The Art of Jumping On Beds and Active Parenting
Every morning I follow the same routine. Rise, drink coffee and walk from room to room making beds and putting away clothes. Yes, I fully admit I should hold my kids accountable for making their own beds and picking up their own clothes, but I am a mother of habit and it is my instinct to clean up. I'm also the type of person that has to make my bed and any other bed that happens to be unmade. I love order and the feeling of walking into a clean room, plus, who doesn't love jumping into a clean crisp bed at the end of a long day?
On the downside to my strict bed making habit, I have caught myself in several moments telling the kids to "get off the bed" or "please don't jump on the bed."
Please don't jump on the bed??
Did those words seriously come out of my mouth?
And that was the moment when I realized I was becoming the mom I didn't want to be. There are certainly parenting battles that I will have ahead of me or that I currently have on my plate (I could write an entire post on these new battles), but messy beds shouldn't be one of them. I have so many memories of jumping on my bed as a child, building forts with the trundle and draping a canopy over the back of the daybed. Have I denied my children these joys because I have become so uptight about keeping a tidy house? Have I seriously become that person?
When I entered parenthood almost ten (yikes!) years ago I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that I would always try my hardest to be a fun, loving and outgoing parent. I promised myself that I would crawl around on the floor, that I would play in the dirt, that I would run bare foot in the park, that I would dive off the diving board and that I would play any sport my children asked me to play with them. I promised myself that I would be an active parent and not simply observe from the sidelines.
This means jumping in the pool on cool days even when you are the only mother in the water. It means playing tag for the millionth time when you should really be figuring out dinner or putting away laundry that is piled to the ceiling. It means hanging out on a friday night to eat popcorn and watch Big Hero Six, again, rather than sipping tea and catching up on emails. It means skipping errands that need to be done because your son asked you to come into school and play kickball with his friends during recess on his birthday.
And you know what I discovered through all these experiences?
I sleep really really well after swimming all day in the pool. Playing tag actually counts as a workout and may even burn more calories than running my usual three miles. I have discovered that I love laying on the couch watching kid movies on a friday night with my legs intertwined with six other legs. And I've learned that I'm pretty darn good at kickball!
So here's to active parenting and getting up from the side lines and jumping into the game. And sometimes, even as a parent, it's okay to jump on the bed.