Last week we finally had a few days of GORGEOUS weather. After months and months of freezing cold/wind/ice/snow/threat of snow it was actually feeling like spring! I was so excited and so were the kids. We had a few errands to run one morning and when we got back home, the kids were itching to go outside (and I was ready for them to run off some energy)!
I had a few bags to bring in from the car and kids would NOT stop begging me to go outside. “Not without an adult,” I said, about fifty times. But then I realized: You know what? I can see them perfectly from the window AND the glass doors. I only have a few bags of groceries to unload and put away. Our gate is locked. I’m letting them go outside without me for a little bit.
I told them to get their shoes, watch out for each other, and stay where I could see them. As I put away frozen chicken and yogurt, I could hear the kids laughing through the screen door I left open and saw them running and playing together. It was so sweet. I had a few moments of much-needed peace and they were enjoying a little independence. I wanted to take a picture from the kitchen, looking out the window, but then I stopped.
I couldn’t post it on Facebook.
I couldn’t show anyone.
Because they might judge me. They might write mean comments or say things to other people about me, calling me a bad mother.
Yep, you read that right. I was too scared to take a picture of my OWN children in my OWN backyard playing without me for a few minutes because I thought I’d catch flak for it from someone.
Do you think any of our moms thought twice about letting us play in the backyard by ourselves when we were kids?
We had monkey bars, a trampoline, and a POOL. My parents would say, “See ya!” and shut the door behind us as my two sisters and I ran outside to play. They knew we’d take care of each other and if we got hurt, well…we got hurt.
That’s when I realized something: these are my kids. And I’m going to raise them how I dang well please. I saw an amazing quote on Instagram the other day: “It is not my responsibility to make you comfortable with the choices I make for my family.”
Eventually, I went outside and joined my kids. I chased them, we laughed, we played on the swings, and blew bubbles. I’m not so naive that I think there is no danger, even in my own backyard, to leave my kids outside without supervision for too long. All in all they were maybe outside for 10 minutes. Probably less. But I decided that I am not going to feel guilty about letting them have some independence so I’m not a huge ball of stress. If my kids go all day without eating any fruits and vegetables well that’s just the way it goes. They may skip a bath a few days because they just won’t calm down and Huff the Hubs and I are just too exhausted to deal with a Shamu-show-like experience in the bathroom. And there may be days that they watch more television than I would like so I can catch up on housework. But ya know what? These kids know they’re loved, they know they’re cared for, and they know they’re safe.
So cut yourself–and other mommas–some slack, mmmkay?