Thursday, August 16, 2012

Letting them be

As I write this, I have our back door open, watching the kids from our kitchen table as they jump in out of their little pool.  They've been doing this all morning. And I'm sitting here with my coffee, uninterrupted, soaking it up.

I think there is this pressure. Sometimes it's a guilt. For me to be out there with them. Joining in. You know what pressure I am talking about. It's every where. Be present with your kids, enjoy them. And I do. I know I do. No worries there.

But I also think too, it's really good to let them just be. On their own. With each other. I think it's how they learn too. I think there is a time for it all. And most of it all I think more mamas need to just let their kids "be." To let go of guilt or the pressure to be there, with them, all of the time.

Can I tell you my opinion? Well I'm going to anyway.
I think it's actually not healthy to be there with them 24/7. I think we need to have bits of seperation from them to let them be. To learn on their own. To figure things out for themselves. To problem solve and pretend play. To learn how to relate with one another. It's what kids do best you know?

I guess I'm writing this from a place of being home with them all summer, every day, just about. And trying hard to divide our time between these two places of letting them be, and being present with them. Making memories with them, and letting them make memories for themselves. Growing up, I knew my parents were always there, that I was loved and cared for. And Growing up, I remember strong bonds that were formed with my siblings. Memories that we still talk about. Moments we remember clearly.

The good mom {in my opinion} is not the entertainer, or the cruise director. The good mom is one who just lets her kids be, and knows when it's time to just be with them. 

Am I saying I'm "the good mom"? No. Trust me. I need this reminder too sometimes.

I had an entire afternoon home with Mia the other day. Just she and I. And it was so fun to watch her play alone. It doesn't happen often with a big brother and sister. But I could tell she was relishing in it... In going at her own pace and doing what she wanted. Every now and then she would walk over to me and grab my hand and say "go, mama, go" and I would "go" with her. We would sit and watch Curious George in spurts, or we would read a book, but then she'd be up again to go play on her own. This is the medium I strive for with all of my kids. To always let them know I'm there, let them be secure in that, but to let them be on their own too. I think this is pressure-free parenting. And pressure-free parenting is where I want to be. Not stressed out, drained 24/7 entertainer of the year,parenting.

Let your kids just "be." And then go ahead and take a shower and do your hair while you're letting them. Promise your still a good mom.


  1. I love hearing this. I work full time and every day I get home I feel like I have to be with my son the entire rest of the day. I always feel so guilty not playing with him the entire time and then I get nothing done. Hearing your words today is super helpful ;)

    1. Same feelings exactly girl! I know for me, my mom worked a full time job but I don't look back and think 'i wish she was with me more' or 'she didn't make time for me'. We made the most of the time we had together and I had the happiest childhood, thanks to her. She was (and is) amazing! Hopefully that's what our kiddo's will think of us too when they look back.

  2. all so true and it really takes the pressure off us. my husband reminds of this all the time. thank you for your reminder as well :o)

  3. This was beautiful! I'm not a mom, but I can totally sense the purpose in this. I love how you said that it's how they learn - I think you're so right. They will learn to solve their own relationship issues, they'll learn how to deal with conflict, and they'll learn how to love one another as siblings - and that will last!

  4. totally. i agree with every single word. sometimes it's hard when you just have one because they don't have a built-in playmate, but it's still so important to let them pretend with their animals and toys. i'm LOVING that even though the baby is only 6months, her big sis loves playing with her and putting on shows for her and everything else. a real-live playmate! anyway, pressure-free is where i want to be too :)

  5. awesome wisdom. I love hearing your insight and am blessed to glean from it! I'm not yet a mommy but will treasure up all the things I learn from Godly women for when that time comes! Thank you!

  6. I WISH I COULD HUG YOU RIGHT THIS MOMENT! You have no idea how much I needed this. I have SO MUCH GUILT at times because I'm not a stay at home mom. So many of the blogs that I read, and friends that I have are SAHM and I feel guilt that I'm not. But then I have to remember just how much Easton LOVES school, how much he learns, how he plays well with others, etc. But I do feel so much guilt. In the afternoons there is rush to get home, to exercise, make dinner, clean up, bath, bed, etc. I feel like I don't get that quality time like I should. But I do know we make the most of our time together. There's times where he'll say 'momma sit down' or 'play with me' and I'll do it. Or like last night, we got finished with dinner early and went for a walk. Just me and him. He liked that. But he does good on his own too. Thank you for this post. It really lessens my guilt, big time! You're an angel! xoxoxoxoxo

  7. This is so wonderfully well put. I have a hard time taking time for myself without guilt. (I am writing this as both babies sleep and I am on hold with the insurance company.) The littles need "alone" time just like everyone else... and thank you for reminding me.

  8. As a stay at home Mama, I struggle with this a lot. We are together ALL THE TIME, yet I still feel guilty for not spending enough time with them. It's crazy, really. Thankfully, I have a really good husband who reminds me that I'm a good Mom, even if I need (and want) alone time.

  9. so lovely! i, too, struggle with this as a stay at home mama. during the day it's just yet sometimes i go to bed wondering if i spent as much quality time with them as i should have. i try to carve out time to read to them, cuddle them, do art projects and just sit down and do a puzzle with them or play blocks...etc. i've come to realize that sometimes i just need to let them be...let play together, just them...and that's ok. for some reason us mamas are programmed to feel as though we have to present ALL THE TIME...24/7...and now i realize that isn't necessarily healthy. littles need to explore and figure out who they can they do that if we are always right there. :)

  10. Such a great post, and thank you for sharing this! I completely agree with you! Blessings, Heather

  11. I loved reading this, and I agree with you. I feel so much pressure to be involved with my kids 24/7, but it's impossible. I definitely think they need to explore the world on their own and learn to play by themselves. I try to remind myself of that when I'm feeling guilty!


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