I’m kind of a homebody mom. I never thought I would be – I thought I’d be the mom that showed her kid the world in every way. But no – I get nervous when I think about taking Jack out somewhere. The logistics freak me out.
How is my 5’2″ self going to carry a 35lb+ kid and a diaper bag? The kid refuses to sit in a stroller and LOVES being held by me.
What if he throws a fit because he doesn’t want to go? What if he throws a fit because he doesn’t want to leave?
What am I going to pack for lunch? What if he gets too busy to eat?
What if this activity runs into naptime?
How much is this going to cost us?
Is it really worth it when he’d have just as much fun playing ninja fight at home with balloons and it wouldn’t interrupt meals and naptime?
It’s a major internal struggle for me and I have no idea where it comes from (other than I tend to be a worrier in general). Sometimes we only make it to the backyard where Jack likes to dig in the dirt while I sit and read. Sometimes I rush us out of the house before I can really think about anything, which usually happens within an hour of waking up and before I’ve had any coffee. In essence, I trick myself. It generally turns out alright, but it still doesn’t happen frequently.
Sometimes I beat myself up for being the type of parent who would rather sit and color with music playing than run around outdoors with her kid (echos of the common 1980s complaint that kids these days don’t spend enough time outdoors in my head), and then I remembered one of the Psychology classes I took a few years ago. What sticks out in my mind from that class is the discussion we had about the purpose behind having multiple parents (as in – what is the evolutionary purpose and why can’t we procreate singularly?). We talked about the fact that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses.
When you are part of a team, such as with two parents (or, in our case, four), the major perk is that there are others to fill in the gaps in the collective knowledge base. In Jack’s life, he has a mom who is a self-described “indoors girl” and a father that is a completely outdoorsy guy. Jack’s step-parents offer further strengths. Collectively we’re all part of Jack’s village and somehow we’ve struck a great balance in this little community. When I look at the bigger picture, it all makes sense, and I really think Jack is lucky in so many ways.