Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I Think I'm Finally Cutting The Cord. A Little Bit.

I've mentioned before that I'm somewhat of a control freak and that I tend to micro-manage the people around me. I think it's because I'm a Virgo -- I like things orderly and straight-forward. Check out this excerpt about Virgos from the website Explore Astrology:

If you ever decide to question a Virgo, make sure you know your stuff because it will be hard to convince them they are wrong. A Virgo's thought is so precise that they are not very tolerant of other people's procrastination or lack of common sense. They simply cannot understand why other people cannot function at the same level as they do. Virgos also pride themselves on their excellent memories.

Because Virgos have such clear thought, they may be critical of others. They are perfectionists who despise carelessness and incoherence in others. However, as critical as they are of others, they usually turn that criticism inwards on themselves. They dislike being criticised by others because they already know their own faults.

Oh my gosh. That is me!

Anyway, back to the topic of today's post. I'm a control freak and a micro-manager. Nowhere do I see this more clearly than in the way I parent my children. Instead of teaching my kids to do laundry, I tell myself it's easier to just do it myself so it will be done the right way. Clutter needs to be picked up around the house? I'll do it because it's quicker and I know I'll put things back in the correct spots.

This is not a good thing. In fact, I think I've been doing a great disservice to my children. I'm so busy doing everything the right way that I'm not teaching them to do things for themselves.

Take my oldest son...he is almost 19. He graduated from high school one year ago. School never was his thing so he didn't immediately enroll in college. He decided to work (for that brown company that delivers packages;) and take a little time to decide his path. He's still trying to figure out what the heck he's going to do. One minute he wants to go to community college, the next he wants to move away and go to college. He wants to work. He doesn't want to work. He hates his job. He wants to party. To tell you the truth, it's been driving me crazy, seeing him so lost and aimless. I just want to shake him and fix things and set him on a path.

Operating in my usual M.O., I have spent the last year "micro-managing" things for him. I balanced his checkbook (why should he take the time to write in a checkbook when he can just look up his account online, he says); I call and find out information about colleges for him (surely he won't ask the right questions); I make sure he has clean uniform pants, gas in his car, that he wakes up in time for work, etc. etc. And, you know what I have finally realized? That is ridiculous! He is almost 19 and I cannot control him and manage him into his future. He has to do all of these things (and more) for himself.

So, over the last month or two, I have let it all go. I never look at his checking account balance (if he's overdrawn, that's his problem). If he throws some clothes in the laundry basket, I'll do them. But I will not seek him out and ask him if he has clean clothes to wear. Or gas in his car. Or when the deadline to X-college is. I'm not doing any of that. Nada.

It was scary at first. But, now it feels really good. I have come to terms with the fact that he will do things his way, in his time, and that he will probably make mistakes along the way. I have to bite my tongue and look the other way sometimes. But, I'm dealing.

I guess this means I'm finally starting to get the hang of cutting the cord. Just a little bit anyway.