I do not like teaching my children to drive. By I do not like, I mean I hate it. Teaching kids to drive gives me so much anxiety. I don’t know how people do it. There is no steering wheel, brakes or anything on the passenger side of the vehicle and somehow we are supposed to just drive into traffic and trust that they will not make a mistake. We are assuming, in a split second, that I can form words and communicate effectively to my child what actions to take. Mistakes here can be expensive, both in dollars, injury and anxiety. I taught our older three children to drive and I just had one left to teach. I should have been good at this by now. I should be able to manage it. I should, I should, I should…
But recently I decided that ‘I should’ is not necessarily a good reason. I should…because, why? I see other parents doing it? It seems like the parental thing to do? It’s expensive to have someone else do it? Maybe ‘I should’ could be a phrase we look at more closely. Why should you? Says who? Is it right for you?
I went online and researched driver’s ed schools. I found the best one, booked #4 into the December class and felt profound relief. Driver’s schools have that elusive second steering wheel and brake pedal, just in case you were wondering. With my relief I realized that ‘I should’ is a phrase that I could change to “you can consider if this is right for you”. And then I could proceed to do just that. For me, having someone else do this is probably better for my child and it is certainly better for me. Until this moment I hadn’t realized that I had a choice and that I could consider my own needs in this. I thought that as a mom there were certain things that needed to be done and that my own needs didn’t matter- but they do. I can choose to take care of myself along with making the best decisions for my family. It’s not either/or.
And with that I take a deep breath and start looking for the other areas of my life that “I should”, and I’ll switch that to “I will consider if this is right for me, in this season, right now”.