Spoiled Rotten Enablement or a Mother’s Unconditional Love

Today I have a guest post written by (my sister) O. Laing, she got a kick out of writing this because she critiques me on the way I raise my children all the time. She has made statements about my tween and teens but when it comes to mini me… I got it BAD! He’s spoiled rotten. Enjoy…

The Scenario: You drop your child off at preschool and every morning since the first day in August you walk him inside, take off his coat, hang it in his cubby, take him to wash his hands, seat him and say a long drawn out good bye because you just know that he is about to cry because you are leaving. Now it’s December and the teacher requests a word with you. She says “Mom, may I make a suggestion, would you mind not walking him to his cubby in the morning and, not taking off his coat so that he can do it himself and, not taking him to wash his hands so that he can do it himself, because we would like him to become more independent and please don’t take this the wrong way but if you could just drop him off at the door and leave it would be helpful.”

Haaa that’s priceless…

Who better to review a very personal post on the mother-son relationship than a family member. My sister Jen is a wonderful mother to all of her four children. However it seems that in the mix of over 16 years of motherhood she has been outnumbered, swindled, bamboozled, double teamed and just plain out taken for a ride by these children.

I label my sister an ENABLER, she takes motherly duties (in my opinion which I am entitled to) to a whole new level…and if what I am about to say pinches your nerves you possibly may be an enabler too!

My sister’s youngest is 3 going on 23. He is the smartest little ass you will ever meet. He embodies a little genius and knows how to use it. He is fully capable of completing multiple tasks on his own but because he knows that Mom is there he will suddenly get a case of developmental delay and forget everything he has ever mastered.

My sister allows her son to dictate bedtime and then in the morning when he can’t get up, she prepares him for school with all the fixers; brushed teeth, combed hair etc. all while this child is sleeping. Then physically carries him to the car and into the classroom. She calls what she does rousing him from his slumber. Yeah, I call that complete control, Son 1: Mom 0.

A song comes to mind when I think of my sisters relationship with her son, Lisa Lobe, Linger, “I’m such a fool for you, you’ve got me wrapped around your finger, do you have to let it linger, do you have to, do you have to… ” well maybe not the entire song but at least the chorus.

I am so proud that the teacher made light of the situation and upset that she waited four months to do so. I have been saying it for years but I guess it’s different coming from a professional. WHATEVER! I don’t know what psychology my nephew practiced on his mother or further more how she convinced herself that good mothering meant giving in to your child’s every desire. Whether it is physically, emotionally, or retail…a 3 year old or any other child should not dictate your footsteps in life. You also should not feel guilty about teaching your little one independence. If your child is coddled all their life then how will they be able to cope as an adult without you? For the reverse how will you be able to cope without this being that you have nurtured to the point of no return when they want to fly the coup?

Now my sister claims that this is her last child and she spoils him because she has an opportunity to do things for him that she never had the ability to do with her older children. I can appreciate that however not allowing him to walk and holding him while you maneuver through a grocery store is not the same as taking him to see Elmo on Ice and joining a mommy and me yoga class. While she feels justified, I see the frustration when she wants to get some work done on the computer an a little leprechaun comes and sits in her lap demanding her undivided attention. You can love your child unconditionally without appeasing his every demand, setting boundaries and routines allows your child to respect your role as Mommy (creator of all good and make everything better goddess) even more and appreciate you more when you do spoil them.

I am proud to say that I assisted my sister in taking the teachers suggestion and on a cold Monday morning we walked (emphasis on walked) up the stairs into the building and to the classroom door, with a promise of a surprise later on in the evening my nephew took off his coat, put it in his cubby, washed his hands and waved a strong “bye mom, see you later auntie”! and the world did not end….

Jen: “In my defense, Mini Me doesn’t dictate his bedtime. I need to break the cycle where he needs to have me holding him when he sleeps. We co-sleep and he doesn’t fall asleep at bedtime without being next to me. He’ll wait up for me to come to bed or if I put him down and he doesn’t feel me next to him anymore, he wakes up. I plan to wean him out of my bed in the new year. This year our milestone was weaning him from breastfeeding. My cut off was originally 24 mos. but that didn’t happen and it was more like 39 mos. That’s a whole other post. Baby Steps…”


  1. Christ like child says:

    very interesting article, I agree alot with what was said, but at the end of the day ur during what ur spirit wants and needs to for u 2 fill completed and attached to his spirit and meaning of life purpose, never sway away from ur natural ability as a mother, to many have given up this precious gift 2 nuture life(could be why we have so much bs going on n the world today) not enough mother’s want to b a mother. our 1st teacher n life is our mother, so on that note; never stop doing and being u, inspite of what other’s think. leaders lead by example.

    heavenly guided.
    keep up the great work.
    God bless.

  2. Love it! This post was priceless. You’ll get there Jen.
    Polly (aka 5th Sister)´s last blog post ..Oh Christmas Tree…A Saturday Centus Offering

  3. Marie Leslie
    Twitter: marierleslie

    Great post! Isn’t it good to have sisters to keep us in check? I know mine sure do it for me!
    Marie Leslie´s last blog post ..We Still Believe

  4. Michael McDonald
    Twitter: vtwinfitness

    Great post. Thanks for sharing it. It’s still great to see you being involved even if overly so. So many children just get sent out the door to the babysitter (I mean school).
    Michael McDonald´s last blog post ..Discipline and Commitment!!!

  5. O Laing
    Twitter: o_laing

    I’m loving the “in my defense” tidbit but sister you just described classic dictation! I didnt know you added that lol. I Love you and thank you for allowing me to guest blog. P.S. I am so surprised you added the breastfeeding part yeah I could blog on that topic all day…….but I won’t. Love you!

  6. Liz Maness
    Twitter: DatingDiva40

    I have always doted too much on my children. The only problem that I see that happened was that once they left home i was a very lost and sad soul. Spoil your children with attention and take some time for yourself too!

  7. Great story!
    AJ´s last blog post ..A Great New Twitter Tool!

  8. Gotta love parenting and kids. The stories that are gathered are precious and last a lifetime. In the end though, it’s all worth it =)
    Edmund Lee´s last blog post ..Inspirational Business Quotes – A Lesson Learned From Harvey Mackay

  9. You are lucky to have your sister too!
    momto8blog´s last blog post ..What Happens to Middle School Kids When They Get up Early on Saturday

  10. Oh I SO loved this post! Kudos to your sister for being supportive (and open!) as you practice being a little less of an enabler with your kids!

    ~RJ, the HOPE Coach
    RJ, the Hope Coach´s last blog post ..Seven Things Your Teen Needs to Hear You Say This Christmas

  11. What I’m more worried about is this: how are these children going to be able to contribute in their own romantic relationships as adults?

  12. Not having any kids of my own, it is easy to look around at others and think what tye should, or shouldn’t do as parents. But, having a voice to help and guide is surely invaluable. I know, even in my life, the value of my sisters input is priceless! Besides, I truly admire how she has raised her kids…they are becoming beautiful adults!
    Carl Mason-Liebenberg´s last blog post ..Not All Calories are Created Equally

  13. The bond shared between siblings spans a lifetime. It’s so wonderful that your sister and you allow each other your differences and yet support each other. Enjoy the blessing of your relationship as well as the gift of your children. Thanks for sharing your experience through your sister’s eyes.
    Kim Hawkins´s last blog post ..In God’s Heart I Am…

  14. Great post! I know I’m very grateful to have my sister to keep me in check. Memories to last forever.
    Lisa Birnesser´s last blog post ..How to Have Last-Minute Holly Jolly Shopping

  15. Great support from your sister, she’s the best! Great post.
    The LEARNED Preneur @ NormaDoiron.NET.
    Norma Doiron@Living HEALTHY | WEALTHY | WISE´s last blog post ..Link-Building Crucial to SEO

  16. From one mom enabler to another. I understand, truly I do. LOL. I’ve dressed my son while he was still sleeping. I still brush his teeth for him even though he fights with me to brush them himself. LOL. I doubt we’ll ever stop co sleeping. Like you said baby steps, baby steps
    Nikki @ Mommy Factor´s last blog post ..@DuaneReade Holiday Decorating Ideas #DReade #cbias

  17. O Laing
    Twitter: o_laing

    Directed towards Mona:

    that I was fated to lie with my mother,
    and show to daylight an accursed breed
    which men would not endure, and I was doomed
    to be murderer of the father that begot me- Oedipus the King

    This situation is not that…..while my sister loves her son, she doesn’t LOVE her son. His functionality in an adult romantic relationship has no bearing here. His only flaw is that no woman will ever compare to his Mama.

  18. Jen has an issue with separation re: the children. She met her match with this last one.
    He seems to be one step ahead, and takes advantage to the fullest. But guess what? She allows it to the fullest!! Ps.127:4 & 5, “Children born to a young man are like arrows in a worrior’s hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them.” Prov. 22:6, “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.” (NLT) To Jen: Mommy, teach me & guide me, but don’t do all for me; for then I won’t know how to do for myself, I need to grow. I’ll fuss a bit but that’s ok. I know you love me, I love you more.

  19. Yeah…. you got it hella bad. Let him learn! I know I’m going to have it bad with my lil one but you know what that’s something we go through with our last child.

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