One bad mother

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I read somewhere the other day that a mum thought she was a “bad mum” because she hadn’t put her 4 year old in swimming lessons. I read this stuff all the time. ‘Timmy can’t to count to 100 and he’s 3″ or “Francis is 2 and can’t tell the difference between blue and green” or “Jane can’t play Beethoven on the piano and she’s 4”. Ok maybe a big stretch there…

But it got me wondering, am I a “bad mum”? My toddler has never done swimming lessons, we only went to a few sessions of gymbaroo, he doesn’t have music lessons, there is no second language classes, no sport lessons, no pre-school…the list goes on.

WHO CARES?

Honestly, if not enrolling my children in 101 activities before they go to school makes me a bad mum, then I guess I’m a bad mum! I figure when they start school they will have enough to worry about. There will be the music, sports, language classes. There will be the learning, the stress of homework…

What there won’t be is me. There won’t be mum 24 hours a day, giving praise, giving hugs and kisses.

Now, don’t think I don’t want what’s best for my kids. I do. I want them to succeed in everything they do. But by letting them play and use that imagination, I believe I am doing what’s best. I let them get naked and play in mud and water. I take them to the pool. To the park, and to story time. I let them crawl, climb and get grubby. All this is the foundation for learning. What can someone else teach him that I can’t?

If you ask the toddler what did we do this morning, he wouldn’t be able to tell you without some help. But show him 25 trains and he could name them all. Give him a drum stick and a bowl, he will make a drum kit and bash away for hours. Leave him with blocks and he will sort them into colours and be able to say all the colours. He can count to 10, with help. He will set up his shop and sell you toys for 2 million dollars each! He can climb up almost anything, and then have no fear and jump off.

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I don’t think he is missing out, I think he is having the best time learning by himself. He’s forever asking “what’s that say?” I’m 100% sure he will be fine. He will learn ‘normally’ and I hope he enjoys being a kid for now. If all I can offer him right now is the chance to play, then that’s what I’ll give him. Growing up and classes will come later, when he’s ready.

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3 thoughts on “One bad mother

  1. Hear hear Jen 🙂 I’m the same with Jack, but the constant head f**k for me is “Is he sittting unsupported/crawling/doing this/that/writing in shorthand/programming bloody computers?” It’s actually a reason why i shy away from spending too much time with other mums as i find that, while they aren’t rude at all, all they do is talk about the milestones their babies are reaching. Jack is slightly delayed in a couple of areas (tummy time and holding his head up mainly), and while it’s taken a while, i’m actually not panicking about it anymore – i figure that I won’t be carrying him from class to class in high school 😉 I know a few mums who have their 3 year olds at gymboree, ballet, language classes, swimming. I can understand swimming classes if you live a very watery life – have a pool at home, lots of time in the water, etc, as that’s a safety thing, but doing it just so the kid is in another class? No. I don’t know if it’s all mums, but it’s taken me a while to not compare Jack to other babies – and to be honest, i feel far better about where he is at now that i’m not constantly surrounded by babies his age who are more advanced that him. We do see other kids, but only occasionally.

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