No More Judging Other Moms' Parenting Skills!
Submitted by Oregonian
I sat there, my sleeping (and still immobile) 4-month-old nestled into my chest and stared at my friend Megan in shock. She had just told me that she had enrolled her 18-month-old daughter in a Mother's Day Out program at the local community center. I was too busy judging Megan to hear her explain why.
It's not like we're talking about managing a child care
here, I told myself silently. I mean, sure, it would be nice to have some time to myself, but it's not like it's hard to watch one tiny baby for 40 hours a week. I smugly reminded myself that I would never (really, never) enroll my precious son in any sort of school program until kindergarten
and would spend every waking moment as a mother providing him with educational activities
that would stimulate his development
and challenge his mind.
Fast-forward one year. That tiny, sleeping 4-month-old is now 16 months old. A few minutes ago, he carved a path of terror across my house that only a parent of a toddler
could understand. He started by tearing every book off of the shelf in one giant swoop. As I ran over to pick up the pile of books
, he somehow managed to grab a glass vase from a high shelf and shattered it on the living room floor. Finally he ran into the kitchen with me hot on his trail and went straight for the dog's water dish, which he dumped on top of his head with glee. Then he just stood there and smiled.
Standing in the chaos, I thought back to the day when I so rudely judged my friend for giving herself a well-deserved break by enrolling her toddler in a program. A few months ago, I really thought I could handle this whole stay-at-home mom
thing indefinitely. I thought I had it all together. I thought I'd never need a break. That was before my son learned to walk
. Now, I've changed my tune entirely.
I just called Megan. My son is on the waiting list at her Mother's Day Out program. I sure hope they call soon.