As BabyBoy and BabyGirl hurtle closer to their third birthday I’ve been wondering…it is time to stop the childproofing?
Our house is a mass of fences and gates. Gates to keep them out of certain rooms. Fences to keep breakables out of reach and to discourage indoor parkour. Living room, dining room, nursery and hallways are free access areas – linked to basically form one giant playroom.
It has all worked very well. The children have lots of space. I don’t have to constantly tell them ‘no’, ‘get down’ or ‘don’t touch that’. It’s not the prettiest decor, but it keeps me from (over) worrying.
Yet as they get older I see other mummy friends scaling back on the childproofing. Some, amazingly, had hardly childproofed at all. And there are all those articles – ‘We never babyproofed our home, our baby just learned what to stay away from’.
Is it, I wonder, time to take those fences down? Should we have ever put them up?
Half an hour of imagining life without the fences and gates later….the answer is a resounding ‘no’. No, because I need my children’s home to be a safe place for them to explore. No, because we’d need to throw out what little pre-baby furniture we have left (all lovely glass and delicate wood) and replace it with sturdy stuff that doesn’t need to be fenced off. No, because there are two kids going off in different directions and I cannot follow both of them at the same time.
No, because those fences and gates allow be to be less negative, less stressed, more relaxed….they make me a better mummy.