Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crunchy Mamas Don't Put Their Children on Leashes

I feel certain there was more than one mommy blog or conversation today about the horrible woman at the museum who had her child on a leash. Yes, that horrible women was me.

Today at the Museum of Life + Science I had a little backpack harness and leash on Josiah, and boy, did I get some dirty looks. So I got to thinking, again, about how much we, as mothers, judge other mothers.

Here is why I put my child on a leash. He's a newish walker but very, VERY independent. He doesn't want to hold my hand unless he's walking where he might fall (down stairs, over big bumps, etc). He doesn't want me to carry him most of the time. I would like to foster within him this intrepid nature, but still keep him close. He doesn't notice or care about the leash, but I can glance for a second at something else while still knowing he's safe. After all, he is the most important thing in my life, but he is not the only thing in my life. When we go to the museum I, too, like to look around at things.

So if you were judging me today I wonder if you took the time to look at the joy and wonder on my child's face as he was off "exploring on his own"? Or were you just looking at me and his harness and thinking about what a bad parent I am? Because I was looking at his face and his body language. He was so happy to be free to explore without me constantly picking him up or redirecting him or calling him back to me. He was positively vibrating with delight. I'm ok with that.

Forge ahead, my intrepid explorer. Mommy has your back.

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