Learning to stop and play

playAs a busy mom, I’m always trying to do a million things. Laundry, wash the dog, feed the kid, shower, maybe even attempt to exercise.

My son is also trying to do a million things. Create more laundry, harass the dog, feed his teddy bear, get dirty and also, get me to play with him.

Sometimes I get so focused on “getting things done” that I just want to keep going like how I would in pre-baby days. Do all the things! And do them all now! But in pre-baby days, there wasn’t a small child creating messes while I’m cleaning messes and constantly going “mommy, mommy, mommyyyyy” while I zoom around the house.

And then there’s this nagging memory I have from when I was little, where my mom would pretend to play with me while she doing housework. Like I’d be playing Monopoly and badly want someone to play with so she’d tell me to set the board up for two, and then play for her. So basically, my mom was my imaginary friend. I also remember thinking this arrangement sucked. There are some obvious drawbacks to being an only child.

(*As a side note, so as not to suffer future wrath from my mother, I have to say she really did make time for me. This was a just a memory that sticks from a particularly busy day.)

So on a daily basis, no matter how busy I am, or how much I need to get done, I make time to stop and play throughout the day. Whether it’s crashing cars off a ramp, building train tracks, or just sitting with him in his favorite chair while he watches a show, I make sure to stop and give him my full, undivided attention.

Because every time I realize he’s been begging me to play with him for too long, that Monopoly memory kicks in and I realize the laundry can wait. Who wants to do laundry when you can lie on the floor and color anyway?

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