Parenting is a tough job. It is the most rewarding, yet most challenging thing we will ever do in our lives. But folks have been doing it -- being parents -- for, well, ever. (I'm thinking this hefty thought as I pick dried mac and cheese off of the table, if you must know.)
But, it's interesting, when I talk with my mom about what being a mom was like when I was a young kid or when I watch videos and listen to Joanie discuss her memories of raising her kids, one thing pops out at me: parenting, at its core, hasn't changed over the years. It was tough for them, too. However, what has changed are the situations we as Moms of Today encounter.
Here at Mad Life, we've tackled a lot of what makes parenting today rather Mad Life-y -- the hard juggles, the tough conversations, the elements of Life in today's world that makes doing our job to raise these little creatures a wee bit more difficult than eras gone by. On that list: the whole technology-Facebook-iPad-chatroom scene, the "speed" at which kids are growing up, the dual-career household dance...and we could go on and on, right?
One of the main things that my mom always talks about is this new idea of playing with your kids. She admits she never played with me. Sure, we read together, maybe played games as we were older, and snuggled on the couch, but she never plopped on the floor and played dolls...and nor did she feel the pressure to do that. I was asked by a parenting expert and mommy friend of mine, Rachel Cedar, to be a part of her examination of this "playing with our kids" phenomena. In February, she kicked off the 28 Days of Play blogger series (you can read my take on playing with Kiddo here).
What's is cool is, as you read all of these various essays by writer moms from every walk of life, almost all of us feel guilty or confused about playing with our kiddos -- whether we do it enough, how we feel when we say "no," if we are doing it "right," or even if we should be doing it at all. This? This is a new thing. Moms of past generations never felt this way. Who knows why this is a parenting issue now, but it's there, one of the many on my list that makes this impossibly hard job of being a mom even harder.
Another one? Play dates...I'll give you my take on that tomorrow.
Do you play with your kids? Do you like to play with your kids -- or do you feel guilty when they ask and you say "No"?