I'm a softie mum, and I don't plan on changing

Kinderling News & Features

Your kids are only young for a short time - is it so wrong to do what you can to make sure they enjoy it? Lana Hallowes thinks not.

I let my son wag kindy today so he could go to the movies with his granny instead.

He started crying the minute we reversed out of the driveway, upon learning his school-age brother was going to be spending the day with Granny (it’s the holidays but I still have to work).

I couldn’t bear his tears. He got to me. 

And so I caved.

Although my mum had said she’d rather just mind one boy instead of two, she wasn’t surprised to see my youngest cuddling his kindy blankie, when she opened the door to us. 

She laughed. She knows me too well. 

I’m a softie parent. Here are some of the things I let my kids do and how I justify it to myself. 

I cuddle my boys to sleep. Every. Night

I hate the bedtime battles and so I prefer to soothe my little loves off to sleep instead of yelling, “Back to bed!” over and over. 

Yes, I’m tired and would love to indulge in some ‘mummy telly’ but I am too soft to stamp down on them and instil those elusive ‘good independent sleep habits’.

But the other truth is, I love spooning their little bodies into mine as they drift off to sleep. “This won’t last forever,” I tell myself, even though my eldest is almost six …

I let them eat in front of the telly

Not every night, but often enough.

I find dinner battles (“eat your carrots!”) exhausting and so I make a deal with my boys that if they eat everything on their plate, including all the green stuff, they can do so in front of Peter Rabbit.

It may not be the best parenting choice, but it does the trick of ensuring full bellies and empty plates.

So a tick for me for getting some nutrition into them! 

I buy too many babyccinos

I love starting the day with a bought coffee, and so I often find myself ordering my usual decaf flat white and a babyccino or two, if both boys are with me. Even though I could refuse their pleas for ‘cinos?’, I buckle. 

I know this is bad for two reasons:

  1. Babyccinos aren’t healthy – marshmallow and chocolate sprinkles isn’t exactly a healthy start to the day.

  2. Babyccinos have become an expectation, not a treat.   

But I give in because I actually like drinking my coffee WITH them. We take our takeaway cups to the beach or park, and sip away like BFFs. They won’t always want to share a cuppa with me (well maybe after they’ve emerged from the other side of teenage), so for now, I am savouring this.

Making memories! I tell myself …

I sometimes (gulp) about-face

I am guilty of saying “No. No means NO!” and then after a little negotiating by them and twisting my arm, “OK, but just the one time,” or “All right, but only half.”

Argh! I hate myself a little for admitting this. Everyone knows that consistency is the key to laying down the law with kids, but I confess I do buckle from time to time. I am soft. 

While I may give in occasionally, I also know that I don’t when it really matters. My kids know there is a line with me and when they can’t cross it. Or I have myself believe.

I try to make every day fun

Because I am soft, I give in to their requests to go to the beach, the park, the bike track, etc, even though I need to do the shopping or clean the damn house on my non-work days. 

I want to make their childhood fun, and so I probably give in to them more than I should. After all, they can make their own fun at home and that’s good for them, in lots of ways.

I know this, but I still buckle. I cave. I am soft and so we often end up building sandcastles at the beach instead of me folding the washing.

But you know what? We have fun. And life is too short to worry about a clean house that has folded washing put away.

I am a softie mum, but I don’t care.

This article originally appeared on Babyology.