By Amy R.
As a divorced mom, it's easy for me to question my parenting skills when comparing them to my daughter's father. Over e-mail, there have been certain question and answer sessions where I'm questioned on different parenting techniques. I sat down one day and listed the "Good Mom/Bad Mom" list.
I go through the Dunkin' Donuts drive thru every Friday (that I have her -- so every other Friday) and get her a chocolate donut for her breakfast.
I let her pick out one candy bar per grocery shopping session (once a week that I have her -- so every other week).
I have brought her to a fast food restaurant when I was traveling on the turnpike between her father's house and mine.
I have her enrolled in a daycare without fancy swimming lessons or pre-school sessions.
I've given her chocolate milk.
I get out of work before 3 every day, pick Isabelle up from daycare and we spend the afternoon together. At least one hour an afternoon is spent playing with her letter and number flashcards and writing letters out on her easel.
Isabelle and I have dinner together every night. On the nights that we go to my parents, we have an even better dinner atmosphere with her Grammy and Papa.
I have Isabelle enrolled in a daycare where there are four kids at home with the daycare provider all day long. She has learned manners, social skills, and her daycare provider TRULY knows Isabelle and loves her. I'm so lucky to have someone so caring and loving taking care of my child when I'm not there.
I immerse Isabelle in family. We spend as much time as possible with my parents and siblings so that Isabelle realizes that having a mom and dad together isn't the only definition of family; families come in all different shapes and sizes.
I have a good relationship with my daughter. She feels free to talk to me about anything that is on her mind without fear of ridicule, harsh discipline or meanness. She is truly herself around me, and I'm glad I've fostered that with her.
I read to Isabelle a lot. She loves it as much as I do, and it gives me an excuse to cuddle.
As I look back at my list, I realize that I can live with the "Bad Mom" stuff, because if those are the worst things I do as a parent, I'm doing pretty well. Don't you think?
Amy R. is the 30-year-old mother of Isabelle. She is a high school teacher who lives in Livermore Falls, Maine, and is trying to find the funny side of life as a newly divorced mom.