Mommy Me

Not that I want to continue to dwell on the less positive aspects of my weekend, but, well, I got a lot weighing me down, so I’m going to.

My mom, who so seldom criticizes my ability as a mom, actually criticized an aspect of my parenting this weekend. Or what she saw as my parenting. I was actually so surprised that I didn’t really defend myself. Plus, it wasn’t that harsh a criticism. More like a suggestion, an observation.

What she said was, “I think you should play with your children more. Wait to read books after they are in bed.”

Now this was said as she was playing with my children, and, yes, I was reading a book. And I did want to point out to her that I was not playing with my children because she was.

Generally, I do wait until my children are in bed before I go off and read a book. It’s usually one of those end-of-the-day activities I still like to indulge in. Helps me wind down before bed. Which is not to say that I spend tons of time playing with my kids, either. Although I do like to take them to the zoo, and the park, and out for walks in the evening, play board games with them, and read to them, I also on a day-to-day basis leave them to their own devices sometimes so I can do things like clean the kitchen after dinner or throw in a load of laundry. I’m not super engaged every hour I am with my kids, although I don’t feel neglectful, either.

And then research was published affirming that we women are like our moms. (Something that our husbands would be very wise NOT to point out, research notwithstanding.) So whatever I am doing, I come by it pretty honestly. Because while there was plenty of reading to and affection and praise in my childhood (and zoo, park, and library trips), there was also a lot of time left to my own devices so the kitchen could be cleaned. (I figure, too, this is where siblings come in very handy. My girls don’t seek me out to play because they have each other. Although sometimes I have to stop what I am doing to play referee.)

5 thoughts on “Mommy Me

    • On Saturday and Sunday mornings, as I am trying to drink my coffee in peace, I do tend to curl up with a book on the couch while the kids play. Plus, I read to them every day, as much as they want. (Well, only one book at bedtime.) I’m pretty sure I’m setting a good example that way. 😉


  1. I would be interested in how this study differed when the second generation mothers were the oldest child as opposed to a younger sibling or only child.

    My mother was the oldest, I am the oldest. I see a lot of my mother in the way I treat Peanut (tho when I say exact lines she said, it stops me in my tracks, ACK!). I suspect a lot of this stems from taking care of my younger siblings while Mom took care of the house. I do not think my sister would share as many similarities to our mother as I do.

    Mom didn’t read to us every night. After a while I remember I read to my brothers, and only most nights. Peanut gets read to most nights, if he’s being good.

    On a side note, you’d find my house to be as cluttered as my mother’s as well. Just sayin’…

    • Hm. that’s an interesting thought. I am the oldest child; my mother, however, was the middle child of her family — although the only girl. I didn’t really take care of my younger sibs, though; we were all very close in age (about 2 years apart). My parents read to us all the time; I remember reading Richard Scarry books when I was 5 years old. I don’t remember their house being cluttered, but I think my mom was much better about having a home for everything — and my parents did not have nearly as much crap as we have. I can’t get my husband to throw anything away. Plus we kids had our own space (the basement), unlike in my house, where the kids need dedicated space. Someday…


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