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How do you stay engaged with your kids during the day? - Page 2

post #21 of 29
I don't play with DS all day. He loves to just hang out on the floor and play with random objects. Me sitting next to him would not enrich that at all. When he needs to nurse or snuggle, he'll crawl over to me and I'll fill those needs for him. But, I do laundry, I am on MDC a lot, I clean up, I craft. Sometimes when he's having a hard time transitioning from snuggle time to play time, I'll sit on the floor with him and get him interested in something before I get up again.
post #22 of 29
I don't really play with DS much. I read to him daily, and try to get him outside before lunch when I can, but mostly I let him amuse himself with his toys and books. And whether through luck or benign neglect, I have a kid who excels at independent play and almost never gets bored.

As far as motivating myself goes, I find that having a solid routine is key. When you do something enough times in a row, it becomes a habit, which keeps you from having to think about it. Make a routine that works for your family and stick with it for a few weeks and soon it will be just another thing you do like brushing your teeth and eating meals.
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by APToddlerMama View Post

*Not at all* what I expected as far as replies which actually feels like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.  Part of me feels like DS should (and can) play independently, and that it is good for him, and the other part of me is filled with guilt when I am busy non-stop, especially when DH is traveling.  It is nice to hear others have a tough time with the imaginative play etc.  Mommarriffic--how do you make lavendar playdough?  That sounds fun. 



It took me a while to adjust once I realized "playing" wasn't my job.  Is there anything else you both enjoy doing?  Reading, cuddling, watching a favorite show, dancing to music, ect?  I go crazy trying to "play" stuff like trains and transformers.  But I like to do OTHER things.  Not for an hour at a time usually, but 15 minutes here and there...sure.  Now that DS is 6, we also spend time doing school work and playing lots of board games.  I'm LOVING that he's into board games now because I can spend more than 10 minutes on the floor with him without wanting to jump off a cliff.  I still make sure he has lots of independent play time during the day, but I've found other ways to "connect" with him.  And that's what it's REALLY about.  Connecting, not just playing.

post #24 of 29

I am reading these replies with great interest. I too am a SAHM of a 2.75 year old and struggle to find a balance in my day that takes care of both of our needs.  Some of the things I am trying with some success are:

 

1. Screen Free Mornings - I no longer turn the computer on when I wake up in the morning. Because it is not on I'm not tempted to just run over and "quickly" check my e-mail, look up a new recipe, write a quick blog entry, peruse posts on MDC, etc.... This just leads to me zoning out and DS getting frustrated and then I get frustrated. Now, when he goes down for nap the computer is powered up and I can focus on the things I really want to do online (I jot down a list each morning as something comes up.) and don't waste time on inconsequential things that leave me feeling like I've wasted my time. Edited to add: This isn't just for me. DS will just ask over and over to "watch" if the computer is on and he just doesn't want to play anything else. If it is off he doesn't even bother asking and will just play happily doing many more healthful activities (IMO). 

 

2. Play Time - This is as described in Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. I am just finishing up the book and am finding that if I give one dedicated hour in the morning and one in the afternoon to Play Time where DS gets to lead us he gets his "cup refilled" and is MUCH more content to play by himself after these times. Then I can concentrate on better quality play with him because I know I will get some (fairly) uninterrupted time to do the things I need to do. 

 

Just some new thoughts. I really do think that dedicated play time with my son where I show genuine enthusiasm for his interests is good for his development and helps me stay connected/in tune with him. I also want him see me doing the daily activities that I need to do and for him to know that he is welcome to join me in them.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by healthy momma View Post

I am reading these replies with great interest. I too am a SAHM of a 2.75 year old and struggle to find a balance in my day that takes care of both of our needs.  Some of the things I am trying with some success are:

 

1. Screen Free Mornings - I no longer turn the computer on when I wake up in the morning. Because it is not on I'm not tempted to just run over and "quickly" check my e-mail, look up a new recipe, write a quick blog entry, peruse posts on MDC, etc.... This just leads to me zoning out and DS getting frustrated and then I get frustrated. Now, when he goes down for nap the computer is powered up and I can focus on the things I really want to do online (I jot down a list each morning as something comes up.) and don't waste time on inconsequential things that leave me feeling like I've wasted my time. Edited to add: This isn't just for me. DS will just ask over and over to "watch" if the computer is on and he just doesn't want to play anything else. If it is off he doesn't even bother asking and will just play happily doing many more healthful activities (IMO). 

 

2. Play Time - This is as described in Playful Parenting by Lawrence J. Cohen, Ph.D. I am just finishing up the book and am finding that if I give one dedicated hour in the morning and one in the afternoon to Play Time where DS gets to lead us he gets his "cup refilled" and is MUCH more content to play by himself after these times. Then I can concentrate on better quality play with him because I know I will get some (fairly) uninterrupted time to do the things I need to do. 

 

Just some new thoughts. I really do think that dedicated play time with my son where I show genuine enthusiasm for his interests is good for his development and helps me stay connected/in tune with him. I also want him see me doing the daily activities that I need to do and for him to know that he is welcome to join me in them.

Great thoughts!  I especially like the first one.  I am guilty of checking my mail and other things on the computer before the kids wake up using that as my wake up time since I am not a morning person.  I don't get much time since the kids sense that I am up and seem to wake soon after.  I need to keep the computer off till after naptime starts.

 

I need to re-read Playful Parenting.  It might help me with the stage my twin tornadoes toddlers are at right now!!
 

post #26 of 29

I've been a SAHM for a while now and I want to say first if you are living in a cold climate it sounds like your in a feb. funk.  Get out of the house! Go to some fun indoor places where your son can run around. Trust me you will both feel tons better! 

 

Now, to answer your original question, I do think it's important to spend quality time with my kids daily and keep my house relatively clean. Quality time to me means I don't answer the phone/check email/insert other distraction. I may or may not do small house hold tasks while spending time with them or our time is them helping me do household tasks. LOL  I don't enjoying playing pretend games with my kids so I don't. I do try to find other things I enjoy doing and can do with them. We do things like read stories, do art projects,color, build with blocks, go hiking, play board games, cook, play with playdough, etc. Those types of things I enjoy doing. It is why I'm a SAHM, so I can do all those things with them not daycare/preschool.  In my life that comes first, housekeeping comes second. My house is not gross,  it is generally company ready or can be company ready within 15 minutes, of course my company is all friends and family who love me anyway LOL. My house will never win a Home and Garden award and I'm totally cool with that. I aim for not gross, not perfectly neat. ;).

 

I think it's important to see what's sucking your time and why you feel the way you do.  Is staying home truly what you want? Are you getting enough social interaction? Do you have any mommy friends you can have playdates with? Are you getting a night out when your husband is home? Would working a even part time be an option?  Do you have a routine? Are you spending to much of your day in front of a screen and feeling guilty? Are you to focused on having a perfectly neat house?  What are somethings you would enjoy doing with your child?  Would preschool be a good option? Really look at your situation and try to figure out what would make you happier then wait until spring to decide LOL. .  If being a SAHM isn't what you want its ok! Moms come in all varieties and the best moms are happy moms. :) 

post #27 of 29

OMG, I could've written your first post.  I skimmed the first few responses and breathed a sigh of relief.  I'm going to go back and read the entire rest of the thread for actual HELP--but yeah, you're not alone.

 

post #28 of 29

I'm not a play-with-the-kids-all-day either....and I too struggled with this when I first became a SAHM. I looked at my 2.5 year old DD and had no clue what to do with her.

 

I found the key is find activities we both like to do. My 5 year old loves to bake cookies/bread, so we do that one to two times a week, and my DD2 likes to participate. I found that I don't like playing barbies (which actually are now hidden, but that's another story) but I like playdough, crafts and coloring ( I found some great "grown up" coloring designs - mandalas, geometric things etc). We play board/card  games and I have these brain quest cards DD loves. It's just pictures/questions.

 

It does get better. From 9 months to 18 months is a long stretch of time where a child is usually somewhat clingy, and activities like baking, board games etc are a no go. I used to have a cabinet of things my infant/toddler could play with  (spoons, tupperware, etc) and that would be that child's playstuff while I was in the kitchen.

 

 

post #29 of 29
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies!  So many good thoughts.

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