Today I turned in my resignation as schedule coordinator for our teenagers.

Putting the teens in charge

“Mom, did you mess up my the practice schedule today?”

As these words floated down to the fitness room where I was finishing up a workout, I was hit by that familiar, sinking feeling that, despite my efforts to check, then double check, the schedule of practices, I messed something up and let one of our kids down.

Even as I told my darling daughter that I should not be held responsible for the screw up, because they also received the weekly emails and updates from the team, I was filled with remorse and frustration. I had even thought I should quadruple check the time (it wasn’t at the “normal times”), but got sidetracked last night, working on something for work.

It has been a tough week for the kids and I when it comes to schedules. I was in “trouble” with our son who was frustrated because he was double-booked for work and SAT prep – and I hadn’t told him soon enough about the prep class so it was “90% my fault.”

After a venting session to my poor husband (at work), a healthy cry, and a big hug from our daughter, I decided it was time for me to tender my resignation as lead scheduler for our children.

Because here is the thing, not once in my time as a parent has ANYONE (including my husband) thanked me for keeping our schedule on track. For making sure they all had access to the calendars and showing them how to subscribe to calendars from school and other sources. For spending time loading in all the practices, appointments, concerts – you get the idea.

But they always are quick to tell me it’s my fault when we miss something.

So it’s time. It’s time for the kids to take the lead. To manage their own schedules. To check their email – regularly. To keep me informed about what’s coming up. For making sure important dates are on the schedule. For ensuring they have a ride to, or from, one of their appointments. To reach out to coaches, teachers and others when they miss something, or need to reschedule. And to sit down with me when they need help figure things out.

Because, I’ll still be here to provide backup. To show them how to use the tools (hello Google Calendar). I’ll be making sure they sign up for the important stuff (SATs, ACTs, oh my). But it’s time for them to take control. To take the credit for being organized. And to take the blame when they get something wrong.

I can tell you this is just one of the steps I know we will be taking as we transition the kids beyond high school But for now, in this moment I feel… lighter.