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Saturday, November 8, 2014

To Play or Not to Play? Why is that the Question?

As I keep working towards my goals of being a "mompreneur" I sometimes get slammed with a hefty portion of that good old Mommy-Guilt. 

I try to work as much as I can when the kids are at school or sleeping. 

That's the most common "work at home" tip I read for moms. And I get it, it's important that my kids don't always see me at the computer. 

But it's not usually possible. I'm not nearly organized enough for such a rigid routine at this point in my life.

And on top of that, in trying to make my H a priority, when he's off of work I try to be present. i.e. not on the computer. So I work in a fluctuating schedule of some days = marathon computer sessions and some days = none at all. And it seems to work fine for everyone. 

But the kids don't always have as present or active of a mom as I'd like. 

The funny thing is, I don't think they even notice.

I think to myself, "did I play with the girls today?" and when the answer's no I cringe with Mommy-Guilt. I need to snap myself out of that and look around! I'm the only one freaking out here!

I read this post from Monica Bielanko awhile back and it really really REALLY encouraged me to chill with the Mommy-Guilt. Her raw honesty about motherhood is such a relief to read! 

See, the girls are doing just fine with Momma working extra on the computer or at the photo shoots. And I still manage to take them to the park or the playground or the event or whatever... just not as often as I used to. And I'm certainly taking advantage of their budding autonomy by sitting out playtime with a coffee. Or a beer (thanks Germany!) And that's okay! As Monica says,

"They’re at the pool, aren’t they? That’s winning at motherhood in my book. Our kids are such delicate flowers that not only must everyone get a trophy every time they so much as bend a knee at an event but we need to jump in every pool and brave every waterslide instead of just looking up and waving all two-thousand times they shout MOM WATCH! MOM WATCH! MOM! MOM! MOM! LOOK AT ME! MOM, LOOK AT ME!"

So maybe I haven't been able to play as much as I'd like to. Maybe I'm not actually coloring with them (haha maybe I'm even in the corner of the room coloring in my own coloring book, which I've found very therapeutic lately!)

Maybe I'm only going down the slide twice before I tell them the rest is up to them and I'll be sitting over there in the shade with my magazine!

I'm not always working - sometimes when they're around I just need to chill! If you follow me on facebook then you saw that I'm pretty honest with them about piddling around on the great wide internet when I "should" be doing things (like putting them to bed!)

I blogged about how important it is to me to play with my girls a little every day.

But "a little every day" is so different from the crushing burden we sometimes put on ourselves that we should always be playing and never be working in front of our kids! 

I'm proud of the work I'm doing these days.

And I'm proud of the fact that my girls get to see that sometimes.

I'm also proud of them, and so grateful for them... because even if I'm only reading three bedtime stories instead of a 45 minute marathon (YAWN) they still giggle with delight and snuggle me close... and they tell me every day how much they love me. I don't even have to bribe them!

If I play with them a little, hug them a lot, read to them some, and tell them how much I love them, too, then we're all good!

And as long as I remember that, then Mommy-Guilt will die a slow and painful death!

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  1. I rarely play with my kids. That's what they have each other for! Sometimes I interact with them while they play, but sometimes they don't want me to! I think being AVAILABLE is more important than actual interaction, know what I mean? So I am supervising the schoolwork, or I am reading on the couch while they play nearby, or I am acknowledging every other sentence out of the 4yo's mouth while my real focus is on dinner prep, and that is OK! Charlotte Mason calls it "Masterful Inactivity" and says it's good for kids to develop the ability to play by themselves

    1. Thanks for commenting Mira! And thanks for that reminder. The girls play fabulously together, and sometimes I think they (and I) forget that. They just need the extra prod in the behind... and the reminder that no, we're not watching another movie today, to remember that they are in fact best friends and dearest playmates! I haven't read any Charlotte Mason but you've got me curious. Maybe it's time to pull that book I was gifted off the shelf ;o)