Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Defending, Disclaiming and Declaring

Why must we defend or clarify ourselves and our choices as mothers? Why do I feel like I have to add a disclaimer sometimes when talking to other mothers so they will think I'm a "good mother?"

While with some other moms and kids today, Jack was singing the Sesame Street song. You know, "Sunny days, sweeping the clouds away..." Another mother looked at me over his head with a smile and said how cute he is.

So I said, "We watch a lot of Sesame Street, sometimes everyday," with a smile and shrug that said, "even though I'm not supposed to."

The mother was very nice and waved her hand and said, "oh, at our house too!" She didn't raise her eyebrows or give me an eye roll. So, why did I have to blurt out my TV confession and then add the shrug like I knew I was doing something wrong?

It's not wrong, not for our family. It works for our family. Sometimes it allows me to cook dinner uninterrupted or to redirect a grumpy toddler. And Jack has learned a lot from Sesame Street. He learned how to play hide and seek from Big Bird and Snuffy, he practices counting with The Count, he recognizes all of his letters. He loves to jump around singing the "J, J, Jumping J" song.

My children play outside, read books, play pretend, help me cook, pick up their toys, draw and color, play with Play-Doh, stack blocks and all sorts of other "acceptable" activities.

But you know what? They also watch TV. Sometimes every day. Sometimes more than one show in a day. And they are growing up just fine. I am a good mother. I am a great mother. And next time my children's TV watching is outed to another mother? I will confidently answer that they love Sesame Street. And if I get that eyebrow raise with eye roll? I will shrug it off and declare that it may not work for every family, but it works for our family.


Swistle said...

I think the reason we feel like adding an apology is that we know so many mothers go around saying bad things about other mothers, and we know what the hot topics tend to be.

Mommy Daisy said...

We do fear judgement from other mothers. I don't know why. We, as mothers, tend to be judgemental to one another. But you are very right, ultimately only YOU know what's right for YOUR family. Good for you for not feeling the need to defend yourself.

mk said...

Oh I hear ya Bunny! I do the same thing all the time. I find myself defending tv and the fact tha abbie is day care the most!

mk said...

PS.. I had a conversation about your post with one of my firlfriends this am - she completely agrees! but why do we keep doing it? sigh

nicole said...

I do the same thing too and it sucks. Same as MK said, I defend the tv and I defend daycare. We watch Sesame Street and Baby Einstein and if we didn't there's no way I'd get a shower most days that I am home alone with her!

Colleen said...

I recently wrote a post about our tv watching too. No mommy police call coming from my house! Let's all watch tv to our heart's content!

Isabel said...

I think I'm a better mother for letting my baby watch TV. It allows me some quality "me" time so that I don't become a horrible mother.

We do what we have to!! :-)