Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Helicopter Parenting


I was waiting in line at the pharmacy with Logan the other day and an elderly woman got in line behind us. She asked how old Logan was.. "16 months", I replied. She went on to ask if Logan had any grandparents here.. I said, "yes, my mom lives close to us and my husbands family lives at the other end of town". She asked if I left Logan with her grandparents often.. I told her "no. I'm lucky enough to be at home with her so she doesn't need to be left with anyone."; man, if looks could kill. The woman proceeded to tell me I was a "new age helicopter parent" and I "needed to leave my daughter with her grandparents often". She said "it would be good for my marriage".
::enter screeching halt here::
Alright, one: Rory and I have a better marriage than most married people. two: we want to be home with Logan. I joked with my cousin the other day about not having many friends anymore and Rory and I are hermits.. really, we like it that way. I make plans with the friends I want to see.. we make time for Logan to see family members, but each moment we have together, just the three of us, we want and cherish.

Unsolicited advice has been one of my biggest struggles since motherhood and I always am shocked at what people think they are allowed to say to another human being. I spent my entire life waiting to be a mom and I am grateful to have been given the gift of motherhood. I have been fortunate enough to be able to stay home with Logan and have at home work to do and be able to bring income to my family... why would I leave my daughter with anyone when I am here? I don't need to go anywhere to do things for myself or for my marriage; where we are is where we want to be. Yes, recently I talked about taking a little me time in the evenings to exercise, but honestly I have not kept up with that because I'd rather hang out with Rory and Logan.

I believe this generation of mothers is finally doing things the right way. We are with our children.. we are caring for them as nature intended.. we are not dumping them off on family and friends just because we need a pedicure or something. I have said this before, but children are not dogs to be carried around to where you want to go and what you want to do and they are certainly not dog-like enough to just leave them with another caretaker because you feel like you need a break. If you can't care for your own child while being a stay at home mom.. don't have a child. There's a whole other factor of working moms and I know in my heart that working moms are busting their butts at work and are counting down the hours and minutes until they can go get their babies from daycare.

I don't know what it is about this complex I've seen in grandmothers; this is actually the second grandparent stranger to tell me I am not doing the right thing with my own daughter by being with her all of the time. Times have changed.. parents are doing a better job these days. Just because things are not the same as our grandparents or parents generations doesn't mean we are doing things wrong. My husbands grandma told me she was given pills to dry up her breast milk after having children. My grandma smoked and drank throughout all of her pregnancies.. it's the "Mad Men" era where no one knew any better and now we do.

So...
Dear Grandparents, Parents, and all Strangers for that matter,
My daughter has more words and more knowledge than most children her age because I am doing an incredible job. I am teaching her and raising her because she is my daughter, not yours. I love my daughter more than I can ever express, therefore, I want to be with her. I enjoy her, I miss her when she's sleeping, I wake up each morning and cannot wait to start the day with her... she is everything to me and she is mine. She is mine and my husbands.. so respect that and keep your judgements about my "new age helicopter" parenting to yourself.

xo
-Ali

2 comments :

  1. It doesn't get any easier as they get older either! If I had a dollar for every time someone told me that I crazy for homeschooling when I can send them "away" for free....... GAWD!!!! They are my children and it is my job... no my privilege to be with them! Richard and I brought them into this world and its our job to raise them to be decent people.

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    1. With homeschooling.. each child learns differently and some really benefit from homeschooling. I have always loved how you say that "it's what works for us".. and that's all you can do. Love your family and do what is best for all of you!
      I adore you guys xoxoxox

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