It was literally impossible with a straight spoken, shoot-from-the-hip, don't mess with me mother like myself. I wanted them to learn how to deal with life, no matter what hand they were dealt. No folding in our house, you played the cards you were given.
Beginning life education at an early age, a cat having kittens was a wonderful opportunity to teach them about birth. We gathered round Patches, she didn't mind as she continued her birthing. We talked about uteruses, birth sacks, umbilical cords and carefully related these to the birthing process of people. Patches was cleaning up wonderfully after each kitten to get her naturally high protein (sometimes animals are pretty darn smart). The girls asked if the human moms had to eat the afterbirth. I said, no, that is why humans go to the hospital and they said, oh, and the doctors eat it!!! So much for that lesson.
One thing seemed to be an issue...cleaning. As they grew closer to leaving the nest, they resisted the cleaning even more. Okay, I am working a sixty-hour week, going to college, taking correspondence courses in addition to life in general, I don't think I am supposed to clean a teen-ager's room.
My last words when I left for work, Clean your room or I will. First mistake they made...they did not believe me. Came home after a ten hour day, no rooms cleaned. I don't explode when I am angry, I become calm, determined and very tunnel visioned...hey, I told them.
I removed the screen from the window and began to throw every thing out the window. With Melissa's underwear hanging in the tree, she began screaming and running out to get them. As she ran in with an armload, another batch of stuff went out. If it was on the floor, it left the room.
Hubby was standing in the neighbor's yard visiting, the neighbor became concerned with all the activities and sounds. He asked hubby, Uh, is some thing wrong. Hubby said, Nope, Gail is cleaning Melissa's room. While this was happening Maria was very quickly cleaning hers because she knew she was next!
Years later when we had a foster child, I asked her to clean her room. Melissa and Maria were both here and advised my foster daughter to clean her room. I heard them say, Believe us, you don't want Mom cleaning your room...and I smiled.
My girls are very good daughters, grown with children of their own. I can only hope the price of what Mom called "paying for your raising" is not too steep.