Idle Hands

A mom’s hands are never at rest. They’re busy folding laundry, loading the dishwasher, packing lunches and so much more.

This occurred to me when my 10-year-old son repeatedly asked me to do a variety of things for him one day. Most could be classified as “not urgent.” None were things that could be done quickly.

First, he wanted me to repair a string on his guitar. He can’t even play the guitar and the reason it was broken in the first place is because his understanding of righty-tighty, lefty-loosey can get confused when tightening/loosening a guitar string that’s facing away from him. Too much righty-tighty and the string broke.

My hands were busy folding laundry.

Later, he came along with complaints that his computer was running really slowly and wanted to know if I could fix it. It’s probably time for a full backup and reformat, which can take some time.

My hands were busy juggling the dinner prep.

After dinner, he asked if we could work on his Pinewood Derby car for Cub Scouts. We had been trying to squeeze in the four million steps required to build one of these little cars for weeks. We hadn’t accomplished much and the event was only a few days away.

But my hands were busy doing the dishes.

I imagine there were many more instances of him asking for me to do this or that throughout the day as I was in the middle of doing something else because I nearly lost my temper and heatedly asked him, “Why can’t you ask for things when my hands aren’t busy?”

His response, “When is that?”

Good point, kid. But I had a better point.

“If you had pitched in to help me put away the laundry, I would have been done faster and could have worked on your guitar. If you had helped me with dinner, I could have set up your computer in the kitchen and talked you through choosing which files you needed to back up, so we could have started the reformat process. If you had helped me out during one of the many un-fun tasks I was trying to get done today, instead of running off to play video games and make messes, my hands might not be busy all the time.”

Not that making my point logically made any difference. Maybe next time he comes at me with a string of requests, he’ll stop to help out a little. Yeah, I doubt it.

Am I alone here? Do you always stop what you’re doing when your child asks for something?

(Note: If this were simply a cry out for attention, he would have been asking to do fun things together, not looking to book time at the Mom Repair Shop.)

About the Author...
Karie Bradley
Karie Bradley is the Content Director for MomsEveryday. She lives in Wichita, Kansas with her husband Ben and their two sons Dylan and Logan.
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