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The Bench Mom

Have you ever been on a playground and seen those moms calmly sitting on the benches along the perimeter?

Now I don’t mean they’re being neglectful, or non-participatory parents, but they’re just watching from afar. Their children are old enough, mature enough, independent enough, to be watched from a far. I’ve wondered what that would be like to be that ‘bench mom’.

These moms don’t need to hold their child’s legs while they learn to swing across the monkey bars. These moms don’t have heart attacks when their children run up to the edge of a high firemen’s pole. These moms don’t have to steer their little tots away from the back of the swings to keep them from getting knocked over. These moms aren’t being begged to push their kids ‘higher’ on the swings. These moms don’t have to remind their kids to stop running. These moms aren’t catching their children at the bottom of slides.

No, these moms have been there and done that. Some many times over. Years and years of playground participation. They’ve had their share of bandaging scraped knees from running when they shouldn’t. They’ve had their share of teaching how to ‘pump’ those legs to swing higher. They’ve had their share of cheering on their strong-armed monkey bar champions. They’ve had their share of catching at the end of slides and firemen poles. And now here they are, resting in the shade, watching, smiling, giving the occasional thumbs up or wave.

I recently experienced my first time as that ‘bench mom’. Granted, I had an adorable little 11-month old baby girl with me, watching her big brothers run and play, so I know this time on the bench for me will be short-lived. But I still soaked it in, breathed calmly, smiled and waved at my big boys. Sure, I still enjoy chasing them around the playground, giving them an extra big “mommy push” on the swings, and will always have band-aids ready for those inevitable knee injuries. But it was quite nice to be a ‘bench mom’ for the day, enjoying my baby snuggles and watching from afar.


Mandy Watts is a stay-at-home mom who lives in Crownsville with her husband, Justin, who runs their family business, has two sons, and baby daughter. Click here to read more of her Mommy Daze blogs.

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