Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A Hot-Air-Balloon Momma, perhaps?

Kelly wrote this post about being a Helicopter Mom.

I get it. 

I have Helicopter tendencies too.

Sometimes I am self conscious about them.

Other times, I feel that God gave me this protective desire for my babies.

And really, aren't we supposed to be looking out for them while they are young and small?

I don't entertain my children constantly while we are together. They know how to play independently from me.  And while we're home, they're pretty (okay fairly) good at it. 

But when we are out and about, isn't it my job to watch over them?

Like yesterday, when I took them grocery shopping at New Seasons with me, and they didn't have any two-seater grocery carts...aren't I the one responsible for the two toddlers I have in tow? If they are pulling pears down from the produce shelf, I need to know about it.

And I can call to mind a (small) handful of playdates where I'm exhausted after because I've been babysitting all the kids while other mom's sit and chat and enjoy each others company, clueless as to if their child needs to use the bathroom, is being frightened  by a yelling big kid in the play tunnel, or is -God forbid- running out the door and into traffic. 

When we are on a playdate, my kids are still my responsibility. It's my job as their Momma to make sure they are safe. To make sure some big kid -or toddler being a toddler- isn't hitting them. OR - lest you think I believe my kids are perfect- one of my kids hitting someone else's kid! 

I know I can not always protect them from getting hurt, physically or emotionally.  It's not even so much about that. It's about the fact that they are 2 and a half years old, which is still young. It still requires supervision.

But how much? I really don't know. 

I'm wondering if a Hot-Air-Balloon Momma, one who floats by, a peaceful presence near but not too close, is more of what I should be aiming for.


Linda Lee Brown Ayers said...

I never heard of the term "Helicopter Parent" until we took The Foster Kline parenting series. I DO have the cassette tapes from it. What I gleaned from the class is that the Helicopter parent is the one who rescues consistently. There certainly were enough of them when I volunteered at Sumpter's office. They come into school one day with the lunch, the next with the violin, the next with the permission slip, the next with the homework....sometimes more than once a day.

You may recall that there were a certain number of "save mes" each school year and the number got fewer the more advanced grades.

I think the term Hot-air-balloon Momma is perfect for young kids. I totally agree that play dates CAN be exhausting if each mom isn't tuned in. I noticed a definite difference in my Middle-Aged Mom's group from when I was a younger mom. All of the mom had much older children, too. Perhaps by that age we had evolved with our eyes in the back of our heads and could spot a situation clear across the room. For old women, we could be pretty quick to "move it" :)

You are doing a GREAT job! There will be a lifetime worth of second guessing your decisions. Just enjoy the moments. Kids are pretty resilient when they know they are loved!
You are loved!

Aunt Carol said...

I think 2 1/2 years is too young for the hot-air balloon approach. I've been around kids older than that whose moms should have been watching them much more closely than they were but who seemed content to let someone else monitor their children's actions -- and safety. Your instincts are just fine.

Love, Aunt Carol

Vanessa's Dad said...

It's not hard to know when and how often to intervene and take care of your 2 1/2 yr-old Twins... It's impossible to know when and how. Ya'll just keep doing the great job your doing, and stay right with The Lord. Nothing is impossible through Christ who strengthens us.


funfavorites said...

I have twin toddlers that just turned 2 and I can relate to everything in this post. I was actually wondering the same thing as I followed my girls around the park today. I'm trying to find the balance, but I don't think I have it yet. I think I'll get there when they are a bit older.