Monday, December 10, 2012

Learning to Let Trey Play

I have a real problem saying "no"when Trey wants me to drop everything and play. I love spending time with him, and I want him to know that he's my number one priority, no matter how much work or cleaning or laundry is on my plate. So when he clings to my leg, begging, "Mommy, I need you!" my first inclination is to stop what I'm doing and play.

But the truth is, sometimes I just can't give in. If I'm speaking with my boss, or hanging wet laundry, or whisking a bechamel sauce, I basically have to finish what I'm doing before I can devote 100% of my attention to Trey. It makes me feel guilty, sure, but I've also come to realize that he gets over his disappointment very quickly.

I can't tell you how many times I've watched my son transition from whining and clinging, to wandering aimlessly looking for a way to occupy himself, to playing nicely with books or trains or blocks, all in a matter of minutes. Today, he decided the best way to keep busy was to try picking up Christmas ornaments with his toes - not necessarily my idea of fun, but he had a good time. And even more importantly, he entertained himself, without the benefit of TV or the iPad or Mom.

I guess there's really no reason for me to feel guilty; Trey is learning to stave off boredom, and use his own creativity to amuse himself. It's probably also a good idea for him to learn that, although he is my number one priority, I do have other responsibilities. And we still spend plenty of time playing together - in fact, I'm off to go read Curious George to him right now!

What silly thing gives you mom guilt?

The Gentle Mom

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