Friday Confession: It’s Okay to Miss A Day

Welcome back to Friday Confession.  I’ve actually been thinking about this week’s confession since much earlier in the week when I read what I tookto be a tongue-in-cheek post from a mother who listed all the reasons she dislikes reading to her kids.  Reasons such as having to read the same book 9, 389 times, or having the kids fight over whose bed they were going to read the bedtime story in, or fighting over whose turn it was to pick a book at the end of the day when she was worn out and ready for the child-rearing noise to stop.

I’m not linking back to the post, because #1-I’m having trouble finding it again, and my time on the computer today is limited by an active toddler and a growing to-do list, and #2-many individuals left truly scathing comments and I have no desire to further spread such nastiness.

So here it is, my confession for the week:

I don’t enjoy every. single reading experience with my child.

I call myself a literacy advocate.  I would say that, on average, The Toddler climbs on my lap AT LEAST once a day to share some storytime.  For the most part, I like this time because it allows us to snuggle.  I like hearing her learn the stories and begin to participate, even though she’s a long way from actually reading.

But let’s be truly honest.  There are times I would like a glass of wine, a book of my own, or a rerun of The Office just as much.  Maybe even more (shock and scandal!)

The response this woman received  to a post on her personal blog has bothered me because the reality is, this parenting thing is hard. Some days the kids arrive home from school, you load them into the car, grab dinner on the run, head to basketball/dance/karate, then come home and corral the exhausted kids into bed before collapsing into bed yourself.  Or the toddler has flat-out refused to nap, resulting in an afternoon of whining and leg-clinging. The last thing on your mind is getting in some story time.

Hear this:

It’s okay to miss a day.

Or you have a child who is a reluctant reader.  “Forcing” him or her to read for x amount of time every single day is leading to increasingly violent tantrums and a growing distaste for all things literary.  But “the experts” say to read daily.  Hear this:

It’s okay to miss a day.

Or you’re sick (anyone else get that stomach flu this winter?).  You can barely perform the basic functions, reading aloud physically requires too much effort.  Hear this:

It’s okay to miss a day.

Look, sometimes as parents, we have to make sacrifices.  We have to read the same story 9,730 times (a day) before our child gets tired of it.  We have to suck it up and give them our undivided attention at the end of a day that seems to have lasted as long as a week.  We have to serve them an occasional less-than-healthy meal because we are having a go-go-go day.  Those are realities.  Here’s another one: Time spent reading with your kiddo is sometimes going to feel less like bonding and more like a chore.  It just is.  But hopefully the next time is better.  Hopefully, over the long term, it’s an experience for you and your child to enjoy together.

So take some of the “experts” with a grain of salt.  Spend time with your child, do the best you can.  But if life gets in the way, and the book remains on the shelf?

It’s okay to miss a day.

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3 thoughts on “Friday Confession: It’s Okay to Miss A Day

  1. Ahhhhh….the permission I was looking for! I staunchly advocate for adults reading aloud to children and I am good about heeding my own advice. But like you, I sometimes want for my own moments–time with that glass of wine or a book of my own. I have felt tremendous guilt in the past for “skipping a day” but sometimes, I think my children are just as relieved as I to have a few moments of their own unencumbered by ritual and routine.

    Everyday I can hear the benefits of reading aloud in my children’s vocabulary and they are growing into remarkably proficient readers so I know reading aloud does work. And like you, I also know that skipping a day every now and then isn’t going to hurt….

  2. I’m new to the parenting game, my daughter will be 2 next month, but I’m continually amazed by how much pressure parents are put under by themselves and their peers. Seems like there’s more of a sense of competition than unity. Crazy.

    Thanks for chiming in!

  3. Pingback: Friday Confessions: Count Me Out | Once Upon A Story

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