the most dishes that is allowable and yet still get them clean. It’s like Minecraft, but you are building it in the dishwasher. Bonus points for leaning what dishes should be hand washed!

Laundry. Yes socks need to be not in a bunch when they go in the washer. Yes pockets need to be emptied. Yes laundry need to folded and put away when the dryer goes off. Bonus points for when there are equal proportion for underwear to clothing. No lie, sometimes my kid’s laundry is a week’s worth of clothes and two pairs of underwear. As the robot from “Lost in Space” would say, “Does not compute.” When you see that perfect balance of underwear to clothes you want to celebrate and post to Facebook, but you don’t.

The clean bedroom. When I was a kid my mom told me to go and clean my room. I knew how to dust and vacuum. Little did I know, that was the easy part! What my mom really meant was to go and organize my room. I didn’t know how to get the organizing fairy into my room. There were no reference books for me to study. It was just supposed to be innate, and it simply was not. The first step is to take a garbage bag and remove all the garbage. You will be shocked to see the transformation from just removing the garbage.

Knowing how to plunge a toilet. Nobody loves to plunge a toilet, but sometimes it needs to be done. Bonus points here for when you can also clean a toilet. Double bonus points if you are a boy who can keep a toilet clean!

Once my children leave the protective nest called our family home I hope that they have these skills. I will give a silent cheer when it happens. Or maybe we could start a secret club where we can post these celebrations.

Next up is celebrating when my children become employed in their degree that they received from their college. Or when I no longer pay for their cell phone! Or when they get a job that gives them great health insurance coverage! Or when they get a loan without my cosigning on! Lots of celebrating in my parenting future I see.

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

Melissa is a Productivity Consultant living in Fargo, North Dakota doing her best of living a life full of adventure. Filling a life of memories and not of things!