Are we doing our children a disservice by loving them so much?
I hold the belief that a parent can never love their child too much. It is perfectly natural and normal to have your heart melt into a puddle on the floor while watching your child learn, grow and even just smile. There is no such thing as too many hugs, kisses or encouraging words a child can receive from Mommy or Daddy. I think the more happiness and love a child is surrounded by, the luckier that child is.
I previously worked full-time, however I quit my job after my maternity leave for my youngest son. He has never been in daycare and has been at my side almost every day of his existence. I am so blessed to have a relatively stress free life and I have been patient and nurturing with him almost always, so he does not really know any other behaviors. My oldest was in the care of other people from 8 weeks on. It’s a completely different world when you are in the comfort of your home and your mother’s arms from birth until two years verses a stranger when you are only a few weeks old.
Recently, however, I have begun wondering if being at home with my son non-stop is the best thing for him. Will he be prepared properly to take on the big, bad world if all he knows is mommy’s loving words and embrace? Honestly, every word that comes out of his mouth is clearly the new cutest thing I’ve ever heard. I think that being at home might be setting him up for heartache when he realizes what the world is like outside these walls. My son is a little tough, but he is a lover and doesn’t understand anything but love. Recently, we were at the park and another one year old boy was marching around the playground with the looks of Popeye and the attitude of O’Doyle from the movie Billy Madison. (O’Doyle rules!) My son said “Hiiii” in his soft, high-pitched voice and gently waved at the boy, who proceeded to push him into the wall. Immediately my son began crying. He had never experienced treatment like that and he did not understand. Could this be a look into his future?
As a child, I was at home with my mother until kindergarten. I had the worst time ever going to school, even through high school. I have always been extremely sensitive and I never understood why other people were not as caring. My personality is definitely the majority of the reason I had a hard time, but I wonder if being at home and having so much comfort and love everyday set me up for a harder experience. It’s strange to think that someone so little can be getting too much love, but the way strangers treat each other these days, it may be beneficial for little kids to be away from mommy in a daycare which provides a nurturing, caring and educational environment. That way they are eased into the real world much less abruptly than a child who is living in the comfort of their mother’s perfect love and attention.
As parents we are always trying to do what is best for our kids to prepare them for the best future possible. After all this thinking, all I can conclude is there is no best way. Every situation has its ups and downs. We all owe ourselves a pat on the back, because as long as we keep trying and taking care of ourselves and our children, we are doing the what’s right and what’s best, no matter what the individual details may be.