For a mom like me, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by the responsibility of raising a human being. Am I playing/talking with her enough/too much? Are we spending enough/too much time at home? Do we have too many/not enough scheduled activities?
With an independent, generally low-maintenance baby like Margaux, who could easily play by herself in the living room all day if given the chance, I occasionally get hit with panic that I’m not doing enough of the right things to help her develop and grow.
But then I remember what I learned from RIE parenting (a childcare philosophy I admire): baby’s days should be slow, calm, and predictable. They do best at home, doing their thing, with little intervention from us.
And I breathe a sigh of relief. As long as I’m present with her, like really PRESENT, for a chunk of every day, at home in her little play space, letting her lead the way, then we’re all good. Everything else — all the outings and play dates and songs and “activities” — is all just icing on the cake.
I love the notion that good parenting isn’t about distracting and entertaining, doing a song and dance. I love the notion that my baby is an independent being, worthy of respect and acknowledgment. I love the notion that parenting can be so much simpler, calmer, and more low-tech than the images we see on tv.
This is my ideal vision of motherhood, and I think I’m doing just fine.
Mamas, we’re all doing just fine.