DH and I both work from home. Our son is turning five in a week, and we are at our wits' end with his near constant pleadings for us to read to him or play with him.
When he was 3, I understood this. At that age, they are pretty much incapable of independent play. But at 4 and 5, I have this expectation (correct me if I'm wrong), that he should begin to learn how to entertain himself.
I'm a very part time WAHM, but when I need to work, I REALLY need to work independently. I feel guilty as hell about it, but when it's just my DS and me, he seems to understand and doesn't really interrupt me all that often. I'd say 2 days out of the week, it is like this. The rest of the week, we do something fun for hours each day, whether it's hanging out at the park with friends, or taking a lesson, or going some place special, like the zoo or a museum.
DH works out of the home all day, but when he gets home at night and on the weekends, he needs to be in the office on the computer. When DS asks him to play, DH will put off what he's doing to accommodate DS's request. To read, play ball, whatever. He says he feels bad for DS and always tries to accommodate him because DS "needs a playmate." I happen to disagree. We are his parents, not his playmates, and we don't always have to be his source of entertainment. In fact, I strongly feel that we could be doing him a great disservice, by always coming up with something to do with him, when really, he should be learning to use his imagination and creativity to find something to do on his own, you know? Plus, whenever DH does this, he winds up having to stay up in the wee hours of the night, finishing paperwork, and ultimately, he sacrifices sleep and that has a trickle down effect on all of us.
Am I wrong? Who's right here? We don't watch TV, so there's not that source of "entertainment" (and we do not regret this decision). But we do have a lot of books, and also allow DS to listen to audiobooks, and he absolutely adores those.
I guess I just needed to rant a little bit and feel better about my stance about not ALWAYS needing to be DS's playmate. DH thinks I'm mean mommy with my beliefs. But if I'm wrong, please tell me how to better handle this. We are expecting baby #2 in August, and it will be even more important for DS#1 to learn how to self-entertain. Naturally, I will involve him in the daily care of the baby (as I do now for chores around the house), but I know there will be times when he will just need to play independently.
Please help! Any advice or similar experiences are welcome.
Ripping my hair out of frustration and guilt... TIA...