Friday, October 16, 2009

mother critic

I frequently feel guilty about ridiculous things. Like letting my boys watch TV or play on the computer or drink lots of apple juice. I mean, I think all of those things are fine in moderation and not so great in excess. But I often find that, in the moment, I can't tell which category I fall into. Well, expect for the apple juice...I'm certain that we usually fall into the category of "excess".

Anyway, the other day when my friend called, Andrew decided that he would interrupt and distract and do whatever he could to inhibit any social interaction I might be trying to have. So, I put him on the computer.

And then I spent the rest of the phone call enjoying talking to my friend while feeling guilty that Andrew was on the computer and not doing something better. Like looking at books, or contemplating how flashlights work, or building something big and complicated.

And then something dawned on me. The moments when I am feeling guilty about being a bad parent, are probably some of Andrew's favorite moments. He loves being on the computer too much and watching too much TV and the more apple juice, the better. And for some reason, that eased the guilt a little. It made me not feel so bad.

And then my friend pointed out, that he also loves the moments when I feel like a good parent. Like when we make things or discover things or have real connections together.

Anyway, it all just felt good and balanced and normal.


Cat said...

I was wondering if you could come write my blog sometimes??? I feel exactly the same. Thanks for sharing!

Robyn said...

oh Cat..if I only knew French! ;)

Sarah said...

I know these feeling so well. Similarly, when Olive is on her own doing TV or computer she is very pleased and I feel neglectful and inattentive. More and more she does things on her own and my attention is there only when she needs it. I think that is natural. Keep up your good work. And I am always impressed with the things you manage to accomplish as a family.

Stacey and Jayson Lavers said...

Robyn, I've always thought of you as the perfect mother! Your house seems to be a little preschool where constant learning and creativity thrive. It is sooooooooo refreshing to know that your kids watch tv because I've been letting Sophia watch it (trying to not get to the excessive point), and she's only 9 months! But she totally loves it. I feel better now that I know you sort of approve. :-)

Jessa said...

Thanks you for that. I needed to hear that.