What is it about being a mom that makes us second-guess ourselves?  Or maybe some of you don’t, and for that I’m jealous, but I am always wondering what’s the best thing to do or the right thing to do.  And I’m realizing if we’re all being honest here, there is rarely a right thing and only sometimes a best thing.

I think it’s the teacher in me who sometimes feels like I should always be doing something with my toddler.  I’m so used to building and implementing curriculum with my students in the classroom that I fall into that trap a bit at home, I think.  I’d like to blame it on the teaching, but really I think it’s the world we live in as well.  I know our grandparents and great-grandparents would laugh at the music classes, educational toys, and Gymboree madness we take as the gospel way of parenting in this century. It creeps into your consciousness whether you want it to or not, and it leaves you feeling like you owe it to this little person to start grooming for Harvard at ten months old or something.

I’m getting better about this though.  We are not busy everyday, or not in the traditional sense.  We alternate between play-dough and crayons and puzzles and blocks and cars and exploring outside.  And our only outings are typically errands or library storytime or the park occasionally. And he is not in a playgroup and not in a daycare, or preschool as they all call themselves nowadays.  Not at all.  He’s learning in his own little environment, and I just hope I’m doing the right thing by letting him learn here.

playing in the leaves yesterday morning

It’s hard to know what’s right, I think.  And everyone has their own opinions.  And we tend to reflect a lot back on ourselves that we probably shouldn’t.  Someone with a child in daycare says it’s so good for them to be around other kids all the time, and you take that to mean maybe you are doing the wrong thing.  Someone with a potty-trained kid says potty training is so easy and you take that to mean that something is wrong with you because you haven’t done that yet.  I always wonder if these comments are meant as cut-downs, as I’m a better mama than you comments or if it’s just my own perception.  In reality, I think it’s a little bit of both.  We’d like to say parenting is not a competition, but there are so many traits of our modern world that try to tell us otherwise.

I do know that most modern research reveals that the biggest factor of  child’s future success or intelligence is a feeling of security.  And I know I can offer that.  I can offer love and security and teach a little kindness and patience and let him follow his curiosity.  And for now, I think that’s the right plan for us.  It’s putting aside the Mommy Olympics that’s the hard part.

2 thoughts on “curriculum

  1. I thought that with Atticus this sense of always wondering if I’m doing the right thing and being sensitive of comments would be minimal. With Hope I was extremely sensitive and I didn’t have any mommy friends to help me bounce around ideas. I still find that it is the same. I don’t know if it is because it has been 10 years since I had a baby or if it is that I’m more aware of other mommies and mommy methods, but I feel even more insecure at times. I think partly it is because I dreamed that everything would be perfect since this time because I have a husband and partly because I promised myself I’d be more assertive and then another part of me regrets the type of mother I was when Hope was little (impatient, pushing the next step….)

    I let the daycare and pressure me to potty train Hope early and it turned into a nightmare. I told the daycare that I was Writing a Thesis and over the summer (when things were less stressed) I would potty train) but then I caved. It took her longer to train because we were both stressed.

    I think to daycare or not to daycare has a minimal impact on one’s social skills. I think it all depends on the level of parental involvement. For example, one can be a SAHM and be completely detached and not engage with one’s child and then the child might not develop social skills. I heard those comments all the time growing-up, folks love to ask homeschooled kids how the heck they learn to interact socially (eye roll). On the other hand, Hope has been in daycare since 18 months and she has social interaction issues (she is much better now and finally has a group of friends).

    I realize this is a ridiculously long comment, but I love talking “mommy shop” with you!

  2. I thought about this post when I saw one of your latest instagrams. Jude had a pacifier which doesn’t bother me at all, both of my kids did (the youngest still does), but sometimes it makes me feel insecure because there are some very strong opinions out there about them and what age they are appropriate. For some people it just drives them crazy, which I guess is their problem!

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