Thursday, July 21, 2011

Am I a Bad Parent?

Yeah, I admit that I've been dropping the ball lately. I yell at other drivers who cut me off or refuse to let me change lanes. My kid watches Youtube kid's songs and Sesame Street way too much (he's not even a preschooler yet). And there was yesterday when I looked at the clock and said "I should change his diaper soon, but we're having fun right now" right before he peed on me because his diaper was full. I guess I should have factored in all that water he had earlier.

I admit I make mistakes. I admit that in certain circumstances I could have made a better choice. But knowing that I could set a better example for my kid and is different than never letting him out of my sight.

A while back ago when HB wasn't even walking yet, a friend came over with his kids. He was about to leave so I gathered up the laundry and started heading to the door after them. HB was in his playpen. The laundry room is literally behind the wall of our kitchen. My friend slowed down and sat back down and said he's wait. "Why?" I asked. "He's perfectly fine. What's going to happen to him in the 5 minutes it takes me to throw the laundry in?" Apparently, my walking about 10 feet away from my child who was perfectly fine in a playpen (no potential danger there) was too dangerous for him.

As is, according to experts, my occasional strapping in the toddler and going "opps. forgot something" and running back inside to grab said item while he waits in the car is a faux pas. I'm not leaving my child in a car for an hour or even thirty minutes. He can't get hurt; he's strapped in. "Oh, but someone could take him." Sure and there's an even greater chance that while I'm driving to the grocery store or whatever errand he'll get hit by another car and get killed that way. But I'm willing to run the risk of going to the store like every mother does. So my sprint to grab his sippy cup so he won't die from thirst pales in comparison.

I've been reading the blog of a lady called "Free Range Kids" who advocates allowing school-age children the freedom our parents/ourselves once enjoyed. Now parents wait for their children to catch the school bus. When I was a school age kid, I waited for the bus by myself. Not only that but I got myself up, readied myself for school, and made my own breakfast in addition to making sure my younger brother did the same thing. Oh the horror!! Call CPS, my parents weren't hovering enough over us.

So when my friend, who I normally think has a decent grasp on reality, was worrying over my perfectly fine angel, I thought that it was odd. Yes, I plan on allowing my child out onto the patio of my new apartment by himself if need be. It's got a wall. And no I make no plans to hover around my child as he waits for the bus or gets out of the car to go to school. And I suspect that my friend will not be the only one who questions my parenting sanity.

In a world where everything must be baby proofed and every toy on the market should never have the slightest risk for chocking, I ask you where is the sanity. Yes, even children's age appropriate toys have hazards. Think pull toys with strings or a stuffed toy falling apart. Being a good parent is monitoring our children for potential hazards, yes, but at some point we all need to calm it down.

1 comment:

  1. Agreed. I think we all pick our battles where this is concerned...

    ZJ is a little younger than HB right? Having a brain freeze moment lol. Anyways, we don't use a play pen at all... He walks all over w/ his sister, spends time in his room alone.. I have no issues dumping in a load of laundry either or being out of sight for a small amount of time.

    The car thing I'm pretty strict on. Not just overheating or someone stealing the kid... This is a really dumb reason because its so unlikely that it would happen a second time but when my dad was a cop he saw a one year old get out of his seat, hit the wrong thing, got the car in motion, drove circles until he was flung and killed. My kids can't even get out of their carseats lol. I know in my head its not likely but he drilled in my head never to leave them for a minute in a car & it stuck.

    I have a cousin who cuts up her 7 year old's grapes.. and would prob have a conniption if she knew ZJ fed himself (granted not grapes lol) at 6 months old.

    Sometimes those diffs can make you (or at least me) feel like a bad mom. Or like someone thinks I am. Not always, I guess I'm doing better about that lately.

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