Dear Weary Mom,
Summers flying by, fast, like a kite in the wind. I hate to close the chapter on this season. I want to enjoy the long sunny days and swimming with my children, in our pool, as long as possible. Our children spell the word, love, T-I-M-E. What this means is that our children love it when we play and interact with them. They are never happier than when they have our undivided attention. How many times have you heard your children say. “look at me”? It matters not their age, children want to know their parents are watching.
When my children were much younger (toddlers and preschoolers) they loved for me to sit down and play with them. One of my boy’s favorite toys was Thomas the Train. I liked building the train track, connecting all the wooden-pieces until they fit together perfectly. I didn’t mind running the train around the track a few times, but for hours on end, I just couldn’t do it. I would become bored after three or four trips around the track, which usually resulted in me feeling guilty. I knew I was privileged to be able to stay home and raise my children. I also knew, they would only be little for a short time, but still playing with toys made for toddlers was not my cup of tear. Oh, I so wanted to enjoy playing trains, etc. but when I didn’t I was plagued with guilt.
At times guilt seems to be a mother’s best friend. Therefore, the last thing we mothers need is more guilt. I’m going to tell you how I got over feeling guilty about not enjoying playing with toys designed for three year olds. I realized, that although, I didn’t enjoy playing everything that my children did, there were many, many things that I did enjoy doing with my children. I gave myself permission not to feel guilty and I gave myself credit for all that I did do.
Sweet mama, it’s normal not to enjoy playing with toys designed for babies and toddlers. That doesn’t make us a bad mama or a bad person, it makes us human. My children have all left the baby and toddler stage of life, but there are still things that they like to do that I don’t. I no longer beat myself up for it, I just enjoy spending time with them, doing the things that we both enjoy.
Mama, cut yourself some slack and let go of the guilt monkey. Do the things with your children that you both enjoy. Give yourself permission to not feel guilty. As I write this, I’m sitting on my desk next to our pool, dusk is closing in, my children are enjoying a night swim before darkness drives us indoors. I love to hear their laughter as they play games–some they’ve played before, others they just made up. They invented a new game this evening where they race across the pool with paper cups filled with water; the first person to the other side without dropping the cup off of their head is the winner. Not only are they getting exercise, but they’re using their imaginations. The birds thrill and the chattering of insects (I love the sounds of insects in the summer) joins the splashing of my children. My youngest announces the first firefly–its yellow lantern flashing on and off. The clouds give way to a black sky filled with pinprick stars. No feelings of guilt, just relaxation and contentment. Count blessings, Kasey