After reading my friend, Deanna’s post, I decided I would post about my own mommy guilt.

I think as a mom, we try to be perfect.  Or at least we try to do it all.  We try to feed our kids all their fruits and vegetables at every meal; we try to keep them social and active by having play dates; we try to keep them from falling; keep them from crying; try to make sure they get plenty of attention from us, while also trying to give them the skills to play independently from us; we try to keep them from anything bad, damaging, or harmful.  We try to do all of these things all while trying to keep the house looking presentable, keep ourselves looking presentable, and giving the needed attention to not only our child(ren) but also our friends, ourselves, and our husbands.

The keyword in all of this?  Try.

We try to keep it all together and do everything we feel we are supposed to, but honestly (and I hope we can all agree on this) it doesn’t always happen.  At least not all in the same day.  I try to give Donovan enough fruits and veggies, but he can be a picky eater sometimes.  I’m ashamed to say, he might have one vegetable one day–or none–But then the next he will devour four cheese and spinach pasta sauce (with extra spinach I’ve added, to make up for the lost veggie days) and all will feel right in the world.

Lately, my mommy guilt is related to how much tv our child watches.  When I was pregnant, Grant and I would talk about what our baby would be like, the kind of person they would grow up to be, and what we would/wouldn’t let him/her do.  One of those things: our kid wasn’t going to watch tv until they were 4 or 5. And even then, they would only be allowed to watch the old-school “good” cartoons we had growing up (you know, Duck Tales, Chip n’ Dale’s Rescue Rangers) and sports.  I found Nick Jr to be a decent tv channel, and once I was searching for shows out of curiosity and came across Olivia and Little Bill.  Turns out Olivia has won Donovan’s heart.  We let him watch it once to see if it would be something we could put on for special occasions….

That’s been the beginning of the end….

He loves it so much that he completely zones out and gets sucked in like I’ve never seen.  Noticing this, I thought  ‘oh, I’ll let him watch one episode and I can cook dinner real quick without him hanging on me! I’m brilliant!’  After one episode ends, he asks for more. Well, one more is ok.  I’ll be able to unload the dishwasher without him trying to climb in, remove all the knives and go running through the house.

A good thing I’ve noticed about Olivia?  Donovan will tell me (in his own language) what is happening on the show.  He sees the mom picking up the baby and singing and Donovan will point to the tv and say, “Mama. Baby. Uppie. Mama. Sing.”  Maybe this is keeping me from completely getting rid of Olivia?

It’s the weekend.  I need a shower.  Grant’s at work.  Donovan has been all kinds of crazy.  “Wana watch Olivia?”  I’ve got him trained so that when he watches Olivia, he only sits on the blanket.  This keeps him from getting into things he shouldn’t when I’m in the shower.  When he’s around me, he’s never been particularly good at playing by himself.  Of course, I would love to be able to just sit him down with some play-doh or markers so he could do some artistic/mind-healthy activity while I’m showering or cooking, but he is constantly (still) putting those things into his mouth (!!!!).  So that’s a no-go.

And I feel guilty about letting him watch tv in the first place.  But after working all day, picking him up from daycare, we play for a little bit, but then I gotta get dinner together or squeeze in a quick run on the treadmill. And most nights, Grant is working until after 6 or even traveling, so I’m handling the end of the day stuff solo.  I honestly don’t know how else to do it now.

I’m trying to do it all, but realistically, I can’t.  I know I can’t.  So our new little helper Olivia is giving me a hand.  Good or bad, I’m letting my almost 2 yr old watch tv.

And even though I can’t always catch him when he falls, I am always there to make sure he is ok and can give him plenty of kisses to make it all better.  I think in the end that matters more than whether or not he ate his spinach, I got the laundry put away, or how much television he has watched in one day.  And I might always feel guilty about letting him watch tv so young, but it works for us right now.

Bragging side note: He loves watching sports and can tell the difference between soccer, football, basketball, hockey and baseball when they come on tv or he sees them in real life.  All of these sports have been part of his vocabulary for some time.  This not only makes his mommy happy, but especially daddy!  Oh, and he can do push ups…. for real…. not feeling guilty about that!