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Life In General

Dear Anti-Aircraft Moms, You’re Ruining It For Everyone Else

This online post has been making the rounds of the internet lately and has moms up in arms.  Seriously, just when you think the mommy wars are over, look again!

You’re either totally for or totally against those Helicopter Moms – you know, the ones that always five feet from their toddler at the park, always looking to see which kid belongs to which parent, and always ready to let you know how (un)comfortable they are with the freedom you give your kid.

I wouldn’t call myself a Helicopter Mom, but I’m not Anti-Aircraft either.

Just last week, I was sitting at the picnic table at the park with the other moms, and guess which one of us was checking her phone?  Yep, me.

My two teenagers were doing the hovering for me, and I was quite happy to let them.

But when they’re not around, I’m the one five feet away, making sure my kid isn’t the one hurtling down the slide when another child is sitting at the bottom.  I’m the one making sure my kid isn’t throwing rocks, or running off into the field, or backhanding another unsuspecting child.

I’m also the one who is there when your child needs help getting on the monkey bars.  My rule is “If you can’t do it yourself, you’re not ready for it,”  so I’m not much help.  But I am the one that’s there.

I’m the one that sees when your darling throws sand in the eyes of a friend, and I’m the one that sees your child struggling to hold onto the outside of the climber, hanging on for dear life with tears in her eyes.

You might not have noticed those things because you were chatting with the other moms.

I’m the one who sees the man standing by himself with a cigarette in his hand, watching every child carefully.  I’m the one that can match every child to an adult … except for him.

I’m the one your child asks to push him on the swing.

I’m the mom that sees a car swerve to avoid hitting the child that has run into the street.  I’m the one that reminds her to be careful because she might get hurt.  I’m the one that knows her dad missed the whole thing while he was enjoying the sunshine.

I’m the one that sees your child peeing under the climber.

I’m the mom who stays with your child when  I come across her frantically searching for you with a tear-streaked face.  I’m the one that waits with her until you come back to the park after your trip to the store.

I love those trips to the park when I can sit on the bench and enjoy some time catching up on Facebook, or chatting with a friend.  But that doesn’t happen very often.

Most of the time, I do some hovering, yes, but I don’t always spend it playing with my child.  Most of the time, it’s spent chatting with another Helicopter Mom or two.  Because you can still get some conversation in while keeping your kids in line.  You see, moms are great at multi-tasking.

And while I’m chatting, I’m encouraging my child to do it himself, to pump her legs, to wait his turn, or to put down that rock she really wants to toss at the kid who threw sand in her eyes.

So while I wouldn’t call myself a Helicopter Mom, I would call myself a “Please take care of your own child” Mom.  When we all do our part, it’s better for everyone.


Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    I am exactly like you are. I think the kids are totally ok if they are off themselves and don’t need me in their faces impeding their learning to be independent.

  2. Ashley

    Thank you! On behalf of all the semi-helicopter moms out there, I am beyond appreciative of your words. It takes all kinds of moms to keep the world going, and speaking badly about each other does absolutely nothing for any of us.
    Go check out Ashley’s latest post! It’s Detox Time!My Profile

  3. Nikki

    I’m a “live and let live” mom, as in “everyone gets to decide how they want to parent THEIR child.” I don’t follow my son around the park, but he’s almost 10. When he was 5, I did. I always know where he’s at, he always knows he can come to me for help. I don’t judge any mom for her method of parenting (except, you know, the criminals), so I expect the same in return. I think if we spend too much time analyzing other moms, it takes away from our own lives and time with our kids. Does that make sense?
    Go check out Nikki’s latest post! Show Your Lovin’ #forRMHC & Support Families of Sick ChildrenMy Profile

  4. Carrie (@theregoesgypsy)

    I like the way that you think and the approach that you take! I don’t have children myself, but I will be just like you when I do! 🙂

  5. Grace Hodgin

    I am someone that always kept a keen eye out for my kids and now my grand kids. My son wrote one of his college papers on how I stopped the soccer game he was playing in and made him go help up a little girl he knocked down to steal the ball. Sportsmanship was more important to me than winning the game. Parenting is just as much making sure your child treats others fairly than protecting them. Great post and I enjoyed reading it.

  6. Wendy

    Love your close but not to close approach. You don’t need to be playing or watching every second but not so far away from your child. We need to be there for each other but it is unfair to have to watch Everyone’s kids because they are not around.

  7. Vera Sweeney

    I love how you described your park time!! I think its great that you are involved and nearby but still able to still have a conversation!
    Go check out Vera Sweeney’s latest post! Daily Diary: I Never Want To Forget This FeelingMy Profile

  8. Michele

    I was always the “Aunt” watching out for all the kids–and if not me my dog was!! It always surprised me that Mom’s seem to not notice their child running into the street after that ball!!
    Go check out Michele’s latest post! Book Review-For His Country-Denisea KampeMy Profile

  9. Shirley Wood

    Many years ago there was a man who took it upon himself to tell me how to raise my child. I responded by telling him that when he became her father, I might care what he thinks. He was shocked with my reply and apologized. (We get pretty defensive about our children, don’t we) Every parent and their children are all different. We have to make our own parental decisions with the best interest of our children at heart.
    Go check out Shirley Wood’s latest post! Welcome to Happenings in Middle Georgia and Beyond in MayMy Profile

  10. Emmy

    I really think it is the stage of parenting you are too that affects this. When my kids were all younger, I definitely was right there a lot more; now that they are older I very much back off and will be sitting talking with my friends, but I always have one eye turned towards what is going on. So yes, to each their own. No need to yell at the moms who talk and no need to yell at the moms who are right there.
    Go check out Emmy’s latest post! Planning the Perfect Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

  11. Mercedes

    I don’t have children but I imagine when I do, I’ll fall somewhere in between.
    Go check out Mercedes’s latest post! 10 Mother’s Day Gifts under $100My Profile

  12. Penny Struebig

    My son grew up with me letting him get his knees scraped and playing in the rain. If funny to see all the parenting styles. I’m sure there were tons of parents at the playground thinking my kid would never make it to adulthood, but he did. 🙂
    Go check out Penny Struebig’s latest post! Five on Friday – May 8, 2015My Profile

  13. Laura MyNewestAddiction

    Different strokes for different folks. I like to let my kid get all they can out of their play-time experience so a scraped knee and all that doesnt bother me. I do watch them like hawks to make sure they aren’t in any serious danger.
    Go check out Laura MyNewestAddiction’s latest post! Empanada Smoothie | A Taste of the FutureMy Profile

  14. Lisa @bitesforbabies

    I’m definitely in the middle with this one…although I am aware when I tend to hover too much or not enough. That’s a start!
    Go check out Lisa @bitesforbabies’s latest post! 8 Healthy Cinco De Mayo RecipesMy Profile

  15. mykidsguide

    I am in between. I like sitting on the banch and watching my child play but makes sure he is not hurt
    Go check out mykidsguide’s latest post! Let the Hunger Games Party Begin: Fun Party Games for TeensMy Profile

  16. CourtneyLynne

    ahhhh this is a tough one!!! I’m one of those parents that would love to have her kiddo run around on her own at the park, but with her speech issues I constantly have to be around her since she uses me to communicate. People always assume I’m one of “those” moms and ughhh…. Lol

  17. Joanne T Ferguson

    Interesting post and it is always good to understand other people’s points of view! Thank you for sharing this and sharing in turn with friends too!

  18. Rachel

    Hey Megan,

    I can really appreciate this post. When you take your child to the park, a friends house or a child friendly restuarant – its not time to kick back like you don’t have children. It really surprises me that people seem to think young children will take care of themselves. Not cool. For safety, for teaching or for that creepy man with the cig in his mouth that does not have a child. Take note parents. Great post.

    Go check out Rachel’s latest post! He says beer, she says shoes. The compromise in a relationship.My Profile

    • Megan Elford

      Yeah, I totally agree Rachel. As much as I like to take a few minutes to myself, I really don’t feel it’s a good idea to do that while I’m out with my kids!

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