Well... this isn't what I had originally written up to post about today but maybe I just wasn't supposed to post it.
One of my fellow Mommies a couple weeks back asked me what classes I had Riley in as we were leaving our swimming class. Which made me think to myself "should him and I being doing more classes?". I answered that I had him in swimming and I take him to the library for a sing/read along when he gets up early enough.
The Mommy seemed satisfied with my answer. But it made me think about if I was really doing enough for Riley. Is he being stimulated enough? Is he learning enough? Am I making sure that his potential is being pushed as far as it can?
I hear a lot about people that are putting their toddlers in many activities. Ranging from swimming lessons to "baby band" all the way to toddler 2nd language classes. Are these necessary? Am I hindering Riley's learning by having him spend time with me during the day instead of in a class learning something?
I have to admit that maybe I am not the best Mommy some days. But I do try everyday to get in as much stimulation as possible. We read books, colour, clean (he likes to help, the other day he helped unload the dishwasher!), go to the park, walk to the supermarket, go to the library, play in the backyard, sing songs, dance, have horsey rides (really hard to do when you haven't had your first cup of coffee!), among many other things we do. I enjoy spending time with my little man. He's only going to be thrilled with me for so long so I try and get in as much Mommy-Riley time as I can. The excitement of me is already wearing off slowly but surely. Daddy comes home and Mommy is nothing, although it is cute to see him run/toddle to whatever door Tim has come in going "Hi Dadadada!".
A few months back due to finance's I took a very part time job so my waking hours are split between Riley and work. I do feel sad leaving him some days but I think it has worked out the way it was meant to be. He gets to spend time with his Auntie, who is becoming a part of his life everyday, she's even finally getting to experience the grumpy baby. Being away from his has made me a much more patient Mommy with him now. I appreciate the time we spend together so much more. Even when he's screaming at me or telling me "NO MAMA!" I normally keep my cool.
It's really important to me to do that for him. My childhood was OK... I'm not going to sugar coat it. My parents argued a lot, my mother use to "relieve her tension on us" (not my words, that ones from my sister) in the form of a slap or sometimes worse, my Dad threatened to leave almost every time they got in a fight. It had it's happy moments but there were also many very low moments. I don't want Riley to have to ever EVER deal with the emotional trauma of that. I want him to know what love is, how you should treat someone you love, how you should respect them and not say mean and hateful things. Don't get me wrong, I am my father's child and say some really mean things sometimes. Thankfully my husband is one of the most even tempered people I've ever met so when my Irish temper comes out he manages to stay calm for the whole 30 seconds I'm totally pissed off at the world. Thankfully, since Tim and I got married we fight way less and when we had Riley our fighting practically disappeared.
Anyways, I've gotten off topic a little and rambled. I love the time I spend with my son. Do I think I'm doing him an injustice by keeping him with me instead of sending him off to classes? Nope. There will come a time when all we do is go from school to hockey to scouts to swimming to piano, and whatever else he may take on. Until then I'll keep him close to me and teach him what I know. I may not know it all but, I do know how to hug, kiss, read, color, bake cookies, apply band aids and the most important thing to know, talk to Daddy on the phone! I think that's all a 19 month old really finds important anyways!