Anyone remember those stuffed talking heads from the 90’s? The ones that look like little cartoon heads with tiny arms and legs- you’d hit them and they’d say things like, “yadda, yadda, yadda” and “whaateverrrr!” I remember my brother gave me one because apparently I said, “whatever!” a lot back then. It was my catchphrase before I even knew it was my catchphrase!
I was thinking of this little talking head the other day when I saw picture after picture posted on Facebook of my friends taking their kids out in the snow to play. I felt a little guilty for not taking my little ones out. I hate the snow and cold so much. I hate how long it takes me to get all three of us dressed. Ugh. So, I posted kind of a joke question asking if I was horrible parent for not taking my kids out in the snow. I didn’t really expect anyone to answer the question. I obviously don’t think I’m a horrible parent. I thought I was being funny and sarcastic. There were actually several replies; some agreed the snow is overrated. But, one comment stuck with me. It actually said I was “taking away my kids choice” to have fun.
So here’s how it really went down. Me: “Hey kids look at all that snow!” Kids: “Wow!” Me: (in silent reluctance I ask) “would you like to go outside?” Kids: “No! We want to stay inside where it’s warm!” Me: “Ok then!” I asked, they replied with their choice. Why would I now spend 20 minutes forcing them into snow pants and boots all the while crying they don’t want to go outside? Whatever. We watched Disney princess movies and ate a popcorn in our jammies. I didn’t post any pics of that. I didn’t want anyone else to feel guilty.
How many times do you feel like other parents opinions and comments make you sway in your own parenting choices? The guilt we feel as parents can be a powerful thing. Having twins I feel like the mommy guilt tag teams me, and it could easily take me down if I let it. So now I’m going to grab on to my trusty catchphrase the next time I feel that guilt well up and think, “whaateverr!” and let it go.