When I woke up this morning and signed on to my Facebook and flipped through lots of friends posts, I felt the urge to write a status of my own in regards to what I've been seeing. I didn't intend for it to developed into such a long post, and by the time I was done writing it I was a little embarrassed to post it because of it's length. So I figured I'd make a blog post, as it may be a little more appropriate anyway. As you know, I hardly ever post on my blog anymore. So to go to the extent I am should show you how strongly I feel about getting this point across. It's not meant to make anyone feel bad (if you fall into the category of my friends that it's intended for), but rather to empower, if you will, people to think for themselves and not feel obligated to listen to everything that passes by them.
Ok so here's my little (BIG) rant...
I don't mean to offend anyone; this is my opinion. I respect others ways of parenting even if I don't agree (and I hope others will not bash me for mine and what I'm about to say.) Lately I've seen A LOT of my friends posting on Facebook and sharing articles (one article particularly) about how very young children shouldn't ever watch TV (... to me (and maybe I'm wrong), from seeing what's in my news feed, it seems like circulating articles may have influenced some one way without looking into the opposing side of the argument.) and I also see my same friends later posting about "well they just watched a little today" as if they feel guilty for letting their child watch cartoons. I will say this: I by no means am a perfect mother, but I don't tend to make bad decisions regarding how I raise -my- son; I do what works for us. So, confession: Jack watches tv during the day. Not all day long, but probably a good solid few hours... While he eats breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when he is screaming his head off and I need a distraction for him, and any time we go in the car. According to the most recent article I've seen, thats way more than Jack should be watching. But I feel like that article is written for people in "a perfect world." And that perfect world doesn't exist. I will give it credit for having good credible information that I do agree with to an extent, and I am all for physical interaction with children- play time and learning time free from electronics. That's the best way for children to learn. But let's face it, us moms have so much to do in the day on top of taking care of our little ones that for some of us, we may just need a little break or some quiet time or something (aside from us) to entertain the little ones so we can do another task. On the flip side, Jack has learned SO much from the couple of shows that he watches (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Doc McStuffins, Little Einsteins, and his favorite movie for car rides -- The Incredibles.) He interacts with characters on the screen (when they say "Dance!" you better believe he shakes his cute butt!) and most of the time, he is still running around the living room and kitchen playing with his toys, flipping through his books, trying to put multiple layers of clothing on by himself, and tormenting our dogs... He's not plopped down in front of the tv like a couch potato, unless he is tired and ready for a nap, of course. My point is to all my friends who are new moms and moms-to-be and friends who aren't at that point in their lives yet but are saving information they find for later (Pinterest!), there is no "right" way to parent, and you should always just do what is right for your kids and you. You do what you have to do to get through the day and keep your life as stress free as possible. Lord knows if I didn't have a car DVD player, Jack would loathe car rides and scream bloody murder like you can't imagine and get so hysterical he makes himself choke. It's the only way I can keep my son calm and happy and my sanity in tact for a few minutes worth of driving, and that is not going to hurt anybody or impair my child's development. I won't tell you to do things my way, but sometimes I think it's good to know both sides and not feel pressured by something that's trending. I don't say any of this out of judgement, I say it because I spent the first year of Jack's life trying to find the right way to parent him on Pinterest and blogs and forums. It made me miserable when Jack didn't respond to things the way I wanted, or when I tried to be supermom and failed miserably because I just couldn't keep up with everything I was "supposed to do" according to other people's methods, and when it came down to it, I never ended up doing any of the things I read that sounded good to me in theory and that I swore I would put into action. It just wasn't "me and Jack." It was "someone-else and their-kid." What works for one baby or one parent or one parent-child relationship/lifestyle does not work for everyone else. And after reading the article I've been talking about, even I felt bad for my parenting choice... Like I have been hurting my child, and that' my child was going to suffer based on the facts of this article. No parent should ever feel that way, and as far as I'm concerned, every child i have ever known who has watched tv has turned out to be extremely intelligent and not lacking developmentally. Just food for thought.
So to end I'll leave you with this:
You are great at doing what you're doing, and you do it better than anyone else can for your babe(s). Have confidence and don't get down on yourself if you go against the norm or what's popular. You'll get it right whatever you choose to do.