Today`s momfessional comes from guest blogger MaeKellan. She is a woman after my own heart. For anyone who has older kids who have grown out of naptime, you’ll understand…
Somewhere along the way my children have grown up and grown out of having rests during the day. And the thought of entertaining my children from the moment of waking until bedtime is just not my idea of fun. Mommy needs some peace and quiet throughout her day to stay sane! So, I decided that every day they need to occupy themselves without any help from me for at least an hour after lunch.
I set the alarm, send them outside or to their rooms, shut all doors and tell them not to disturb me (unless there is a lot of blood!), for that hour. If they happen to bother me during “mommy rest time” then I add time to the alarm. Sometimes I have a nap, do some sewing or eat my lunch in peace.
It’s just nice to have some time alone, not having to wipe somebody’s bottom or “wiggle, but don’t pull!” a loose tooth for the umpteenth time that day. Time to get away from the constant chattering and the questions, oh how I hate questions! If they ask me questions during mommy rest time I am likely to growl and physically put them in bed to sleep. As far as I’m concerned, if I can hear them or see them out the window then they are safe. And usually, if I can’t hear or see them, they have (fingers crossed) just fallen asleep in a cupboard somewhere!
I do the same thing with my 6-year-old. When my toddler naps, I ask Gabriel play quietly in his room for an hour. Then, without any guilt whatsoever, I go and take a nap. Am I am bad mom? Not at all. I mean, kids need alone time too…it helps them hone their creative side, and learn to play independently. At least that is what I tell myself as I crawl under my comfy duvet for my mid-afternoon snooze.
I have always, always said that I would not push my children into gender-specific roles. I’m not as extreme as some parents but I am a firm believer that society places too much emphasis on “male” and “female” and I want my children to make choices based on their likes and not on what they “should” like. For my son’s third birthday we presented him with a costume trunk and I made sure that, in addition to the pirate costumes and superhero costumes, there were fairy wings, a tiara, a wig, necklaces and ballet slippers. At age five, he asked me if he could marry his friend Ethan and I gave him a (perhaps overenthusiastic) YES. “Of course you can marry him,” I said. “You can marry anyone who you truly love.” (I then had to clarify that no, he could not marry his sister, or his dad, or his auntie)
But now that I have a girl, I find that I am struggling with the gender stuff. Most days she would prefer to play with her brother’s superheroes than “bake” in the toy kitchen with mommy (my pretend chocolate chip cookies are getting pretty good, but no amount of mmm-ing and lip smacking will sway her). Last night, I sat and braided her doll’s hair while she smashed cars into one another. I caught myself saying, “Kailyn…don’t you want to play with your dolly? Isn’t her hair pretty?” (to which I received an emphatic “NO”!)
When we found out we were having a girl, I was looking forward to having a buddy that I could do “girl stuff” with (even our cat is a boy…can you blame me for being excited about some more estrogen in the house?). I want her to be her own person and make her own choices, but I am definitely finding that it is a tricky balance to strike, especially since I love dolls, fake cooking and all of that other girly stuff. So, I will continue to do my best at encouraging her to choose what she wants. But don’t judge me if I end up buying a Barbie dream house to park her cars in…