What's best for children

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
What's best for children
8
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 2:35pm
I think this title has been used before, but my question is, do we always do what's best for our children and do we always try to do what's best for our children?

I think the answers are no and no. Most times, we try and do what's best, but not always.

If I always did what's best for my dd then I would never go to a restaurant ( I don't think a 1 yo *enjoys* eating out), I wouldn't go halfway cross country to see the grandparents ( I don't think she thinks "yay, I can spend 2 hours at the airport then another 4 on the plane then another 1 in the car so that I can go hang out in this house I'm not used to without my usual toys to play with so that I can be with couple of people whom I don't know very well."), I wouldn't go to the grocery store with her, i wouldn't go shopping with her, I wouldn't go out at night because she's not crazy about the current night time sitter situation.

Do we do those things that are primarily good for *us* because happy *us* means happy family which ultimately --> happy children?

What about SAH vs WOH, BF vs FF, co-sleeping vs not, etc?

Do we think that as mothers, our goal in life is to sacrifice ourselves for the good of our children? or does anyone feel that we live on this earth once, I want to make my mark as a ___ also (fill in the blank -- a best-selling writer, the best trial lawyer ever, someone who will end world hunger, whatever....)
Avatar for val10154
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-26-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 2:47pm
I think as far as making decisions that involve the children directly (BF, co-sleeping, education, etc.), we always try to do what's best for them. As far as the other things you mentioned, some of them are things we have to do. My dd HATES doing laundry, or should I say she hates coming w/ me to do laundry. Whenever I pick her up from school & tell her we have to do laundry tonight, she groans. (BTW, in case anyone is wondering, I live in NYC. I have to go to the laundromat to do laundry.) Anyway, I feel bad, but I tell her I hate to do it too, but it has to be done. I try to joke around w/ her saying that our clothes are "stinky" & that's why we have to wash them. If she wants, she can wear dirty, smelly clothes (I'm joking of course) & she laughs. Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent here, as far as some other things like us going out sometimes, yeah of course our kids aren't going to always like staying home w/ a sitter or a grandparent or a sibling, etc., but I see nothing wrong w/ parents doing things for themselves, even if the kids don't like it. I know some may not agree w/ this, but I don't think our lives have to revolve around our kids, meaning you can have your own life & your own identity separate from being a mother. And there's nothing wrong w/ this. And I honestly think kids will appreciate this in the long run. My mom still goes out & hangs w/ her friends, all the time. She goes out more than me! LOL And I think it's great. I do believe for the most part that happy mother = happy family b/c honestly, when I'm miserable, I make the whole household miserable, not on purpose of course! LOL

As far the last part of your post, I personally like to have several roles in my life. I'm actively a mom, a girlfriend, a friend, a daughter, a co-worker, a student, etc. & I love my life this way. I don't know if this was what you were getting at in your OP, but this is just my $.02.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 11:00pm
I don't know, I think most of the things you mentioned are best for the kids. They may not like travelling to grandma's for the short term, but they will appreciate the opportunity to know their family in the longterm. They may not like to go out to dinner, but they will learn etiquette that will carry them far later in life. They would rather not have a sitter, but they will learn about dealing with other authority figures and that Mom and Dad are people too. These are important lessons.

I don't make all my decisions with my children's short term comfort in mind, but their long-term development into human beings. For that, I think, I always do what I think is best.

Jill

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Mon, 08-11-2003 - 11:38pm
Thats exactly what I was thinking. The things the op mentioned might be things a child might not *like* to do, but it IS good for them in the long run. Kind of like making my dd unload the dishwasher, lol! She probably doesnt feel its *best* for her, nor does she especially enjoy it, but I feel it is teaching her about responsibility and contributing to the household. Very important life lessons. There are plenty of times we do things specifically because we think it will bring long term benefits FOR the children.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Tue, 08-12-2003 - 12:53pm
That's funny 'cause when we were little, my sister and I used to set the table for dinner, help our mom make dinner, then clean up afterwards. Our little sister never did that -- she was the "baby" of the family. To this day, she doesn't cook -- maybe heat up some soup but that's about it. Also, when we get together, she never thinks to do the dishes.

But -- what I was getting at with my original post was that some women feel that they are not good mothers if they don't *always* do whatever they feel is the best for the baby *at the time.* I think that that can often lead to guilt on the part of the children and unhappiness for the mom.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2001
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 8:56am
I do feel I'm here once. I bf, used cloth diapers, ignored jarred baby food. I took my children to restaurants and malls. I believe what I model they will absorb. But then my children have their own experiences, their own reactions to these decisons ... I feel I've done what is right for them and hope they feel it was right.

Linda

 

Linda - wife, mother, grandmum                     &nb

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 9:24am
I think you are confusing "what is best for children" with " what children like best". I think it will benefit my children in the long run to be famililar with how to behave in restaurants, when shopping, when visiting and when someone else is caring for them. I think that its in the best interest of my children if my husband and I go out alone every once in awhile.

When questioning sah vs woh it depends on the situation. For my family it is best for the whole unit if I stay home with the children. Is daycare whats "best for children" sometimes not.

Something happened yesterday that still leaves a sour taste in my mouth. We were at a local swimming pool, my oldest was having a swimming lession and I was swimming with my younger child. There was a daycare there. The daycare teachers were mean and impatient with the kids. They swam for a short time and then were herded away. Afer our swim I took my kids to the change room and they were all in their eating their lunch. There was absolutly no effort on the part of the care givers to give the kids an enjoyable day. They were fulfilling the baseline requirements and thats about it. I've seen this kind of thing over and over again at playgrounds and at day care centers I've visited. Do I think that its best for the kids force them to be part of this dismal situation day in and day out? No. In fact that if any of us that had a job that seemed so bleak we would be looking for a new one tout de suit.

sorry it got long and convulted.

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 12:32pm
I am a WOHM and I use "child care," but it's really sad when I think about bad daycare providers out there. A friend of mine used to work at this afterschool program (by a well known national company) and the stories she used to tell about the providers there. They weren't abusive, they weren't neglectful -- but they were just not caring patient people that I would want taking care of my child. And this was in a middle class neighborhood in the suburbs.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Wed, 08-13-2003 - 2:39pm
How sad. Stories like this always make me sad for the children. But, in all fairness, we may see the impatience and lack of compassion of the caregivers, but the children may not. They may perceive a trip to the pool with all their friends as the most fun they had all week.

They may even think it fun to eat lunch in a changing room. Yuck!

Jill