Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should


Just Because You Can, Doesn’t Mean You Should Are you a Type A mom? Do you have a hard time letting your kids do things on their own? Do you sometimes just watch them and think “I could do that so much faster” or “It would look so much better if he’d just let me help”? Does this sound like a commercial? Are you waiting for me to post a phone number for you to call for help? I guess you could call my number because I am the above-mentioned mom.

I feel in my soul that I can do ALL things better and faster than my kids. Why watch them do something that I know I’m going to have to go back and redo? Why watch them struggle for 15 minutes when I can do it in five minutes? Why would I do that task WITH my kids when I can do it ALONE in peace and quiet?

This is my why. Actually…THEY are my why.

Dear sweet little one with the sticky hands,

I can crack those eggs without getting shells in the cake batter. I can pour in the milk without splashing some out on the countertop. I can stir that cake batter so good there won’t be one lump in it. I can frost it neater than you can. I can pour the sprinkles evenly instead of a clump here or there.

Dear Mommy, I loved my day with you. When you asked me to help you bake a cake I just knew how much fun we’d have. You helped me get the shells I dropped…oops! I splashed a little milk on the counter but you just wiped it up like it was nothing. You said I did such a good job mixing the batter, but I know I still saw bumps in there. It was so hard to wait to frost the cake, but I did it! I also liked when you put a little frosting on my nose! But my favorite part was when you gave me the sprinkles and said I could do them however I wanted. I think we made a really pretty cake, mommy. I hope we can do it again.

Dear independent little one with the feisty spirit,

I can match your shirt to your shorts better than you can. I can pick out the socks that “go with your outfit.” I can fix your hair the way that everyone likes it. I can buy your tennis shoes without you so you don’t pick the light-up ones. I can make sure you have a stylish backpack that goes with everything instead of a silly character one. I can put that temporary tattoo on straighter.

Dear Momma, this morning was different! When I woke up for school you didn’t have my clothes laid out on the dresser already. You said I could wear whatever I wanted! I’m so glad you washed my purple birthday shirt. It’s my favorite shirt to wear even though I know it’s not my birthday. Every time I wear, it I think about my birthday party and it makes me happy. There’s a small orange balloon on my shirt so I picked out my orange shorts. I’m not sure if it really matches, but I love how it looks together. I’m wearing two different socks because I couldn’t choose between Elsa and Paw Patrol so why not wear both! I even got the velcro on my light-up shoes extra tight this morning. The best part? My Rapunzel tattoo is still there! I know I put it on crooked, but I can see it better that way. This is going to be the best day ever.  

Dear fidgety little one with the short attention span,

I can do the writing part on your school project so it looks better. I can sign your name on that card so it’s nice and neat. I can draw that picture on Grandma’s card so she knows what it is. I can plant those flowers so they are neat and in a row. I can carry your hockey bag so we get to practice faster. I can tie your cleats so they are more comfortable for you. I can make your bed for you so the pillows are straight.

Dear Mom, thanks for buying me my favorite mechanical pencils. I think I can actually write neater with them. I’ve been working on my cursive signature too like you showed me. It’s still messy, but dad will know it’s my name on the card. Grandma called me today and said she loved the astronaut on her birthday card! Must have been the helmet that gave it away. Oh, I watered the flowers today. Did you notice that I put two red flowers next to each other instead of alternating the colors? Oops! You must have liked it that way because you told me they looked beautiful. Coach told us at practice last night that we need to start carrying our own bags and tying our own shoes. I told him we always get to practice early so I can do those things. Thanks for making my bed for me this morning. You make it so much better than me. Guess that means you have to keep making it. HaHa!

No matter who your “one” is, it’s the time with you that matters to them. It’s the things you do together. It’s the things you teach them. It’s the things you allow them to do with and without your supervision. It’s the overlooking of the mistakes and the lowering of the expectations so they know that you aren’t perfect either.

It’s not about doing it better, but rather about doing it together. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

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Hey, Hey! Amanda here. Wife to KJ and proud mom to my 3 boys: Noah (14), Nash (4), and Banks (6 months). I'm a forever Carolina girl that moved to Knoxville in 2003 and have called it home ever since. When I'm not wrangling children or writing for personal therapy, you'll find me stressing about what's for dinner or compulsively moving things around my house (some call that decorating). I could also be found listening to true crime podcasts or sneaking in new Halloween decor because it's my favorite holiday (give me all the spooky vibes). Motherhood is an adventure; let's go on it together! I hear it's easier that way.


    • Joy, we will all have regrets I’m sure and all wish we could do some things over again but we can rest easy knowing we worked hard to give our kids the memories of a wonderful childhood that they then impart to their own children. It’s a beautiful thing isn’t it?


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