This One’s On Me…

boxesWe’ve all heard the term:  nature versus nurture.  Let’s face it:  some aspects of our children can not be controlled, or changed, or altered in any way (no matter how hard that may be for some of us to accept!).  If your daughter was born a redhead, she will remain a redhead until A) she discovers L’Oreal or B) her hair turns gray.  If your son grows up to be six foot six, he will remain that tall until time starts to wear on his body and he enters the “grandpa shrinking” stage.  And although these are silly examples, the mindset is the same:  our children have their own DNA, their own personalities, and their own view on life, no matter how old they are.  And these things, whether good or bad, cannot be changed.

On the other hand, if your children are still young enough to live at home, and in particular in the preschool/elementary ages, then there are still a lot of things that we as parents can control, change, or alter (for the better, I hope).  For example, how do your children spend their days?  What do they see, hear, and do? 

Some things just aren’t on us. Some things we can move mountains to change, but they’d still be the same.

But this one, this one’s on me.

What those little eyes see today, what they hear today, that’s all on me.

If they spend the day in front of the television, with the iPods and the iPads or the iPhones or the i-anything, then they spent it there because I let them.

If they have to fend for themselves in the living room while I work in the kitchen, and they start to get rowdy or out of control, then how can I blame them?

If they don’t read any books today, there isn’t really anyone else to blame.  None of them can read.

If the books get dusty while the Xbox gets played until it’s worn out, that’s on me.

If the swingset in the backyard isn’t being used, and the sprinkler hasn’t left the shelf of the garage, can I really blame my children (the oldest of whom is just 5 years old) if they can’t even turn on the hose by themselves?

If those board games in the basement never get open or played or fought over or worn out, then maybe I need to put my laptop away for a few hours and shuffle some cards instead.

walkingWe’ve all heard it before, but I’ll say it again.  These days are sometimes so, so long, but my friends the years are so, so short, and no matter how many times an old woman at the grocery store has said it to you, it remains true: it will all be gone in the blink of an eye.  {Side note:  this is why I do not use the app called “Time Hop”, because if I am constantly seeing pictures of my children “one/two/three years ago”, I may never leave my bed again.}

And so, today, what these three little (rambunctious) angels see and do and feel and enjoy and remember, that’s on me.  And I want to move mountains to make it good for them, to make it better than good for them.  To give them days they will remember…nothing big, nothing Disney World, nothing waterparks or movie theaters (although all of those would be more than welcome I’m sure).  Today I want to give them laughter at the breakfast table, and sprinklers on our lawn, and sandbox fun, and twenty-more-minutes before naptime, and one-more-book at bed time.  Today’s on me, and you can bet that I’m not going to let them down.


Sara and her husband Matt (sweethearts since they were just 16) got married in 2007, and since then have welcomed four beautiful children (Sam in 2008, Cooper in 2010, Nora in 2012, and Adam James in December 2015). A born-and-raised Iowan, Sara received both her Bachelor's and Master's Degrees (in Spanish Literature) from the University of Iowa. She's still teaching Spanish wherever and whenever she can, but her true passion is owning Iowa City Moms and building this community alongside her amazing team. Sara is also the Community Engagement Coordinator for City Mom Collective, and the owner of Cowork Collective downtown Iowa City. Common denominator in all of these jobs: community, community, community.


  1. This is a really good post – remembering that time & less technology makes for a happier family.
    Ian & Laura’s cousins liked to come to my house ~ because I was very flexible – “go to the creek & play in mud ~ come back and we’ll cook something together (just not the crawdads you brought!)”. The only thing I would add to this post – be VERY kind to those parents who really WANT to do all of these things – but just don’t have the time or resources to get it done. Seeing children who crave attention is heartbreaking! – I always (when I was home) had a yard full of the neighbor kids – because their parents either didn’t want to have kids around or were not home (maybe for valid reasons, maybe not)….Sadly, I was away too much, but they seem to love me anyway!


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