Benign Parental Neglect...all the fun, half the effort

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They are always at their happiest when they think they're pulling one over on the old ladies.  Sunday night they were in charge of picking the dance music.  Several times they slipped on songs, thinking we might not catch the lyrics...but a mom is always on duty.  Still, I couldn't bring myself to say anything.  They were having too much fun. 

Lovey would cry "Don't!" to the boys and I would look over to see them both defying her and egging each other on. "Yeah! Do it! They won't know!"

They are good kids...most of the time.

I think that's part of what makes me hesitate before taking off for the mountain cabin.  They are such treasures and there are so few moments left of their childhood.  I feel torn when I know I'm going to miss even a moment's opportunity to be with them.

On the other hand...What kid wants a clingy, pathetic mom trailing around in his wake, wringing her hands and acting pitiful?

I'm not going to justify my time in Virginia by saying it makes me a better mom.  That's just a rationalization.  If it were that easy, anybody could be a good enough mother.   Showing up is only a small part of the job- an important part, true, but only one of the ingredients. 

And going away to write doesn't make me a bad mom.  I know that- in theory... But I'm still having trouble with it in my heart.  There's a lot more to becoming a bad mom than missing a weekend in town. 

Benign neglect can actually be a very good thing...it teaches your kids to rely on themselves.  It makes them appreciate your presence by feeling your absence.  Blah, blah, blah...etc. etc. etc...

The bottom line is this-

Going to the mountain doesn't make me a better mom. 

It makes me a better person.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it...






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