Am I the only mom out there who constantly wonders if I’m doing enough for my child? Doing involves not just making sure their basic needs are met (clothed, fed, clean) but that they’re thriving, developing mentally and emotionally into a young, respectable person. Who measures this? During the infant and toddler years there are milestones to achieve, in school there are standards to be met, but don’t we as parents place the bulk of responsibility for our child’s development on ourselves? I’m constantly wondering if my almost two year old is stimulated enough, challenged enough, playing enough, being outside enough, being educated enough, being socialized enough, being well-rounded enough. I take him to the library, to the gardens, to the playground, to the splash pad, to the zoo, to the children’s museum, to the beach, to play-dates, to here, there and everywhere, and still I wonder if it’s enough. I make sure he gets a minimum of an hour and a half outside every day, and maximum of an hour of TV watching every day, and yet I wonder if he’s damaged already by too much TV or not enough outside play. How does one measure this? Sometimes I think we’re on the go so much and we need to stay home, but there’s only so much indoor play, crafts, dishes and laundry and meal prep this mama can take. I get ancy to get out of the house and go do something, anything sometimes, but to the detriment of my child? Is it healthy to be always on the go? There are two extremes: always going and not going enough. Again, what’s enough? Who’s to say? The parents? Doctors? Teachers? As a first-time mom of an only child, it’s very easy to pop him in the carseat now and go, but I know that all changes with two. Having a routine is almost a necessity for stay-at-home moms to avoid going crazy (at least for me) but in the summertime that all changes as well. Today we went to a splash pad in the morning, a highly interactive children’s museum in the afternoon, and a paddle boat ride after dinner out. My son was over-stimulated and so tired he even sat still in his highchair in a restaurant! (a rarity). I could get carried away by so many programs and activities but I realized that it was a rare treat to do so much in one day. I think of the parents who have enrolled their child in every sporting event and extracurricular, and I think how wise doing “one thing” is. Your child doesn’t need to be constantly entertained, on the go, stimulated and socialized. He/She needs his/her mother. The quality time of playing in the sandbox, kicking or throwing the ball, going for a walk, reading the 20th book, is invaluable for me and for my son. Those are the moments that will last.
- Are you tempted to constantly be going, doing, rushing onto the next activity for your kids, and if so, why?
- How do you make quality time with them a focus?