Are You Dealing with More Sh*t Than You Need To?

Posted on Jul 5, 2016
“I am so sick of wiping this kid’s ass!  She’s five years old, for god’s sake.  I do everything for these kids and they appreciate none of it,”  Ashley said as she walked in.

Clearly, Ashley was having a bit of a mommy meltdown.

After allowing her to vent until she ran out of breath, I asked her a simple, obvious question: Why are you wiping her ass?

Ashley answered, “I have to wipe it because she doesn’t do it well enough.”

With that, her real problem became clear: Ashley is perpetually overwhelmed, over-scheduled and in a rush.

She is in too much of a hurry to let her daughter do it herself.  She (unintentionally) is creating dependency rather than teaching and instilling confidence. Oops.


I have spoken with so many parents who, out of the deepest love for their children, want to do more, not less, for them. They believe that the more time, energy, attention, and money they can devote to their children, the better.


Unfortunately, in our efforts to be good parents, we forget that the real goal of parenthood is to make ourselves functionally obsolete.

It is essential that parents prepare their children so they will be ready to leave home and live independently.

And yet, we are marinating in a culture that encourages mothers to create dependency.

I remember the first time the elementary school nurse called me at work. I believed that if she was calling me, there must be an emergency. Silly me.

She was calling because one of my boys didn’t like what was in his lunch and was hungry.

“Are you serious?!  I am with a patient who has real problems and you’re calling me with this??!!” is what I didn’t say.

Instead, I said that my son can either eat his lunch or deal with being hungry and please never call me again unless it is medically necessary.  She was appalled.


We are given the message that if you don’t bring the lunch, the homework, the cleats etc. that they forgot, we are letting our kids down and we feel guilty (classic case of False Mommy Guilt). 


What is really shitty is that the people who suggest that you should save your kids ass over and over are the same people who will later complain that we are helicopter parenting and creating ‘tea cup kids’ who fall apart in college.  Ugh.


Back to Ashley.  Since most moms who see me want strategy, not just support, I offered her a simple 3 step solution.

  1. Slow down.
  2. Stop wiping her ass.
  3. Sit with her in the bathroom and teach her to keep wiping until the toilet paper has no more poop on it.  Clean toilet paper = clean tushie.


Every child needs to practice being independent, and every parent needs to practice letting her child be independent.


If you are feeling like you have to do everything, ask yourself if you give your kids enough opportunities to become independent.