“I’m just a mom.”
(It’s my answer when I’m asked what I do.)
“I’m just a mom blogging about playgrounds,” I say.
(Hear the crickets?)
Lately, I’ve been having a little pep talk in my head: “You are not just a mom.”
I tell my mom readers that they are my heroes for taking their kids to the park and just letting them play.
I tell my mom friends how spectacular they are for juggling mommyhood with “wifehood” and “jobhood.” They each have amazing talents that they underestimate and put in the “I’m just a mom, but I also . . .” category.
I thank my own mother for every ounce of mom she is and was to me. It would be an insult to call her “just a mom.”
How can I persuade my friends and readers that they are more than “just” a mom when I hear those very words coming out of my mouth?
So I’m going to stop saying it.
I am a mom! I make a difference in the lives of two incredible kids every day.
Some days are hard and some days I’m tired, but I make a difference on those days, too.
I’m also a play advocate. I promote unstructured play. I think the best way to connect families to play is to start by telling them where to find playgrounds. From there, the bridge to making nature connections and enjoying a slower lifestyle is easier to cross.
If you are a mom, or a dad, or any caregiver – I want you to take pride your very important job. Part of that very important job is giving your kids time to play every day. I’m talking about FREE PLAY. Remember? Like when we were kids?
KaBOOM.org is the national non-profit campaigning for play. They first sent me this video by email. Their website is full of research and strategies to bring back play. Bethe Almeras, a.k.a, The Grass Stain Guru, covered this video in a well-written post restating the same thing she’s been saying for years about “Super Kids.”
This twelve minute video is worth watching. I’d go so far as to say it’s a landmark piece on the topic of unstructured play. When I watch it, I think “I’m a mom!” and I have the power to do something about this in the lives of at least my own children.
I am a mom who promotes play as a service to my community.
Who are you? What do you think?
Originally composed for “Head Start Body Start National Center for Physical Development and Outdoor Play (HSBS) which promoted Take it Outside Week in October 2011 – to encourage educators, families and caregivers to make time outdoors an important part of young children’s daily lives.” – (from the HSBS website where you’ll find activity ideas and fact sheets)