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Mom to Mom: Being a Public Parent, at Home

“Can you giggle while eating your cereal? Little Miss Giggle could. Can we giggle like we have cereal in our mouth? Oh, that’s really good!  What funny giggling!!”

“Owldidn’twantDoratohelpUnicornio.Hewantedtobekingforever. Oh, there’s the timer – gotta go get that out of the oven. Look out! I don’t want to step on you!I’ll be right back to finish the book. Sorry, G!”

Photo by iStockphoto.com.Here's my question for you: Which one of these mini-conversations happened at home and which one happened during the preschool routine, in front of other parents, kids and teachers? I’m sure it’s not hard to figure out the answer.

I consider myself a pretty patient person. I love kids. I love playing with them, reading to them, teaching them things. I especially love my kids. I respect the little people they are and the people they’re trying to become. So understandably, it makes me angry when I catch myself splitting attention with them and less important tasks, like cooking, cleaning, laundry. Not that these things are unimportant, but I don’t think they should take priority over reading "Dora Saves the Enchanted Kingdom" to my 3-year-old daughter, or pretending to be the road for my 1-year-old son's Tonka trucks.

I’ll be the first to admit … well, the second. My husband would be the first ... that I have a time management problem. For example, I’m writing this at work. No … I’m not. Well, OK, yes I am. But, shocker, I digress. I start projects and forget about them. My one pile of clutter on the bookshelf is now three neat piles that didn’t make it to their respective homes. But what frustrates me more than a half-cleaned kitchen counter is when I look back at yesterday and think about the times I procrastinated spending quality time with G & D playing ponies or trucks because I was trying to finish something I thought was more important at that moment. Or when I lost my patience with them because I was trying to do too much at once.

By the way, the laundry still didn’t get done, and those neat little piles fell off the bookcase.

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