I’ve mentioned before that I really, really wanted to do those mommy-baby classes with Conlan but wasn’t able to, primarily due to my daytime work schedule.
I also really, really wanted to do other things – like pricey outings, 2-year-old soccer, and Gymboree – but didn’t do those either, primarily due to my husband’s much more rational mindset.
“I think he’s a little young. What is a 6-month-old going to remember about the zoo?” “You want him to play soccer? We’ve got a big backyard and I’m happy to kick the ball around him.”
Called out. Guilty. The reason I wanted to put him in those things less for him than for me. Yes, he’d have fun. But let’s be totally honest – at that young age he had just as much fun with dixie cups and a bubble bath. Really, I felt like I would be a great mom for putting him in those things and providing him with experiences that made him so happy.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying people shouldn’t take these classes but they certainly aren’t necessary. And they’re indicative of neither fabulous nor poor parenting. They’re just activities. They’re for the enjoyment of both mother & baby and are both fun and healthy. But parents shouldn’t feel they “have to” get their kid into infant swim lessons at the expense of a severely stretched budget or limited family time. If you’ve got the time & money, great. If not, don’t sweat it.
I think I’m starting to get that now. Conlan is 3 1/2 and I see the difference in him. He’s engaged. He’s animated. He eagerly anticipates upcoming events. Even so, these days I do tend to agree more with my husband (who continues to keep me from going overboard) – he is still too young to really make some of our adventures “worth it” – but this summer the hubs got vetoed anyway.
It was for a different reason, though. It was for me, and I freely, unashamedly admitted it. This would be our last summer as a family of three. The last summer with just me and Conlan. I wanted to enjoy it with him. I wanted to make my own special memories to tuck away in a special place – that sweet summer before my attentions got divided and life got a little more complicated. I wanted a summer whereI got to play with my fun, hilarious, sweet little 3-year-old.
This summer I did go a little overboard and I don’t care. My “baby” had a ton of fun. And it made me very, very happy.