Motherhood can be way too competitive. We all know about the infamous “Mommy Wars,” where we hold each other up to impossible standards. Personally, I couldn’t care less whether a mom feeds their child formula or breast milk. Whether they sign their kids up for a robust schedule of after school activities or lets their kids watch TV after school. I don’t judge other parents, but for some reason I can be so hard on myself.
A perfect example of this is a failed plan I had for last summer. I had the unique opportunity of staying home with both daughters, so I was determined to make it extraordinary. I refused to get caught up in the difficulty of getting both out of the house each day. I wanted to avoid letting my oldest daughter watch too much Netflix, and thought if I came up with a schedule it would help me to avoid these traps.
The plan was to have themed days of the week. Something like this:
- Monday – Create Day! (Activities to do with arts)
- Tuesday – Friends Day! (Plan playdates w/friends)
- Wednesday – Water Day! (Beach, Pool, Sprinklers)
- Thursday – Nature Day! (Hikes, etc)
- Friday – Adventure Day! (Explore a new town, try something new, etc)
I posted my idea to a local mom’s play group, feeling proud of myself for thinking of such a great idea. I got a lot of great feedback, and even made a calendar to keep us on track.
Confession: It only lasted one week.
Yes, only one week. Monday we took a trip to the Yale Art Gallery and made colored pencil replicas of our favorite works. On Tuesday we planned a playdate. Wednesday we played in the sprinklers and the pool. Thursday we hiked on a local nature trail. Friday, we drove to Hammonasset State Park. Monday came around again, and all I felt like doing was bum around the house and let the kids play in the backyard. Weeks went by and we didn’t ever revisit the glorious structured calendar.
At first I felt guilty — like I was a total failure. When I think back to the summer though, I realize it was packed with lots of great activities. We did plenty of art projects, swimming, spent time in nature and explored. We also had days where we lounged around the house. My daughter got to use her imagination to have tea parties with her stuffed bears. She also watched a bunch of Netflix, and we survived. Our summer turned out great! What I learned from this failure was that it’s good to have down days where the kids can explore their own worlds and come up with ways to entertain themselves. I also learned that sometimes we make plans that don’t turn out exactly as we imagine, but work out anyway. What are some of your accepted failures?