"Never do for a child what he can do for himself." I think it's a quote from Susanna Wesley, though I've not been able to find proof, except for a fuzzy memory of a book read long ago.
The Amazing Reese and I took this to heart, and encouraged our daughters to have personal responsibility at as early an age as possible. For example, if they were coordinated enough to hold a toy and walk at the same time, they were certainly capable of holding their own diaper after it was changed, and throw it away.
My mom goal (or rather desire) was to raise healthy, mature, independent, emotionally well, fully functioning adults. Up to a certain age, we help them become THE whatever kind of people they are going to be. We, as moms and parents, have no control over how our offspring respond to us, or if they choose to grow, or if they even want to act like humans. We pray. We offer grace. We show mercy. We encourage (not nag.) But, we have no control over the outcome.
All that said, from the very beginning, I've loved the whole experience. My firstborn turned 24 yesterday (Mothers Day) and my youngest is 17. It's a privilege to have been chosen out of the entire universe to know and love these four beautiful (inside and out) young ladies.
So, thank you my sweet daughters. Thanks for all the great years as your mother, but best of all, now that we're all getting older, thanks for letting me be your friend.