Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mommy Guilt - Playtime

All moms have guilt, I guess. If you work outside of the home, you probably feel guilty about juggling time between work and family. If you stay at home full time, you may feel guilty about not contributing to the family's finances and putting the sole-breadwinner-burden all on your spouse's shoulders (this is my particular scenario). However, lately, I've encountered a new kind of mommy guilt.

I don't play with my kids as much as I probably should. And I feel guilty about it. When my daughter was a baby/young toddler, I remember being on the floor with her and playing all day and all night. Now, she's an almost-preschooler and I have another young toddler. And I'm tired. Busy. Exhausted. Spent.

Yesterday my daughter wanted to play hide-and-seek after lunch. And my response: "Not right now, honey, mommy is too tired." Yikes, did that really come out of my mouth? I've been feeling guilty about this for a while, but I've always attributed it to being too busy - juggling laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing, cooking, the list goes on and on. But yesterday, I didn't really have that much going on - I was just TIRED.

And I feel really bad about not being on the floor all day and all night with my kids like I used to be. But then I remember when I was little playing by myself a lot. And I (arguably) turned out OK. Playing by yourself fosters imagination and creativity, right? At least that's what I tell myself.

Don't get me wrong - I do play with my kids. Yesterday we were at the park for an hour and a half in the morning and played outside in the backyard for an hour in the afternoon (have to take advantage of those gorgeous MN days...). But when we came inside - I just didn't have the energy or desire to stack blocks or play hide and seek. And then I think of the kids who spend time at daycare during the week. I bet they have an adult playing with them all day, right? Are my kids being deprived of adult-interaction-playtime because they stay at home with a currently very lazy mommy?

I keep telling myself that kids need alone time, too. Kids need to learn how to play independently.

At least that's what I'm telling myself these days in hopes that this recent bout of "mommy guilt" will subside a bit. And maybe by then I'll have more energy for playing pretend Easter Bunny and hide-and-seek.

1 comment:

  1. I often feel the same way. It seems like being home makes us consumed with chores, etc. And sometimes you just want a moment's peace. I'm in CT and I also think the winter weather makes it even worse. One thing I try to do is take just 10-15 minutes to play a game or color or do a small craft. Honestly though....my mother was a sahm and I don't really remember her playing with us all that much.