Play With Me, Mommy

As ridiculous as it might sound… I was sitting at this very same desk, intently focusing on my computer when my husband walked in the door. “What are you doing, hon?” he asked. “Oh; just researching ways to spend time with ‘T’.” was my reply. “Seriously? She’s sitting at your feet, playing with blocks! Just get off the computer and play!!”

Yes; yes, I know I was being silly. At the time, however, it seemed like the right thing to do. I mean, play time was supposed to be memorable and meaningful. I couldn’t just sit down and play without a plan; I might have missed something vital I was supposed to be teaching her.

I’ve finally come to the realization, with a little help from my husband, that we are both right.

There are times when I need to just plop down on the floor, no game plan in mind, and let the moment take us away. Who knows where spontaneous creativity might lead? On the other hand, I also want to make a point of picking purposeful activities and events to partake in. Afternoon tea time, field trips, large art projects, and thoughtful conversations might need a little ground work and preparation.

Play With Me, MommyNo matter the situation, I need to make sure I take several moments out of each day to just be mommy and play with my kiddos.

Sometimes it can be so easy to get caught up in the problems of life. I have laundry, dishes, and house keeping that need to be done; our learning day needs to be completed; errands need to be run; ministry which needs to be planned for; and numerous other “hats” I need to don before the day is out.

While these responsibilities are necessary and beneficial to my family, I also need to remember it is just as important to stop and enjoy my children’s company as it is to provide for them.

It doesn’t need to be grand, it doesn’t even need to take mass amounts of time; I simply need to make a pointed effort to stop what I’m doing for a short while and let them know I’m invested in them. For that moment, I’m not the housekeeper or the teacher; I am mom and I’m always willing to enjoy their company.

Besides, those dishes will sit for five more minutes.

Please Note: I am not suggesting we switch out one for the other, responsibility and spending time with the kids. My husband would go nuts if our house was a mess, no matter how much time I spent with our children. No; I think, with a little effort, there is a way to do both! We just need to be creative, thoughtful, and organized. 

“She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.” – Proverbs 31:26-27

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22 thoughts on “Play With Me, Mommy

  1. I find that there are always teachable moments in play. Take the blocks, as an example. You can count, sort, fine motor skills help stack them, use cognitive skills to build something, make a design of something you remember seeing, there are always the experiments of “what happens when I do this,” etc.

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  2. I really like the balance you talk about here. Often I hear things like “just play with your kids, the housework can wait”; and that simply doesn’t work for me. I can’t relax in a messy house, and I think kids like having a neat and clean house too. And then the flip side is knowing when to just take a break and do something fun with them. I’ve never been one for imaginary play with my kids (and now they’re old enough that they wouldn’t want to anyway) but I do love to read to them, play games with them, listen to their stories, cook with them, etc.

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    • Oh, no! A balance needs to exist. People always say, “The kids won’t remember if your dishes were done, just that you spent time with them” I’m sorry; they’re wrong.

      I remember my house growing up. I remember being comforted by the clean house, the smell of good food, and the relaxation of a well ordered home. I want my children to have the same memories.

      This is not an either/or fallacy here; you can have both. It might take a little extra effort and organization, but it’s well worth it. 🙂

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  3. Great post! 🙂 I agree that a balance is necessary. We fellowship while we work and I have labeled us “Team Taft.” We all have jobs, and I am trying to teach them to show thankfulness for what God has provided us with by doing those jobs. I try to make it fun for us all, just being together while we work. We sing and laugh and talk while we work. The kids love to be read to….even my teens, and then they love to discuss what we have read. The little ones enjoy simply telling me about what they are playing and we all enjoy playing board games, soccer, jumping on the trampoline, going for walks with our Golden Retrievers, cooking together, and the list goes on. For me, “playing” has to be practical. I can’t sit down and play toys with my kids. It’s just not in me to do that, but I can enjoy them and tie strings of fellowship in other practical ways and enjoy teaching them and learning from them as we go. Thanks for sharing…..:) I enjoyed reading this!

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  4. This post and the comments that followed reminded me of the importance to live a simple a life as possible, with a set aside time for quiet and stillness before The Lord. I am convinced it is the only way to truly walk in a Spirit-sensitive way as we serve our family and set the tone for our whole household. With four daughters, and a strong desire for order and healthy food I have days where I just want to crumble in despair from the constant circles and feeling like I am doing for the girls, but not being with the girls. (and too exhausted to even think about my husband). When I am still, and prayerful, I am much more aware of when I need to stop cleaning, organizing, chiding and just enjoy my family and be silly.
    Thanks for your insight.
    Cheers,
    Leah

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  5. I often find myself doing this. I am always researching cool ideas to do with my son, or neat things to incorporate into his lessons and often neglecting just simple, unplanned play. I think there are a lot of people out there who can relate to this.

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  6. What a good reminder. My issue is not having a good imagination myself. It was very hard, when my girls were young, to do pretend-play with them. I was, and still am, thankful that my husband is good at that! Now, put together a puzzle or color? I’m all over that.

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  7. I am definitely guilty of this too. But, I’ve been getting better about turning off the computer and just playing Legos with our 4 year old or coloring with the older two.

    Feel like I spend every waking minute making sure that our 8 month old is happy because we’re all sick at the moment so, he’s very clingy. But, when I finally remember to just turn it all off and enjoy the time. It’s wonderful. 🙂

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  8. Reblogged this on Diapers, Daycare, and Diplomas and commented:
    I am so guilty of this.

    I’ll be researching ideas of how to teach the little diapers and I just can’t find anything that will work for them while one of them is saying, “Mommy, you play Legos with me?” But, instead of actually realizing what he is wanting, I blow it off. Until it finally hits me, this is what you’re looking for you space cadet!

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  9. I am great at structured curriculum, and my children learn a lot with me. But playtime? They go to Daddy first! I’m doing great if I can stop myself from chastising him with “No rough-housing on the couch!”

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