Mum guilt - can I press Esc?

I'd like to think that I wasn't naive, 'judgy' or overly-opinionated before I had children of my own.


But, I do have to admit to having those tendencies.


I was prepared for having babies, for looking after children. I had experience with cousins, siblings and the children at the nurseries where I worked after leaving uni. I knew it wouldn't be easy, I knew that I would be challenged but I knew I was ready.

However, I wasn't prepared for the heavy feeling of responsibility, or the mum-guilt and I did make sweeping statements and make decisions about how I would raise my child based on what I thought other parents were doing really well (or not). I don't care how people feed their babies, sleep train them, carry them. I don't care what nappy creams they use, when they potty train or whether their meals are homemade. But there are a couple of things I saw and thought "I'd never do that with my child".

That was the wrong thing to do. Most of the time it wouldn't really matter - like claiming that I'd "never dress my daughter in pink" (hahaha, that was never going to last) but I've lately come to realise that perhaps I've made a mistake in one particular area of Lily's development.

Technology.

One of my decisions was that I wouldn't be the parent of a child attached to a smart phone or tablet.

I'll be honest. I'm not usually a fan of seeing babies and toddlers playing with mobile phones and tablets. I don't even really know why because I don't have any reasonable objections and 'expert' advice is varied but my gut feeling makes me tut inwardly when I see children totally engrossed in technology when they could be playing with toys.

Lily never really played with my phone, we never downloaded lots of apps for her to play on the Kindle.

And now I'm wondering if that has been a mistake. For better or worse, technology is a huge part of modern life. We need to know about it, we need to understand it. I do believe that kids need to learn to use it. And, by not introducing Lily to it earlier I have now noticed she is 'behind' many of her peers when it comes to using a computer, tablet or smart phone.


It hit home today when she showed me a picture she'd produced on the nursery computer. I was so proud because she'd actually used the mouse on her own - something she's been struggling with. It was even mentioned at her last parent's evening as an area to work on. I've now decided to look into some websites and programmes designed for pre-schoolers in the hope that I can help her learn the basics.

We've also recently introduced more games on the Google Nexus tablet Matt never uses. She's a big fan of the Alphablocks game on the CBeebies app and loves listening to CBeebies Storytime. We've also downloaded some interactive bible stories, a colouring app and some simple games. It seems to be going well and she's picked it up quickly. It helps that they do use the PC at nursery and I'll be letting her have a go at home too.

I still don't want her permanently attached to any sort of tech. I obviously want both my children to be well-rounded individuals. But I do recognise that part of helping the grow into well-adjusted, capable and compassionate adults is to allow everything in moderation.

I know it's not a huge thing. I know I can sort it out. But mum-guilt has got me in it's clutches right now. It's not a nice feeling at all. If I switch off, wait ten seconds and switch on again, will it fix the problem?

3 Little Buttons

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