I started out motherhood with very lofty expectations. My baby will never take a pacifier and no way will my children ever watch TV, what kind of parent uses the TV as a babysitter?!
That was until my Mom came to visit us 6 weeks after having our first child. She saw us from a distance in the airport and considered turning the other way. She said she’d never seen us so haggard, Scotty’s hair so greasy or me with bigger circles under my eyes. I had no makeup on and a huge cold sore to boot, both Scotty and I mumbled in unison, “he is terrible at night we are not getting any sleep.” On the car-ride home our new little guy started the normal whining and fussing that was driving us crazy, my mom came armed and gave him a pacifier, he immediately zonked out! That night she did the same thing and it was the first time since he was born that I slept for 5 hours straight. Okay, my Mom is Mary Poppins, who knew?! So I guess I will give my child a pacifier.
Next up was TV. The no TV rule was easy with a 1-month-old, but with a 2-year-old when you’re working on a dozen projects and trying to pack your house for a move, is much harder. Sometimes a little Nemo is just the thing to get dinner on the table, and if it turns into a Nemo marathon, that is okay too. I have learned through my years of travel, moving and working from home, trying to be all to all, that guilting and shaming myself because my kids watched a couple hours of TV is just not worth it. There are going to be seasons in your life when you just need your kids to watch some TV so you can get other important things done.
My oldest boys are 8 and 6 and there were some days in our journey when they watched a whole lot of TV, they are both very smart, happy, loving, boys, who also like to read! Ha! How that happened?! I have no idea, but it did.
After years of beating myself up about TV time, I’ve realized that the guilt I was putting myself through was not worth my time, because I am a good mom and I’m learning that in the big picture, it’s good for my kids to see me accomplishing things whether that’s getting their spaghetti on the table, writing a speech or paying the bills.
I have now learned with my 3-year-old (it took me this long to figure this all out) that I operate more like Montessori school, I want my kids to have independence and to experience things. This philosophy fits me, my style and the way I was created verses trying to fit a mold of how I “should be” as a mom. I have gotten to see firsthand that my style of parenting has made my boys creators, yeah I have a few more messes to clean up, but they have discovered, experimented, played and it entertained them for more than 5 min, which is a win for me, with a little TV mixed in!