I Don't Let My Kids Jump on My Bed

Published on 28 May 2024 at 22:37

It's been THAT day. One child is screaming because they can't put their shirt on by themselves but refuse help. One child is screaming because they want milk in a different cup. And once you resolve those separate issues, they're screaming at each other. Oh. And it is only 9:30 in the morning. You can't breathe, and honestly you don't even WANT to be mom today at this point. It's then, that both kids run into your bedroom and begin their scrambling ascent to the top of your bed. The bed that you made as soon as you finished your first coffee, bringing order and peace to a small portion of what would be your tumultuous day. The pillows are flung to the floor and the blankets pristinely placed now in disarray. I can already hear the criticism. "Let your kids be kids! They need to explore their environment! They need the outlet of energy! Is it so inconvenient for you to pick up your pillows after they're done playing? Is it that bad if your room is a little messy because your children are thriving in their environment?" And to ALL of the mom peer pressure, I will say...

My room is MY safe space. 

As much as we advocate for safe space for children to be able to decompress and regulate their emotions in a comfortable and conducive environment, why are we not advocating as much for the ones RESPONSIBLE for teaching them how to decompress and regulate those emotions? I have a 3-year-old son and an 18-month-old daughter, and when I say they have free range to basically all of our home, I mean it. The kitchen, the living room, both of their bedrooms that double as playrooms, our garage gym, our backyard stockpiled for childhood entertainment. My son even goes to the laundry room himself to find clothes (yes, I have told my son to go find shorts in the pile of clothes on the laundry room floor that weren't put away yet). But I will unapologetically call my room off limits. Now if we are all snuggled up in bed with a movie, or dad just got home from work and wants to WWE style wrestle, that's a different story. But as a stay-at-home mom, I have learned how refreshing, life giving, and rejuvenating it is to step away from mayhem, and open a door to my own personal sanctuary. To have a space where I can walk away, disappear behind a door for two minutes, and look around to find no toys, no disorder, but exactly what I need for when I feel like I'm out of anything to give.

One thing I have learned as a stay at home/work from home mom for 2 years is the importance of boundaries. But not just boundaries with relatives, friends, etc. that we are normally encouraged to set. But there are also boundaries to set with your children. This might sound unpopular compared to so much of what we hear on social media today, but I am here to tell you one thing: being a mom does not require that you become a slave to your children. It is so sad to me how many times I have heard moms say how burnt out they are because they feel like they have to accompany and play with their children ALL day, and how guilty they feel if they leave their child to be by themselves. The first thing I would encourage, not even as a mom, but as a certified early childhood educator, is that independent time and play for young children is a healthy thing, and it should be something we intentionally prioritize. Just the other day, I turned on a movie in the morning after breakfast during our morning routine things (mostly so I could just get stuff DONE), but then I turned off the TV and said, "Okay, we can listen to music, or you can go play outside, in your room or sis's room". And do you know what happened? My son got bored following me around, and the next thing I knew, I peek around the corner of his door and find him building a garage for his cars. Our children are stronger than we think, and we are more fragile than we may want to believe. We need rest, we need to decompress, and sometimes it can't wait until the kids are asleep for the night. And that is OKAY. 

So, I encourage you, mama, set the boundary with your kids. Say no to the block of time that you need. Say no to one spot in the house that is yours. My son is transitioning from 3 to 4 and it is a whirlwind of emotions to say the least. The strive for independence battling with the frustration of not understanding his own emotions, it's more than too much somedays. But, when he is having a hard time or his sister is pushing his buttons, where do I tell him to go? To his room. To go take some alone time in his space to figure out what he needs to move forward in a better place. If I am going to encourage this for him because I KNOW how it benefits him, why would I ever feel guilty for allowing the same for myself? 

I know my babies will not look back on their childhood with resentment that mom never let us jump on her bed. I know this because that one small "no" is nothing compared to the abundance of love they receive every other second of the day. But will I be a better mom, wife, friend, and more joyful person because of it? Absolutely. And that should be enough to be worth it. 





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