Parenting Choices

More often than not, I feel like I’m not doing “enough” as a parent. I suppose that is a highly subjective statement, but there are many times I put another show on for the kids so I can finish that last bit of work, or I “mmmhmmm” my way through another story because I’m finishing up dinner or checking Facebook on my phone. The niggling feeling of guilt about not being present enough with them during the day creeps up on me in the middle of the night, and I lay there often regretting my choices as a parent. I don’t think I’m a bad or neglectful parent by any means, but present? That’s a whole different yardstick.

This morning we woke up to a few inches of fresh snow, and the kids were instantly begging me to go outside and play. It was 30 degrees out and the sun wasn’t even up, so my knee-jerk reaction was to say no. Then I started digging through bins to find the snow clothes for them to use later today, and it struck me…

How often is it the first snow of the season?

Don’t I want to encourage my kids to love being outside?

Is it really that big of a deal if they’re wet before their Nana even gets here to bring them to school & her house?

They’re actually already fed & dressed and we have 45 minutes to kill…why not?

So out came the snowpants and jackets and boots and gloves and hats (ugh, playing outside is so much more WORK for parents when it’s cold), and amid the squeals of joy, I got them dressed and out they went, with me following close behind to take pics and laugh and their antics.

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I’m not gonna lie, they were a mess by the time my MIL came and it was hectic getting them out the door. BUT, I think I made the right choice today, and I’m going to hold onto that tightly tonight when I lay in bed and think back over our day. It’s the little things, isn’t it?

More photos here if you’re interested…

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6 comments

  1. It most certainly is. Bravo.

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  2. Yes! This reminds me of the day my kids wanted to go to the park in 100* temps and I first said no, then said, “what the heck!”. I still feel good about that, and you’ll still feel good about this months from now. ā¤

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  3. Yes, it is the little things. šŸ™‚

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  4. Every day I struggle with this sort of thing. Kudos for braving the cold šŸ™‚ These types of moments are definitely ones kids remember!

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  5. Absolutely! Good for you for being PRESENT today as I am certain the kids 100% appreciated it! I struggle a lot with what you describe early on in your post, too, especially in the evenings when I’m just so worn out from the day. It’s hard not to beat ourselves up about it.

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  6. mcmissis · · Reply

    I’m with the girls all day long and still don’t feel “present” enough sometimes :/

    Way to go letting them play in the snow! It snows so little here that even with the teeniest, tiniest dusting, we’re out there. And it’s ALWAYS first thing in the morning, otherwise it’ll melt if we wait.

    As a side note, I don’t think many husbands worry about being ACTUALLY present. It seems, in our house at least, that being there is being there, whether they’re on their phone, watching sports, whatever.

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