I don’t know about you guys, but I suffer so much from ‘mother-guilt’, constantly questioning if am I spending too much time looking at my phone (probably), playing enough with Albie (there’s always time for more play), if Albie being stimulated enough (I hope so!)… The list goes on.
I can’t help but think in today’s society there is so much ‘mother guilt’ and unrealistic expectations put onto mums to be the best mum they can be. After thinking about this over and over again, I came to the conclusion that your baby loves you for you, not because you’re the best at cooking dairy free, gluten free, fun free (just jokes) food, not because you are the best at reading bed time stories (even though, let’s face it, you are!) and certainly not because you don’t let them have any sugar, they love you simply because you’re their mama/ parent.
Whilst I do believe that we’re all doing the best job we know how to (I know I am whilst juggling being back at work and running two start-up businesses), I do think there are always ways that we can connect more without little ones and help us ease up on the ‘mother-guilt’ a little.
I was actually really surprised recently to find out that child/parent eye contact (attunement) on the decline. The power of eye to eye contact (attunement) on the development of a young child cannot be underestimated. Leading childhood educator Leanne Hallowell has come out to say child/parent attunement is on the decrease – Which is concerning considering that this is a critical engagement that effects the child’s health and wellbeing.
Especially when you look at the stat that Australian adults are racking up over eight hours of screen time daily, and that children as young as one are reported to now be engaged and interactive with smart phones and tablets, with the majority of Australian kids spending more than the recommended two hour daily-limit (reported by the Australian institute of Family Studies). Now Albie is 10 months old and I haven’t got to the stage of him watching TV or iPads yet, as truthfully he’s only just discovered he has feet… So please be assured that I’m not condemning parents that allow their children to watch TV or an iPad, it’s all about balance right? I think so anyway.
So with balance in mind, in more ways than one I was so thrilled to find out that YMCA has launched the YMCA Playnasium. It’s such a cool concept that is essentially three pieces of equipment that combine gym and play for parents and children (what’s not to love). The YMCA Playnasium uses children as counterweights, allowing parents to work-out whilst simultaneously playing and bonding with their kids. Meaning I get to work out, tone up and stimulate Albie, winning!
The three pieces of YMCA Playnasium equipment, the row-row-row machine, the pec-a-boo and the pull upsy-daisy, have all been designed for families with young children (aged 0-7) to make exercise easy and fun. Check out the vid:
The ‘Playnasium’ is initially a Victorian initiative that travelled around allowing parents to trial the equipment, whilst learning all about the importance of eye contact with your children. So whilst we can’t head out and go and try the Playnasium for ourselves, I believe that it has helped me to think about about adopting the ideology of spending more time and eye contact with your child.
Also, making sure we ease up on the guilt a little, this made me laugh, so hopefully it will make you giggle too: