A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Monday, July 23, 2012


I fight these battles that don't matter. I think everyone does it, to some extreme or another. I find myself more and more fighting them with the twins.

It's not because I want to be in charge. It's not because I want them to obey me (I do).

I'm realizing now, that it's because I'm fighting the battle I CAN fight, as the one I want to fight I'm powerless  against.

It's a management lesson that definitely applies to parenting. Managers under pressure, stress and strain tend to freak out and act like lunatics over the small, insignificant things they CAN control when other BIGGER things start exploding around them.

For instance, I was once part of a company that had a huge project (if you worked there you know it as THE MOVE). We were supposed to move our warehouse, from one place to another over the course of three days. After three weeks and Armageddon raining down on us to the point of mental collapse of everyone involved, the president of the company walked through my department and literally freaked out because someone had a coat hanging on the back of their chair. Employees were not allowed to drape their coats on the backs of their chairs.

HE FREAKED OUT about how we all knew the rules and he had never better see this again. I really liked him then and now, and was lucky at that time to have enough tenure in leadership to recognize what was happening, and just say "ok" and let it go. I was also lucky enough to be good enough friends with him to taunt him mercilessly about it a couple of years later.

As a parent, I just caught myself fighting with an 8 year old autistic boy who was screaming OPEN DOOR OPEN DOOR. Why? Because there was a spare sippy cup behind the door. He didn't need it. He didn't really want a drink he just wanted the cup. It's sitting on the floor beside me right now. For about five minutes, I held fast to "By god NO I AM NOT OPENING THAT DOOR YOU ARE NOT MAKING ME OPEN THAT DOOR" as I finished up getting clean post bath clothes together.

The cup was something I could control.

I can't control autism. It controls me. But I find myself more and more making these bad choices, fighting the wrong things, because autism won every single round without even entering the ring.

So I shut my mouth and took his hand and walked over to the door, while he looked up at me wild eyed - certain he was in BIG trouble. I opened the door, let him get the cup and then asked him what he wanted to watch on TV.

I have to do better than that. I lost the war. I should stop fighting the battles that don't matter.