Balance is important, and as a mom it can feel tricky to know what the right course of (non?)action is for any given moment.
Whether it's a time to hold firm and and let the consequences flow, or give in a little for some greater good or teachable instant.
Whether it's a time to intervene and advocate, or to step back and let external forces work themselves out and shape the results and learning.
Whether to prevent two brothers from pummeling each other into silence (as the screaming and tears began before the hits) and practice using their words instead, or to keep track of time and see if it is quicker to let them duke it out and be done.
Whether it's a time to eat the junk food meal, or eat the growing food and save the junk for dessert.
Whether it's a time for structure or spontaneity.
Whether it's a time for work or for play.
Whether to speak explanation and clarification and pontification, or to hold back the words, save for the listening responses of "Wow," and "That sounds hard/good/funny," and let them find the lesson themselves.
Daily, I wrestle with any number of these questions. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting it right, and occasionally I even feel like I hit the home run, but more often it feels like I'm throwing a fistful of grass into the breeze and seeing where it goes...not to mention those times the grass comes right back into my face, and I know I really biffed it.
Of one thing I am certain, however. When dinner and baths are done early, and there's still plenty to do around the house with unpacking and organizing...ditching the chores and playing a Super Mario game on the Wii with His Highness is the best possible choice there is. Saving each other's lives, giving high fives, and yelling "Dang it!" at the screen when we die.
"I LOVED playing the Wii with you, kiddo. Now go to sleep."