Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Underprotective mother.

I grew up with an extremely overprotective mother. Honestly? I can't tell you how horrible it was. I don't have the greatest memory, but I seldom remember playing outside. I used to have to go to bed while it was still daylight. I remember laying in bed, listening to neighborhood children play outside (hence, my issue with putting my own children to bed while it's still light outside). We moved around a lot when I was young (lived in 5 different states by age 9), & for safety reasons, the new (to us) houses could not be equipped with a gas stove. For safety reasons, if the house(s) had a garbage disposal, it was promptly removed.
For the record, I adore gas stoves (my preference, actually!) & I cannot live without a garbage disposal! Baha! Ü

My mother has lightened up none over the years, & it still drives me absolutely crazy (not to mention, her extreme stress is taking a toll on her). When my children & I are with her, it's almost as if she doesn't want them to breathe. Screaming, gasping & grabbing them at every little move (like, if they take a step in a parking lot). Of course, I correct her because they are my children, but it's still insane. Yesterday, she phoned me in the morning. I had things to do, so I didn't answer. Then she phoned my cell phone. Then she called again, because she was "very concerned" I needed to phone her right away & let her know everything was ok. Have I phoned her? No. I'm grown now, & don't feel the need (nor will I) to answer to mom. As far as the now call me the minute you get home so I know you made it - I stopped that years ago. Oh. Good. Gravy.
Long ago, I made the choice & a promise to my unborns, to not be an overprotective mother. I am not! Woot! :)

Somewhat, I feel as if I missed the experience of living, beginning around age 5 (my earliest recollection). Sure, when I was a teen, I went to the skating rink every Friday night. But I'm talking about exploring, in length & detail, the great outdoors. Taking chances. I don't want to smother my children. I want them to breathe.

I want them to experience. I want them to learn. If they fall, they get up. Isn't that what life is all about, falling? But you get up. And no matter when they fall, either now or later, I'll be right there beside them to help them up. Forever.

I don't know if being "underprotective" is right or wrong. But it's what I know. And being the way I was raised, it's the only way I prefer to know. My hope is that when my children look back, they will appreciate having the freedom to actually live.

And if they look back & smile, then I'll take underprotective anyday. Ü


Launa said...

Awesome pictures! So, so cool!

MG said...

My mom was not very protective of us as kids but it has SO multiplied now that she's a grandma...she always thinks the kids are going to kill themselves on the stairs etc. I hope I'm not the overprotective mom now...I'm NOT protective of activity things...running, climbing, jumping, swinging etc...but I'm VERY protective of my kids and letting them be with others....other than my close family and a few friends. Great post!

Tina said...

I think it is wonderful that you are being an unprotective mom. Kids need to get dirty...run...jump and just explore. Way to go.....


Christine said...

Sweet, sweet pictures! I think kids should be allowed to explore, to fall and to figure out life on their own. We are here to teach, guide, kiss boo boos and provide a safe place for them to hurt themselves! Ha!@

Jo Lynn said...

I guess you could call me underprotective (and a little over with my last baby) My older ones love to explore. This week my
12yo son is putting a weedwacker motor on a bicycle. Him and his dad are always outside. He's learned to weld, and change oil. He wants his dad to let him change the oil pan gasket on our van. We have a fence row full of trees. The kids love to explore in there. (that will be better once the leaves come back on the trees) they have all sorts of adventures. My baby boy is now 5. I am still a little overprotective of him only in that I'm not sure if we are having anymore (I pray everyday hubby will say lets do it). But my 5yo loves to be outside with the big kids. You can't learn from your mistakes if you can't make any...

Jo Lynn