I Don't Want to Be A Sideline Mom

We spent several days this past week at the Texas coast.

It was the first beach trip for both of our girls, and on the first morning, when we trekked down to the sand, I thought to myself, “I do not want to be a mother who sits on the sidelines.”

My personality definitely lends itself more to sitting on a beach chair, reading a book. I don’t excel at creative games, and I get tired of the repetitive activities little ones love quickly.

But as I looked at my two little girls, in their swimsuits and sunscreens, eyes taking in the whole beach scene, I realized I didn’t want to miss out.

I don’t want to be a mom who lets my husband always be the fun parent. I don’t want my children to see me always choosing my own activities over their interests. I don’t want to miss the sweet funny things they say, or the clever things they come up with as they get absorbed into their activities.

I know that all too soon, they’ll stop asking me to participate in every game they play or adventure they go on. I don’t want to miss out on their babyhoods.

So, I slathered on my own sunscreen and sat in the sand with my two girls. We built sandcastles and smashed them with baby flip-flops. The toddler filled up moats with buckets full of water. The baby tried to eat sand, and giggled when I splashed her toes with water. My husband and I each held a daughter and jumped over the incoming waves. We sat in the shallow water and let the tide wash over our feet.

Beach Baby

And then, the baby and I sat under the umbrella and she played with her toes, while I read my book, and my husband and daughter went on a long walk to find sticks. And I didn’t feel like I’d missed out on anything.

You can read more of Janssen’s writing at Everyday Reading and on Twitter. She's also on Google+

Rocket Fuel