This and That

Things I struggle with as a mom

Posted on: January 25, 2012

There are two reoccurring things I struggle with as a mom.

1. Do I let the boys watch too much TV?

There is so much talk about TV in parenting magazines, books, and on the TV (interestingly enough) and this question is on my mind constantly. Everyone has an opinion and the politically correct opinion is no TV for kids what-so-ever, but I would dare say that any parent that claims their kids don’t watch TV are lying. No TV is not realistic. Why? Sometimes I need a break, sometimes it’s raining outside and I have run out of indoor activities for my two active boys, sometimes I am not awake enough in the morning and I need the boys distracted while I chug my coffee, or sometimes after being at preschool in the morning and the park in the afternoon the boys are the ones that need to zone out and take a break. Yet, with all these perfectly good and logical reasons I still feel the twinges of mommy guilt when they watch more than one show. To be completely honest some days go by when the boys watch a ton of TV and those days are usually followed by days where I barely let them watch one episode. So there is some balance but I still struggle, question myself as a mother, and let mommy guilt rear it’s ugly head.

2. Do I play with the boys too much? and the flip side of that question is do I let them play by themselves too much?

I am a pretty active part of my boys daily playing life. I am always on the floor playing cars, planes, trains, and blocks. Sometimes I am on the floor so much I feel like I am a crutch for them. Can they play by themselves?  Like most parents, I want my kids to be independent and confident; and one thing they must learn is to entertain themselves. My oldest son struggles with this concept the most. He always wants me to play with him and has only recently been able to entertain himself. My youngest has no problem with this. But as always, the second they are playing alone and I am free to do whatever I feel the mommy guilt. The mommy guilt says “They are only this small once. You are missing out on quality time. You are being a bad mother by not giving them your attention.”

ARGH! I hate mommy guilt and I feel like it plagues me more than most.

These are my struggles, can you relate?

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2 Responses to "Things I struggle with as a mom"

TV – there is a balance but I think TV programs for kids (and adults – Nova) have come a long way from the I Love Lucy shows. I have talked to some so called professionals on this and found that they did let their children watch TV when they were little (before the studies came out that said don’t) or they don’t have kids. I think TV can spark children’s imagination and speech. Who would ever criticize Mr. Rogers, Elmo, Big Bird or Little Einstein? There should be no guilt with limited TV (some days more than others).
Play – Kids personalities are different and some kids can play by themselves earlier than others. As long as you are there some of the play time is all that is important. I think all kids need to learn that sometimes you don’t get what you want, and that’s okay. As long as they can move to plan B then they will be fine. No guilt here either.

Jami – I have struggled with the same things for years now and all I can say is that as parents we do our best. I try to make my computer time when my son is playing Wii … this way I can limit the time we both have. TV is hard because he likes to watch educational shows on Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. So am I wrong to let him watch these shows if it means he is watching hours of TV? I don’t think there is ever going to be a right and wrong answer to these questions. I say do what you feel is best for your family. If one week you have a crazy schedule and it means the kids sit in front of the TV longer than normal, then you make up for it the following week with long play days at the park. You’re doing an awesome job as a mom!

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