Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mommy Guilt: No More Excuses

"Mommy, why don't you want to come play with me?" 

I can't help but feel like this sentence is welling up inside of my baby boy when I am not actively partaking in playtime with him. I know that's a silly thing to think... right?

While we have a baby who sleeps like a dream (pun intended - ha!), we also have extremely limited nap times since he is already pretty well rested from the night. Sometimes we get lucky with a nap that lasts up to 2 hours, but usually they're about 45 minutes to an hour, max, and sometimes we get only 15 minutes at a time from our little bugger. That's leaves a lot of baby-entertainment time. 

When I am home with Asher all day, my goals are usually to get needed work done on the computer for our Etsy shop and catch up on the household chores (...laundry, dishes, wash those bottles that have been sitting for much longer than anticipated in the sink. P-Yew.), and also try to get some time in for photo editing and blog updates. But with a tireless little one at my feet, that can be a serious challenge.

I usually will play with Asher for 15-20 minutes in the morning after his bottle, then let him wind back down by watching his 'Signing Time' DVD for 45 min. before his morning nap. Sometimes, it plays twice.

Enter: Mommy Guilt. 

There is a lot of pressure on moms these days - well dads, too, for that matter. Yes, some of the pressure may be due to the modern dynamic of the household that has shifted in many homes, with moms and dads sharing workloads left and right; but a lot of it is now stemming from a social aspect - the Mommy Wars. (No, it's not a Bravo TV show - Oh, wait, yes it is.) From Pinterest to Twitter to Facebook and to, yes, mommy blogs like mine, there is this pressure to do everything perfectly, follow every guideline, "out-mom" even the most saavy mom. 

"Children under 2 should not watch TV." - every parenting source out there.

According to Time, children under age 2 will have "delayed language skills" and they say that it cuts down on "parent-child interaction". They even go as far as to warn against "secondhand TV" when your TV is playing in the background. 

When you've been talking to your baby all morning, played with him on his play mats, practiced sitting, rolling, standing, tried to get him to say "Mama" even though you know it's months away, and even gone on a fake "treasure hunt" throughout the house with your 5 month old who doesn't understand a thing but loves that you're smiling with him, all knowing that you are going to do everything YET AGAIN (and for longer) in the afternoon... IS A LITTLE DOWN TIME IN FROM OF THE TV SUCH A BAD THING? 

I digress. 

From breastfeeding, to co-sleeping, to how-much-tv-is-too-much-tv, we moms have been set up. We've been set up to feel guilty no matter how many organic vegetables we buy and wash with the plant-based cleaning solution and store in BPA-free containers in our energy efficient refrigerator. 

However, when you throw the white flag and just go on with your day, you are liberated. 

My baby watches TV when I need to get some things done around the house or get some work done on the computer. He gets a ton of parent-child interaction throughout the day. You know what, scratch that. I KNOW he gets enough interaction, and that's all that matters. No more excuses.

So, all you moms out there who feel guilty like me, who lie about that amount of time their child is watching TV or feel ashamed to admit that your are bottle feeding rather than sticking with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (who must be comprised of all females who have borne children, of course, so they KNOW what the recommendations should be and that you must be doing something wrong) - FREE YOURSELF FROM THE MOMMY GUILT AND REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB AND YOUR BABY WILL LOVE YOU AND DEVELOP AND GROW ACCORDINGLY EVEN IF YOU CUT CORNERS ON THE - LET'S FACE IT - SMALL STUFF.

In the meantime, I am going to work on this for myself, as well.

...and here are some more cute pictures, I am done with my rant for the day.

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  1. I couldn't agree more. A happy mom equals a happy baby. I have also faced the "mommy guilt" when putting my little one in front of the TV with his toys to get something done, or -gasp- have mommy time.

    1. Mommy time?! Tsk, Tsk.. ;) Its so true. Then time playing is higher quality time, too!