I recently read an article stating children under the age of 12 should not be allowed access to handheld devices. I then read an article that stated how ridiculous the first article was.
Good parenting comes from knowing your child. Knowing what he/she needs. Knowing what he/she can handle. And actually doing it.
I am not always a good parent. Sometimes, mostly when it's time to make dinner or clean one of the various messes, I plop my kid in front of SpongeBob Squarepants. Does this put me in the running for Mother of the Year? Nope. But it makes me just like all the rest of the moms.
When you're a mom who only works sometimes, there are a variety of things you have to do while managing children: appointments, more children, messes, schools and occasionally work. I can't always do it all.
My laundry doesn't always get folded the day it gets washed. The turtle tank sometimes goes a little longer than it should between cleanings. My kids sometimes spend too much time watching TV or playing their "handheld devices". We own a Nabi and a Kindle and smartphones. My kid has access to them all.
I'm not perfect. I wouldn't want to be. Perfect is when you spend more time worrying about how show-perfect your house is than enjoying the things you have in it. Perfect is when you spend more time worrying about advancing your career than advancing your children. Some people can do both without any issues. I am not one of them.
I am the imperfect parent. But my children know that I will drop the sponge and bucket for a game of CandyLand if they really really have to play right now. They know that if Transformers comes on TV, I will make a snack and snuggle on the couch. And on those nights, bedtime is relative.
I sometimes drive Daddy nuts. I don't always do as much cleaning as I should. I do what needs done, then play with my kids. Sometimes we make a mess so huge that it takes an hour to undo what we did before Daddy gets home. But we have fun. And Child 1 hugs me every day, and tells me he loves me, and still calls me the best mom in the world.
Child 1 could care less if we have to hunt for socks in a giant sock pile every morning. Child 1 could care less if the house will make it into a photo in Better Homes and Gardens. And around here, the only people I try to impress are my kids.
My relationship with Daddy suffers for this. I blame myself for a lot of our fights. I very often put the children way before us. We haven't gone anywhere without them in years. There is no "us" time. And he's right, it isn't fair. I absolutely don't do enough to foster any relationships other than my children.
I don't see friends as much as I should. Frankly, I rarely ever see friends. I don't return phone calls, because I'd just end up saying I wouldn't see them anyway. I am that person that forsakes all for their kids. And at the same time, forsakes their kids for what I think I should be doing. It's a vicious circle.
I need to do more on all fronts. But I am a procrastinator. I talk a good game but rarely put any of it into practice. But I really intend to try.
I will ask my mother to take my children for the evening and go somewhere with Daddy. Even if I hate what we are doing (this does not include the gun range, so if you read this, think again pal.) I intend to do more in my house while Child 1 is in school so I can still mess it up with him when he comes home. I intend to start telling people that "No, that meeting time does NOT work for me" and just not showing up. I intend to try to be better.
And I intend to start trying all of that someday. I am after all a procrastinator and a non-finisher.