Yesterday morning, I came across a mom’s plea to be free of “Mommy Guilt” for allowing her kids to watch an extra hour of TV since they woke up earlier than normal. Of course, she was jesting (I think), but the Mommy cheer squad quickly came to the rescue – affirming that her decision was totally in the realm of being a good Mommy and that she could be guilt-free.
I had to laugh as I pondered it, but then I started to think about it. How many times have I done something, or not done something, for/with my kids and had “Mommy Guilt” about it? And what is the source of “Mommy Guilt”? Is it a true sense of wrong and right? Or is a sense of peer pressure? Or is there a “rule book” of how we are supposed to raise our children that we as moms need to follow?
I know I’ve definitely been nailed with the “your kids watch too much TV” guilt before.
The “child rearing know it alls” have one opinion.
The medical world has another. (You’ve got to love it when the child-less medical person turns to you and asks: “How much TV does he/she watch each day?” Ugg… I hate that. Especially since the answer is different every day of the year.)
Even in our own house we have differing personalities when it comes to what our kids watch and how much of it they watch in a given day. (J grew up with more freedom when it came to TV than I did, and his personality is such that he likes the TV on whenever he’s in, or near, the room, whether or not he’s actually watching – just background noise. I, on the other hand, don’t like to have the TV on unless I’m sitting down to watch something specific, and then I can only handle it in small doses at a time.)
All that said: YES. I HAVE USED THE TV TO BABYSIT MY KIDS – on occasion. YES. THERE ARE SOME DAYS – when I don’t feel well or they don’t feel well – WHEN I LET MY KIDS WATCH HOURS UPON HOURS OF TV.
But, there are also MANY days each month where I don’t even let the TV be turned on – where I encourage creative play, reading, coloring, worksheets, etc. TV is not a vital part of every day life as far as I’m concerned. It has it’s place, but it can also take a back seat to fun and play.
(There are also many educational benefits to TV… but I’ve already rambled enough… I’ll try to save that topic for another post.)
So then, what’s too much TV? What’s OK for my kids to watch: content-wise (see SortaCrunchy’s take on Disney) and amount of time each day? And should I feel “Mommy Guilt” if my answers don’t fit with your answers?
Let’s let go of “Mommy Guilt” and just do what we feel is best for our kids. Trust God that He will guide you and show you what (if anything) you need to change in your parenting style. Let’s just be the best possible Mommy our kids will ever know!