Motherhood is full of outside advice, counsel, and opinions, isn’t it? There’s always a study, an expert, a hypothesis for every question we have about our kids or our parenting style – and most conflict each other.
It’s overwhelming at times. I know – everything in moderation – but if you really think about all the things we are supposed to include in our child’s day – everything he or she should and shouldn’t be exposed to – it’s enough to make a mama’s head spin. For example, our kids are supposed to read as much as they can every day, but get enough physical activity to ward off obesity. We should feed them healthy, home-cooked meals, but those require some time to put together – what part of the day do you sacrifice to get those healthy meals on the table?
The bottom line is we don’t have enough time in the day. 24 hours is just not enough to do everything all the experts tell us to do. That’s the one thing we have to realize going into motherhood. You’ve got to compromise somewhere. But where? Where do we compromise BUT not shortchange our kids?
I think about this all the time in my daily life – and I need to burden someone else with my worrisome ways so here it goes – of these scenarios, which ones are most beneficial to our kids? Don’t worry – I really don’t expect answers here, just thinking out loud!
Eating a wholesome bowl of oatmeal while watching “Sponge Bob”
Eating two toaster strudels around the table with the rest of the family discussing what was planned that day. No TV
Watching an educational movie in the car
Staring out the window using their imaginations
Falling asleep every night at 7 pm in mom’s bed then being moved to his own bed
Falling asleep at sporadic times – sometimes as late as 9 – but falling asleep in his own bed
From scratch, home-cooked non-organic meal made with fatty foods (like whole-milk cheese and butter)
Store-bought, low-fat processed meal
Taking the kids to the park for an hour and making a quick, but not-so-healthy dinner of buttery noodles
Using that hour to cooking a from-scratch, healthy, homemade meal while the kids watch TV
A Saturday morning spent running to different sporting events cheering each sibling on and getting physical activity – the family might be separated at times
A Saturday morning spent as a family playing games and just laying around the house
Enrolling kids in multiple activities to get them exposed to many different things – making the afternoons frantic
Enrolling kids in just one activity with lots of downtime at home to read, play games, and just “be kids”
Restricting TV to only weekends but allowing kids to watch multiple shows in a row
Allowing TV every day but only one show per day.
See? It’s not that simple! It’s like a bad word problem on a math test. I bet everyone has different opinions on every scenario, and we could all argue why our way is or isn’t the best but that’s not going to get anyone anywhere. I guess the bottom line is that parenting is a sticky string of grey areas. You’ve got to pick and choose your battles and hope what you’re doing (or not doing) won’t send your kids straight to therapy as adults.
Have you thought about this? What scenarios have you come up with? Share ‘em!
Spending money on fabulous summer camps where the kids get exposed to all sorts of activities vs. spending money on a fabulous family vacation and letting them just sleep in and play the rest of the summer! I usually chose the later and feel guilty about what they are missing.
I think there can be compromises on all scenarios and what works for one, might not work for another. Who is to judge what is “best” for your family? Life is not cut and dry and no one day is like the rest—we can only do what we can do.
Is it more important to give our children ‘things’ or to give them a loving, nurturing home? As for healthy meals and enrichment, etc.—everything in moderation. Processed foods are ok–in moderation and won’t cause our children to become obese and unhelathy eaters and regular T.V. watching isn’t going to systematically dismantle their IQs either.
It’s difficult to not look outside and make comparisons, but we only have control over what goes on within our households and only we know what is best for our kids. If your kids are happy, healthy and are allowed to be ‘kids’, then you are doing your job as parents. 🙂
Whatever works for your family and your children. In my opinion, there could be arguments for either but if you choose what works for your family situation then the memories will be of a happy family which is really the goal right?
Awesome job once again! I am looking forward for more updates:)