I'm ruining my children.
It's summer. I am home part-time with my six-year-old and two-year-old.
Like a wonderful mom I have been
In case you're wondering how, let me form a short list of what I have messed up today alone:
-Children need unstructured play to develop creativity. Kids without lots of toys have it best. But I should maybe put some more thought into the activities I provide for them so they develop. Only if I care about them.
- Children need to be allowed freedom and autonomy in their play but I must be sure to engage with them so they are attached to me. Also I must watch them every second because they could drown or choke or impale themselves. But I shouldn't hover.
-Children who only spend time with their caregivers are more anxious and less flexible. They need to have exposure to others. But also if I let someone else care for my children, I am allowing strangers to raise them. Why did I bother having a child? Shame on me either way.
- On that note, I should be sure and model a happy and well-adjusted adulthood for them. But I need to make sure that doesn't detract from my unwavering focus on them. My needs are important but also not important if I love my child.
- Children need to be allowed to enjoy simple pleasures like popsicles, but only if they're homemade and refined sugar and allergen free. Unless its the ice cream truck and then why are am I denying them childhood nostalgia? I shouldn't control everything.
- Sibling fighting is totally normal, and will ruin them forever. So I must be sure to let them work it out themselves except I need to be teaching them how to do this through modeling and involvement.
- Screen time is ruining my children. I should simply send them out onto my plentiful acreage or my very safe street to play with the other children who aren't outside. Once again, see the rules about supervision. There are dangers lurking everywhere but I must let them explore if I want them to be functional adults.
- Lunch must be cute. Handmade. Free of dairy or gluten. Why can't I cut up fruits and veggies and arrange them beautifully? My kids would eat better if I only had knife skills.
- My house must be minimalist. With only creative-play wooden toys. But also, my children must learn computer proficiency and preferably know how to code by kindergarten. Do I want them to fall behind the times?
- A child's needs must be tended to. Always. This will make them a secure adult. Unless they are just crying because they are frustrated or needing to learn how to solve a problem. In which case I can stunt their development by rushing to save them all the time. Do I really want them to miss out on this learning?
- I should not raise my voice to express myself. But also I should not be fake. Authenticity is important in modeling and attachment. Unless I'm authentically losing my brains. Then that needs to be kept inside. I don't want to burden my children with my fakeness or my feelings.
... It is so serious. I have RUINED them. Before noon.
I know what to do. How about I visit a lovely supportive internet forum where moms talk about their mothering challenges? That should help....
(Original published on my Facebook page. If you enjoyed this, you should follow me there!)