Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mommy Guilt

Part of the difficulty of being a mom (especially in today's culture, I think) is the guilt. I suppose there are mothers out there who don't have guilt. They are probably doing right by their children: feeding them all wholesome foods, keeping their houses clean and toys disinfected, engaging their minds in stimulating learning, involving them in activities and playdates, never watching TV, etc.

I am not one of those mothers. My house is a disaster. I can't remember the last time I disinfected toys (now would be a good time, as the big boys have colds right now). I don't take them outside every day, even though they need it. I don't have play groups or Gymboree or music lessons. They aren't in swimming lessons (yet, I'm hoping to do this one), we haven't been to story time at the library in several months, and they aren't enrolled in pre-school.

I still consider myself to be in a boot camp of sorts, with the new baby (well, he's not THAT new anymore, but it's my excuse anyway) and two very ambitious toddlers. So I don't have a tremendous amount of guilt about all of the above things that I am currently not doing. I do feel that there are things I do well, and right now I have to pick and choose what is most important.

What I do have a LOT of guilt over is TV. My kids watch WAY too much TV. And not only do they watch too much, but some of the stuff they are watching is really not appropriate for their age (and some of it is probably not great for any kid to watch, to be honest).

I was once again convicted just this morning. I was talking with some MOPS moms at my table, and we were discussing the birthday theme for George & Josh's party on Saturday (it's Spongebob Squarepants) and the TV discussion came up. I was reminded why it is so important to really limit what my kids are allowed to view. That they shouldn't be watching something because it is more entertaining for me. And that my kids are fine with the TV off most of the time. It's just easier to have it on, a lot of times. And that is something I want to change. Good parenting requires doing what is right over what is easy (and good citizenship too, come to think of it). I am guilty of taking the easy route more often than I'd like to admit. So I am going to strive for cutting way back on the amount of TV, and I'm going to try and really use discernment for the content.

I'm not just trying to alleviate my guilt (though that doesn't hurt). I do want what's best for my children. And though what I'm not doing doesn't necessarily have a negative impact, watching too much (and inappropriate) television can really do damage to a young mind. So I'm guilty. And even though I hate to face it, I'm glad God is looking out for my children (by convicting me - ouch).

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