Hit by Mommy Guilt

March 26, 2016

Ever since Rafa turned two, it had been a really great challenge for me to keep him occupied with activities that were both educational and entertaining.  I remember, a very dear friend of mine, who happens to be a preschool teacher, told me to give Rafa a structured routine every single day so that I won't have to enroll my son in a play school.  I actually did and it worked pretty well.  But as my son grew older, I noticed that he eventually got bored with the activities that we used to enjoy.  Well, I guess, his boredom was caused by my lack of creativity or perhaps, kids just really tend to outgrow things for the purpose of seeking a more complex and challenging task.

Soon, Rafa totally lost all his patience for having such a very uninteresting mom and began behaving like a difficult child.  It's very stressful or rather crazy, almost leaving me at my wit's end.  You know the famous line that says, "Desperate times call for desperate measures?"  I suppose, that was what forced us to introduce Rafa to the world of gadgets.

Honestly, I never really wanted him to be exposed to such thing at an early age.  However, as a housewife, I also have a home to manage and some chores to work on.  Hence, handing my son a tablet seemed to be the easiest thing to do to keep him occupied -- so that I can also uninterruptedly accomplish my tasks on time.  

While these gadgets had been a great help for me to be an effective homemaker, I must admit that it made me feel the exact opposite as a mom -- I felt like I was being a lazy parent who's not spending enough time interacting with her son.  I was totally drowned with guilt, which didn't feel good at all!

I knew I was doing things the wrong way.  In fact, after watching a few episodes of Supernanny on YouTube, I realized that Rafa's misbehavior was absolutely all my fault!  I failed to give him enough attention, we didn't have a daily structured activity to follow, I was inconsistent, I was not disciplining him right, and I tolerated his bad mealtime habits (no wonder our family never really got the chance to enjoy eating a meal together because we can't have Rafa sit on the dining table -- he was always running around and had to be spoon fed just so he can eat).

I really felt horrible for failing as a mom, but I am grateful for realizing my shortcomings even before it was too late.  (Special thanks to the TV series Supernanny for being such an eye-opener!)  So to make things right, my husband and I started implementing some of the tips we got from the series -- like having a routine, being consistent, training Rafa to eat on the table during mealtimes, limiting screen time, getting him involved with household chores (he cleans up his own mess, he helps mommy with cooking, baking, laundry, groceries, etc.), and working with him on purposeful activities instead of giving him gadgets.

Speaking of purposeful activities, what we usually do is read books, draw or paint, sing, and play.  I know kids his age learn best through play that is why I always try to make his playtime fun and educational as much as possible.  Good thing I stumbled upon this website about an easy homemade play dough recipe.  Rafa used to watch A LOT of play doh unboxing videos on YouTube, so I thought he would love to play with this non-toxic clay.  And I was right!  It was definitely a hit not only to my son, but to his daddy and Ninang as well! It was an absolutely fun activity perfect for the whole family! 

Anyway, we have just started implementing Rafa's new routine a few days ago, yet we have already observed a great improvement in his behavior!  I was actually amazed how a little human being can be trained at a very young age, over a short period of time.  I just hope we, the parents, would be consistent enough to implement the rules so that we would also see favorable results in the coming weeks!  *fingers crossed* And I pray that with His grace and guidance, we will be able to raise our son, Rafa, as a fine gentleman and a responsible adult in the future (just like his dad).  So help us God!

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