My daughter Claire turned 14 this past May, and we agreed that over the summer she would paint and redecorate her bedroom. She was thrilled at the prospect. We had moved into our home seven years earlier when she was indifferent about the decor, so now as a teenager she wanted the opportunity to put her stamp on her room. We were excited, and spent a lot of time researching and discussing the details.
We agreed on a budget and on what she would do. It was fun. Her bed was a big part of the equation, she had been dreaming of upgrading from a twin to a full size. My family always relished going to bed – Claire was no exception. She had a plan and a vision – her bed would be super comfortable and inviting. She could not wait for that particular upgrade.
Paint colors were selected and the job began. Then we went shopping. It was fun. She selected curtains for the windows and a few choice pieces of furniture. Claire set the furnishings in place, and voila the room looked like a teen’s room – fun and inviting. The bed was the only outstanding item, but we got busy and planned on getting that shortly.
Suddenly, I noticed that her bedroom was a mess. All of the time and effort and dollars spent on creating the perfect room, and now she did not bother to keep it neat and tidy. What? I spoke with her about it and she agreed to clean up her act. But nothing changed. We had several discussions, and then I realized I was talking to a wall. I came to a conclusion. No new bed until I saw a consistently clean room. I was very clear.
Simple Equation: Clean Room = New Bed.
No progress. I dug my heels in. No emotion. Claire was horrified, and disagreed with me about the room being a mess. I took photos. The proof was in the pudding.
Claire shared with me that her friends at high school thought it was appalling, but funny that she was sleeping on a mattress. Nothing changed. The room was clean for a day or two and then messy.
It’s now 2018 and Claire still does not have a mattress. I did not blink. As I told her it’s something that she can change quickly if she wants to.
Sometimes in life we are our own worst enemy – the world owes us nothing. I don’t want to unleash an entitled daughter into the world. Sometimes being a Mom means making the difficult choices. Claire has the power… I rest my case. I hope she gets one before she turns 18.