I love my 3 year old more than anything and I do so much with her! I take her places, show her new things, I role play, I get stuck in with sensory matters out in the garden and we have lots of fun, for the majority of each day. You know - doing what Mommy's do. And I love it, I really do!
In between being a Mommy I have a house and garden to clean/maintain and considering (at the moment as babies are in the making) there is only 3 of us living here..... my word do I need to work at keeping this place clean and looking half decent! Today I've cleaned all downstairs in my usual routine - just took a little longer as I am currently 6 and a half months pregnant with one BIG belly, but hey I got there in the end!
In-between I have taken welcome breaks to role play with my toddler, we've drawn pictures of barbie and Bing bunny, we've made dinner together and I've assisted her dressing up - outfit after outfit. I got the water play out in the garden as she requested, I've read her stories and we've danced to the 90's hit Barbie Girl by Aqua 5 times (yup she wanted it on repeat)!!!! Oh and bless her heart she even came to help me when I was dusting! High 5 little one!!
5.26pm, finally my jobs were completed! Yippee!!!!! So just before the other half arrived home and wanted his tea I made a cup of tea and I sat down on the sofa. My favourite Yankee Candle was wofting his beautiful aroma around my house - aaaaahhhh and RELAX!!!!
I picked up my phone (yup I know, bad Momma or what?!) - whilst waiting for my tea to cool down and BAM "hello baby bear here is your dinner, but don't eat it just yet as you need a spoon, I will go and get that for you now" says my toddler proudly presenting me with a plate full of wooden grapes.
It didn't help as she was dressed as Goldilocks too looking super cute..... But I said it. I actually said the words 'Mommy isn't playing just yet, I need a little break and to drink my cup of tea'.
My toddler sighed and said "come on you can just be baby bear for 2 minutes, you can still drink your tea".
What harm could 2 minutes playing baby bear do?! But I just couldn't!!!?
I needed these 5 minutes and I had to insist that she played by herself for a short while.
So she did, and quite happily. She sat at her dolls house and started acting out Goldilocks and the Three bears with her dolls and I sat feeling bloody guilty that I was taking 5 minutes out the day for me. I felt guilty that I hadn't taken her up on playing, even though it's something I didn't want to do just then.
The truth is the majority of the time I love playing with her but sometimes I just don't want to play.
It riddled me with guilt that I was taking 5 minutes out of 1440 in a day for me, even when during these 5 minutes she played happily and contently?!
It bothered me that I felt like this and I sat thinking about it more and more. After all we do - why do we feel so bad when we have to say 'not at the moment' to our pride and joys?!
We live our lives making sure all their needs are met and everything is in place ready for our family life and days to run much more easily. So, stopping and saying I need some time for me isn't what we are used to.
It doesn't help that our children are so god damn cute too and their requests we just can't help but want to fulfil them all the time.
But is it really such a bad thing to make our little ones wait before we join in with their play?
At the time it seems so but when you sit and think about it, it's actually a positive. It teaches them that sometimes we do have to wait, it teaches them how to entertain themselves, it teaches them respect and also how to take some time out. They witness us saying we need some quiet time, they watch what we do to calm down and chill out and this is behavior that they too can go on to do when they're feeling a little worn out.
It's not realistic that from the min they wake to the min they sleep were playing with them. No household or setting runs that way and having quiet time as part of the day is healthy for our overall well being and that includes the little ones!
So next time you say no to play don't feel guilty because you are actually teaching your child a very positive lesson!