Helicopter Mom

How many of us see it, you’re at the park and there is that one mom (or dad) who is standing there, playing with their child.  Going down the slide with them, watching over their every move.  Typically these parents are called helicopter moms or helicopter parents.  Well I’ll raise my hand that this has been me.  My child is at the age where she is exerting her independence.  Everything is “I do” or “I don’t want your help.”   She wants to select her own clothes, put on her own socks and shoes (even if they’re on the wrong feet), she wants to walk down the stairs alone, with hands on hips to prove she can do it.  She wants to walk without her hand being held, even if we’re crossing the street.  Obviously it is a totally normal stage of growth but as a parent it is a hard balance to find.  How much independence is enough?  How far do you let them push?

Last week we took Miss K to a park near the lake.  With all of the rain we had this summer, the water is much closer to the shoreline and the park than normal.  So obviously with a toddler in tow, I was super cautious of her every move.  I did notice some parents sitting on benches, in full fledged conversations while their children played.  Were they better parents for letting their children explore on their own?  Was I a better parent for staying close?  I don’t think there is a correct answer.  It totally depends on the child and their stage in life.  Maybe their kids looked like my kid but were actually 5 years old (which sometimes people think my kids looks like).  Maybe they are the type that won’t run off or they’ve passed the exert the independence phase.  Bottom line is that I was not there to judge them and I would hope that they weren’t there judging me.

I’ll never forget the first time someone commented that I was a helicopter mom.  I stood there stunned.  Huh, me, what? did he say that right? It was actually a street performer of all people, a guy dressed up like a clown making balloon animals.  Seriously buddy do you have any idea who I am?  Do you have any idea what I have accomplished in my life?  Do you have any idea what I have survived through the years?  Of course this is what I wanted to yell at him but didn’t.  Rather I stood there stunned.  This comment happened a few months ago and it really has stuck with me.  I have no idea if anyone else in my group caught it, if they did, they played dumb.  All I know is it has changed the way I handle some things when it comes to my child.  If you know Miss K, you know she has a voice and has no problem expressing her opinions.  There were times where I’d stifle this as it wasn’t the right place or time for it.  But to hell with it.  If she doesn’t like something, why shouldn’t she have the right to express it?  Even at the age of three.  Why do we try so hard to raise our daughters to always be ‘appropriate’?  Is it because when she grows up if she acts like that she’ll be called a bitch?  Is it if she asks for what she wants in the workforce she’ll be labeled as being too pushy?  Well you know what, I’m totally okay with that.  I’m helping to mold a future leader not a follower.  I’m helping my daughter understand that it is okay to go for what you want, even when people tell you that you can’t do it, don’t deserve it or will never get it. I’m helping my daughter understand that once you sent your mind to something with hard work you can make it happen.  I’m helping my daughter understand that she can conquer the world!

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Growing up Greek in America…oh wait we live in Canada.

There are so many funny nuances that you encounter when you’re growing up Greek in America, or in the case of my little one, Growing up Greek in Canada.  From before she was born hubby and I decided that it was important for our child to grow up Greek.  Now I know many people who have raised ‘Greek’ children and they can barely say ‘kahlihmehrra’. I’m not interested in that.  I want my child to say καλημέρα and know where the accent should even go.  The language, the customs, the traditions, this is what it means to be Greek. Celebrating your ονομαστική γιορτή (nameday), celebrating Greek Independence Day by going to the Danforth for the parade in her βασίλισσα αμαλία outfit, celebrating the Ἐπιτάφιο service on Good Friday and the Eσπερινός Αγάπης on Easter Sunday are all events I look forward to attending with the little Miss for years to come.  They wouldn’t be something we think twice about attending.

One of these nuances we’ve encountered is language.  We have decided to speak Greek in our home along with English.  We know that we won’t have any other chance as the current one presented to us to be able to fill her brain with all of the wonders of language.  Saying that you often wonder can it ever hurt?  One example is we were playing with some of her friends the other day and the patty cakes came up in the conversation.  Of course as soon as it was said the other children began to clap and smile.  Little miss just sat there unsure as to what the excitement was all about.  When I explained to her to do Παλαμάκι she started clapping and smiling like everyone else.  It wasn’t until that moment that I started to think about the effects of “Growing up Greek.”  Would she have a more difficult time later on when she had to focus more on English?  Would it be harder for her to communicate with others?  The more I think about it the less I’m going to sweat it.  Hubby and I are both educated individuals who at least will be able to help her with her spelling words in JK, SK and grade 1 🙂

If you want to check out our favourites the Zouzounakia doing Παλαμάκι, click the link here.

 

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

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Emotional Roller Coaster

I was one of those women who didn’t want to read about everything that was going to happen to me but rather I wanted to experience it. So no I didn’t read Dr. Spock or What to Expect When You’re Expecting. I didn’t Google birth stories or ‘how much does labour really hurt?’ Everyone had said how amazing being a mother was gong to be and how special of a bond you have with your child, something that is unexplainable but you will know it once you live it.

In all of my conversations with other mamas the one thing that no one mentioned was the emotions you have. I get it hormones are out of whack. My body is still trying to recover from what it went through or as I joke from what happened to it. But really how can you be fine one minute and not fine the next? Yes I am sleep deprived and I know that is playing a role but really you have so much love for this tiny creature that at times you feel helpless. They can’t communicate with you other than to cry and sometimes when the ‘witching hours’ are upon us that crying can be a lot.

I read an article today about babies with colic and it read that, “some doctors define it by the rule of threes: three hours of crying at a time, at least three times a week, for at least three weeks in a row — usually starting between the third and sixth week of life.” I can’t imagine listening to three hours of crying. My baby cries for 30-40 minutes and I feel helpless…I admit it. As someone who loves to be in control it isn’t easy to admit that. I worked with a coach whose motto was, “get comfortable being uncomfortable” who knew that would be so fitting when it came to parenting.

I’d like to thank my hubby for making my first Mother’s Day a great one! Spending the day with him and our baby was perfect 🙂

Roula

Roula

A little ditty about Jack and Diane...no really in all seriousness I'm a daughter, sister, wife and mother. I'm a Greek-American, who has transplanted in Canada. As a first time mom I'm sharing some things as I go along.

More Posts