February 9, 2010

Downsizing Supermom

Have you noticed the Mom Mania that's been going around the past few years? People and brand identities centered around the concept of mom, mama, or motherhood? Is it just me, or does this hyper attention seem over-inflated?

Maybe Moms are taking their roles too seriously. It's possible that too much time focused on kids leaves LESS time for kids to figure things out for themselves. If independence is necessary to learn problem solving skills, and if society's problems are getting larger, then don't we have a responsibility to raise supersized problem solvers?

I had recently had a 70s moment (as you can tell by the hairdo) that illuminated this realization: I need to do LESS parenting, and more living!

Here are some actions from the new regime that are making a difference in our daily lives, and spurred creativity from the little ones at the same time...

MORE TIME TO PLAY - I got tired of the term 'playdate', it was too tough to pull off. So instead I started dropping my kids off at friends houses on random days after school. It works! Now we all do it. The kids are having a blast and I spend less time as household entertainer.

WALKING TO SCHOOL - I park farther from campus, walk to a certain point, and then wave goodbye and let the kids walk themselves to their classrooms. We get exercise, the kids get autonomy, and I don't have to stand around waiting for the classroom door to open.

SET UP A LOUNGE CHAIR IN THE YARD, AND SIT ON IT - It's amazing the tricks you see kids do when you take a moment to rest, and observe the "mom, did you see that?" stuff. Big plus is that my feet are up the whole time.

TALK ON THE PHONE TO AN OLD FRIEND - Let your kids fend for themselves while you call an old high school buddy. If they get bored, and go and find something to do, you've just done them a favor.

TRAVEL - (Well, I had to put a plug in somewhere!) The bonus challenge here is to travel without a ton of electronic devices that archive every moment. I'm still working on that one.

Although I can't, in good faith, add cigarettes, I'm sure there are other ideas out there for this list. Good topic for a Girls Night Out!


Meg said...

Amen to all of that! How about adding - cook a meal that is extra spicy or with food you love?

Amy @ The Q Family said...

These are all good things to do. Sometimes, I tend to leave the kids in the garage in the rainy or cold day.(move the car to the driveway and partially close the garage door) They had a blast drawing up the street and drove around like they were in town. :)

I have never much into play dates. Mostly because I work full-time and can't never really attend any. :) Love your idea!

Jen said...

Love this article! I agree with Meg --cooking a meal that you love would be a great addition. I also love cooking with my kids...when my three year old spills flour all over the floor while we are kneading pizza dough, we just laugh out loud instead of getting mad and cleaning right away! I can't wait until they are old enough to cook on their own...just a few days away.

Jen said...

I mean a few years away...lol!

Carolina said...

Whoa, check out those shades, the hair. Love '70s mom.
I like to have a few days a week, where we come home right after school, so that we can have a couple of hours of chill-out time before the evening rush.
We also have "piddle weekends", where we don't have a plan, just let the day unfold.

All Things BD said...

I have my kids make their OWN meals, usually lunch on weekends. Who says I have to slap PB&J on the bread for them? This has led to some "creative" lunches that I wouldn't necessarily have come up with myself, but I'm not the one who had to do it!

It's nice to have a 9.5 year old who can operate the microwave safely, and even makes us pancakes on Saturday mornings using an electric griddle!

maria said...

I so agree with you, give kids a little independence to find space for ourselves again! I also walk my son to school and watch him from the gate as he goes in by himself all grown up(he's only 6!)...

kimberly/tippytoes said...

Great post!

For the first time today I took the kids to the park with a book for myself. I sat and read, while keeping an eye out and let them navigate without me standing three feet away. It was awesome! Hopefully this is just the start!