The easiest way to explain what I do professionally is to say that I do consultation and training for early childhood teachers. When I tell people that, they often get this weird look on their face. I think they get stuck on the word training. I think they are thinking of personal training. As in with treadmills and weights and stuff like that?
No, that's not what I mean. I mean training as in leading workshops for teacher's continuing education. Lord knows my jiggly bottom ain't training and consulting on anyone else's jiggly bottom.
Well, I take that back... I do talk about this kind of jiggly bottom training.
And no, she did not use the potty. And yes, she does like to pretend she is talking on the phone while she doesn't use the potty.
Anyways... Back to me not being a personal trainer. Since the type of training that I do do is on early childhood, there is a very common reflective activity that we do that involves asking the class to think back on the type of play they enjoyed most as a child. Then they are asked to share as they feel lead on what they recalled.
Often times you can see the happy emotions bubble up in the speaker's face as they explain exactly what type of play they enjoyed. It almost becomes like when you find an old photo album that you haven't seen in years, however, as soon as you start to see the pictures you are instantly returned to those moments and emotions.
Having the type of childhood experiences in which you want to return, even if it is just in the form of memories, is exactly what I want to give to my children.
I want them to 20, 40, 60 years from now to be able to return to playing mountain climber on our back hill.
Or to playing Pretty, Pretty, Puppy Princess Mommy.
Or to swinging so high that for just an instant you teeter on joy of the ride and fear that you may actually tip over the swing set this time.
I want them to remember the walks around our subdivision. Our trips to the park. Or that our kitchen was their art gallery that was theirs for the designing.
What I am saying is that I want them to experience a rich childhood. However, I am finding that if I want that to be the case I have to be very deliberate about it.
Many of the "I will never..." that I said I wouldn't allow BEFORE having children have crept into our lives.
You know the ones...
"I will never allow my child to watch tv."
"I will never let my children go to bed without a bedtime story."
"I will never let me children eat french fries."
And a hundred other things.
But, the truth is they watch way too much tv.
Some days go by and I realize I haven't read to them.
They eat fast food at least weekly.
Sometimes they put on so much make-up while you're not looking that they look like an extra for Jersey Shores.
Sometimes you send them to their room for sassing you, and they end up falling asleep like a homeless man under the Sunday paper.
Errr... I think I'm getting off track.
What I am trying to say is that I've learned that in order to be a good mother, you have to let go of being a perfect mother. I am going to say it again and expect a chorus of "Amens".
In order to be a good mother, you have to let go of being a perfect mother. And really maybe having a good mother (and/or father) is truly the key to having the kind of childhood to which you want to go back.