What Your Kids Really Need to See From You: An Actual Guide That is Not Bogus

kids and parents


I love Pinterest; it saves my life half the time. It shows me the best way to do things, quick things I can do at home to make up for forgetting a gift at the last minute, and fun things I can do with my kids when it’s raining and they are bored. I love getting new recipes (I cannot cook, but boy-oh-boy am I an amazing baker) and I love seeing all the décor to use as inspiration in my own home. Did I mention I love Pinterest? In fact, I think that most people do. However, every so often something will catch my eye that makes me stop for a moment.

This morning, it was a “recommended for me” pin about things that kids need to see their moms doing. I wouldn’t have really paid attention to it except for the photo shows a smiling, happy mom sitting in front of a sewing machine in her craft room just sewing away. Um, I don’t have a craft room. I don’t have a sewing machine. I don’t even have a needle. If something in this house needs fixing, we take it to a professional. Now I’m curious as to what else I’m allegedly failing my kids by not doing in front of them.

It turns out that this was just one of many lists of things that kids need to see their moms doing, and they all have different things listed on them. Some are actually good, some are actual garbage. I thought about it for a while over coffee and realized something; kids do need to see their moms doing things – sewing is not one of them. I’ve decided to take some of the most ridiculous pieces of advice these articles provided to moms everywhere in a thinly-veiled attempt to show moms what horrible people they are ruining their kids one unmended button at a time and tell you what kids really need to see their moms doing.

What we’re told to do – Agree with your spouse to avoid an argument in front of the kids

What we need to do – Show kids respectful disagreement

I’m sorry, but I do not love the idea of pretending everything is just hunky dory or giving into things just to avoid an argument. I don’t want my kids to grow up thinking that wives are not allowed to disagree with their husbands or that they have to back down from their own beliefs to prevent an argument. Can you say doormat? I also don’t want my kids growing up with the idea that marriage is perfect all the time and people don’t fight. They’ll never find happiness in that case.

What I want my kids to learn is that you can disagree, work through your issues and still be respectful about it. You can be mad at your spouse, have your own opinion, disagree and still be respectful and mature about it. Let’s let our kids see that and learn how to be respectful and strong, too.

What we’re told to do – “Motherly” things like sewing and cleaning

What we need to do – What’s best in a given situation

I don’t sew, so I won’t try. Why bother when I can take it to someone else and have it repaired in a day for a few bucks? That’s what’s best for us. If you can sew, by all means do it and teach your kids to do it. It’s a pretty beneficial thing to learn. However, don’t try to do things that you’re not good at or that don’t work for you just for the sake of being a ‘good’ mom.

Instead, do what works. If you like to clean and prefer to do it yourself; do it. If you think it’s better that everyone helps out, ask them to help out. Do what’s best for your family.

What we’re told to do – Put your kids first every time

What we need to do – Be there for your kids, but don’t make them the center of the universe

I’ve met a lot of moms in my time, and I’ve learned one thing. The ones who dote on their kids 100% of the time to the point that they put everything else second in their lives are beyond miserable in a way I cannot even describe. Those of us who do for our kids and love them but also remember that the world does not revolve around them are a lot happier – and I’ll swear to that every single time.

I love my kids, and I do everything for them that they need. Do I do everything they want? No. Sometimes I put me or my husband first. Sometimes we have a break, we don’t feel bad about it, and our kids learn that they’re important, but that they don’t rule the world. It’s a pretty nice balance of happiness throughout our house.

What we’re told to do – Let your kids see you doing well

What we need to do – Let our kids see us learn

I cannot cook. I’m not about to get my behind into the kitchen and cook the one dish I can make without burning the house down every single night so that my kids can see me succeed in the kitchen. Instead, I’d rather my kids see me learning and putting forth the effort to get outside my comfort zone and learn.

Guess what? We are not all good at every single thing. I’d rather my kids see that I fail, but that I have a good attitude about it than see me only do the things I’m good at doing. I’d much rather them see me fail at cooking, but daddy step in and take over while teaching me what I could do to stop this from happening or that from happening. I like them to see us learning and to see us struggle so that they see how we overcome our challenges. It’s healthy.

Photo by Getty Images

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