How many times have you second guessed your parenting skills, or wondered whether that something you did, you perhaps shouldn’t have?
I often sit here and think to myself; am I doing enough for my kids? I’d like to think so. We aren’t rich, and more often than not we spend a lot of weekends and evenings curled up watching the TV. Is that wrong of me? I see this debate about TV and kids splashed all over social media, with some parents praising the roof for 10 minutes peace whilst their child happily sits glued to the telly, and other parents absolutely flabbergasted that someone would let their child sit and watch it. (side note: now the weather is perking up we have been making good of it and going outdoors!)
In our house, the TV is constantly on. We pay £145 a year for a TV Licence, but it came to my attention the other day, we are in fact, paying £145 to watch CBeebies. From sunrise to sunset, we have the companionship of Ben and Co at CBeebies HQ (thanks, guys!) But am I bad parent for this? Some would argue yes, and others no. For us, it gives me half a chance to catch my breath and perhaps even get a bit of housework done – (especially true if Justin’s House is on!) If my children are happy, why shouldn’t I let them be so because some people don’t agree with how I let them spend their time? Not only this, William demands it to be on by shoving the remote in my face.
More often than not, it’s mainly on for background noise. With all the joyous musical toys my youngest has, alongside the TV being on, my house often sounds like the insides of a terrible nightclub. My kids just don’t have a very long attention span, and that’s okay. Between the toys, arts and crafts, the back garden, and myself; they are quite content with what they can do at home. It’s not like I turn the telly on and leave them to it for the day! (Even as I write this, the Octonauts is on and I have Lily creating a telescope out of toilet roll tubes, and William tearing apart the living room I’ve just tidied up…)
And yet, the question still lingers in the back of my mind, am I doing enough? Should I be doing more? We aren’t a rich family, every penny is spent sparingly and so we can’t always afford to go on holidays or have luxurious family days out. But then I look back to my childhood and realise that I didn’t do any of those either as a kid! And when we did, I still remember doing it today! I guess you could say “less is more” here. Make a day out a rarity or a special occasion and they’re more likely to appreciate and remember the day! But what about all those other normal days and weekends? The local park, or just a walk about the neighbourhood is enough. Making something out of your recycling is enough. You don’t need to buy the latest toy, piece of technology or even buy them branded clothing to be doing enough for your children.
I’ve read and seen many parents ask this very same question; am I doing enough for my child/children? and to be honest I would say yes. You are doing enough. To think, there are 7 billion (and rising) people on this planet, and you’re worried about what Doris down the road thinks about your parenting? Or you’re worried they aren’t doing things other kids their age are? Or, quite simply, you can’t afford to give them the luxuries you so wish you could? Well I’m here to tell you that none of it matters. Any of it! There isn’t a guide to parenting, much to many of our disappointments, but there is something we all forget: All our kids need, is us. There’s no right or wrong way to raise your children, and what you do for them is more than enough.
My top four pointers that will tell you if you’re doing enough:
- They have a roof over their head.
- They have clothes to wear.
- They are fed.
- They are content.
You are enough, and in time, your child/children will come to understand and appreciate this. So for now, enjoy your time with them and stop worrying about whether you’re doing enough because we are all exactly what our children need.
This Post first appeared on www.meetothermums.com