Oh boy, another guilt-free way to parent my kids that makes me feel guilty for not doing it like I’m apparently supposed to be doing it.
There’s a new parenting “buzz-word” (buzz-phrase?) circulating on the internet called “Mindful Parenting” that makes me just want to gouge my eyes out with the toddler-goo/dust-bunny encrusted spoon I just fished out from under the couch. I mean really, just the phrase makes me think “you’ve gotta be kidding me!”.
That’s not to say that it’s not a nice thought, being a mindful parent, but really, do we need yet another “parenting trend”? Can’t we just be parents?
I get that multi-tasking isn’t always the best way to get eleventy-billion things done, and done well, but really, what choice do I have? Stuff’s gotta get done, and there just aren’t enough hours in the day to do it all.
My motto these past 2.8 years since the peanut came on board is that if I’m not doing at least two things at a time, I’m not doing enough. I’m in survival mode here people. The ratio of 2 kids to 2 parents has us outnumbered. Seriously. It’s math people. If you have more than one kid you know what I’m talking about.
Mindful parenting is where you, as a parent, take the time to keep your attention focused on what you’re doing with your kid at any given time. But already you’re screwed if you have more than one kid. I know neither of my kids will let me focus my attention on the other without busting in on whatever it is we’re doing. The preshus sees me having a moment with the peanut, he wants in, and who can blame him? His brother would (and does) do the exact same thing! We like spending time together as pairs, and as a group, that’s how families operate. At least, that’s how mine does.
All this isn’t to say that I don’t focus on my kids individually, of course I do. But do we have to put a name on everything and make anyone who isn’t doing it right feel bad? I don’t think so.
Mindful parenting says put time aside to “meditate” with your kids to calm and focus them and yourselves. It’s a nice thought, but thanks for making me feel bad about the fact that the two hours I have between getting home at the end of the day and bedtime, doesn’t allow for calming meditative exercises.
This article suggests that while you’re in the shower, don’t make your to-do list (come on! I get some of my best blog post ideas in the shower!!) but experience the shower. “…think, I’m in the shower. The water is hot. The room is steamy, etc. Don’t judge whether the shower is awesome or annoying; just slow down and experience it.” Um, yeah. This article clearly doesn’t take into account that there are kids on the other side of my bathroom door crying (the 2yo) or banging (the 4yo) because the door is closed and how dare I be in a room by myself. I get about two minutes of peace in any given shower before the littles are yelling, shattering any calm I might have gained.
This article suggests that we take time during meals together to “slow down at dinner and ask your children to really notice their food”. Nope, sorry, can’t do that. The goal at our house it to get the kids to eat the food, not look really hard at it. If they slow down to “notice” what I’ve put in it, then they certainly aren’t going to eat it because there’s too many “beggagables” in it. Move along kids, nothing to see here. Dinner is yummy, that’s all you need to know. Eat it.
I do my best to make sure that I give my kids all of my attention when the moments present themselves. Considering that I’ve got two kids, a husband and a full-time job, I think I’m knocking it out of the park! Or, at the very least, it’s a double-play turned triple-play on an error (can you tell baseball season is coming up? GO JAYS GO!) See, I can’t even throw out a metaphor without getting distracted.
A few minutes for a hug and a cuddle here, a couple of minutes playing on the floor with cars or drawing a picture there, my kids are happy and I don’t need another parenting label article to tell me that I’m doing a good job, or criticize me for not doing a good enough job.
Maybe I’m overreacting, or maybe I’m just mad at myself because I succumbed to the “click-bait” article title, and that’s my bad. Normally I know better.
So thank you “guilt-free parenting article”. I now feel totally guilty about not parenting in this new and fantastic way. Kudos.