I was perusing my Parent's magazine last week when something struck me...there seems to be this idea that as a mother you should always be doing something. Even while getting my hair cut, my stylist was talking about how she's always reading a book about parenting or sibling rivalry and always trying to be a 'better mom.' After stating that I liked to be able to relax and just quiet my mind, I sat in the chair feeling like a horrible mother.
Why is it that mothers have come away with this idea that they always need to be reading the latest book or doing art projects every day or teaching their 18-month-old to read? Why are we so concerned about always "being busy?" My husband doesn't ever read my parenting magazines and he's never cracked a book about child rearing. Want to know the crazy crazy result? He's a perfect dad. He knows exactly what his daughter needs from him and he gives it to her. She needs love and support and lots and lots of attention.
The idea that our culture perpetuates is that mothers need to be doing more. There's the idea that mothers need to send their children to kindergarden knowing how to read. There's also the push for children to be in as many after school activities and sports as possible. Why on earth is this possible?
You don't need to be doing more than you are already doing. Child rearing isn't about competition with other moms. Your child will learn to read just like the other 'precocious' child who came to kindergarden already knowing how. Being a mom is about playing on the floor and allowing your toddler to stir the batter and laying in bed reading book after book to your child. As moms we should take a leaf out of our husband's books and relax a little. You know how to take care of your child-its already in you.
And don't forget to take a little moment for yourself everyday. When you go to get your hair cut, just sit and relax. When Dad comes home, jet off to Target and wander the aisles aimlessly if you want. Remember that you don't have to be it all, your child(ren) already love you.
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