Learning To Not Be Just A “Sit-and-Watch” Mom


Learning To Not Be Just A “Sit-and-Watch” Mom Like most things, there is no finish line when it comes to being a “good” mom. As moms, we are always learning as we go, correcting mistakes, and adapting to the changing seasons of motherhood. Since my older girls have started school, it feels like time is flying even faster, and I am working even harder to be present, to make memories, and to connect with my kids.

One thing I am trying to become better at is not being just a “sit-and-watch” mom.

I don’t want to be the mom who exclusively sits on the bench at parks, who never gets her hair wet at the pool, or who doesn’t participate when asked to join in. I want my kids to remember me as the mom who got down on the floor with them to play and could easily join in whatever game of make-believe they played. I want to be a part of their world and their fun.

You know what I have discovered?

Participating in the activity is almost always more fun than sitting and watching. It’s freeing to act like a kid and play hide-and-seek or tag or whatever game my girls come up with. I enjoy swimming with them at the pool and riding the slides at the park. And it makes them so incredibly happy to have me join in. It’s a simple way to make their day, and who doesn’t want that?

Along with creating core memories, I am also striving to set a good example. As much as I wish it weren’t true, I am a self-conscious person. It’s gotten better as I have gotten older, but I find myself still sometimes caring too much about what others think. When I participate in my kids’ activities, I have to set those insecurities aside. I am learning not to care if I am the only mom jumping on the trampoline or attempting the cartwheel. I hope it will teach my girls that it’s okay to look silly and be silly, and that they should never take themselves too seriously.

One thing that has helped me participate more is being more intentional in planning the special activities we do together outside of the normal day-to-day stuff. For example, I know I do not particularly enjoy cooking with my kids, and any art project involving glitter or paint makes me want to pull my hair out. But, I love playing with them in the pool, hiking with them, reading with them at the library, and riding roller coasters with them, so those are the kinds of activities I try to plan. Everyone has a blast and it’s easy for me to get involved.

I know all moms need breaks, and I am not saying it’s wrong to just sit and watch occasionally. There is definitely a time and place to just supervise. Sometimes I need to sit the activity out and take a moment for myself. I am only human. Plus, kids need time to play independently, too. However, for me it’s important that I participate as much as I can for as long as I can.

I know one day my kids aren’t going to want their mom to play tag or jump off the diving board with them anymore. They will want to be with their friends instead of me, and that’s okay. That’s the season when I will sit back and relax more. My hope is that when that day comes, I will have laid the groundwork to still connect with them so we will still be doing fun things together.


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