Now, before anyone goes off on me, I don’t ignore REAL needs. I feed them, clothe them, bathe them (though I will admit, probably not as often as I should), I kiss and hug them when they get boo boo’s, if they are sorda kinda bleeding I will put a band-aid on it (though currently we don’t have any. Oops), and if they are REALLY REALLY bleeding, I will take them to the doctor, I give them meds and care for them when they are sick, I sing to them, cuddle them, love on them, rock them, etc etc etc, you know all the things good moms do. I even play with them:
But not ALL the time.
and I don’t think it makes me a bad mom. I think it makes me a pretty darn good one. A child needs to learn how to play independently and mama needs to get things done… like write this blog 😉 Which I am doing while 2 of three children are playing nicely alone. The oldest is at school. And yes, the oldest could play alone even when she was the only child.
I have three children. I definitely don’t have ALL the answers, but I do have three completely different children, with three completely different personalities, yet all three of them can play calmly and independently at times. Now, of course there are high needs days where the kiddies just need their mama more. I am totally cool with that. We all have days like that, where we just need more love, more support, more encouragement, more affirmation, etc.
However, I have seen mothers who are CONSTANTLY playing with their children. They are constantly asking their babies (even under 2) questions, teaching them how to read, shapes, colors, quantum physics (OK, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration with that last one). They are constantly telling their kids what everything they pick up is. Oh that little speck? That is a piece of dust, and did you know that in that one speck of dust lives 50 bajillion dust mites that look like tiny life sucking beings? Speaking of dust, we should probably wash your hands now, because that dust isn’t sanitary. They are constantly telling their young toddlers/babies/kids what to do, what to say: say please, say thank you, say supercalafragilisticexpialadocious (OK, again, that last one may be a slight exaggeration).
***disclaimer: It is TOTALLY not bad to label things. We should do that! That is how our little ones learn to talk and what things are. I am referring to those who never let their child explore on their own, and seem to have to always be telling them what to do, say, whatever. They hoover and don’t allow a child the freedom to explore. I love when my children explore, bring something to me, and THEN I label it 🙂 BUT, I don’t think a parent needs to constantly be picking up things, shoving it in the kids face forcing them to look at it, so they can label it… THAT Is more what I mean***
It’s exhausting to watch! I cannot even begin to fathom how friggin’ exhausting it is for the parent. Yikes.
Plus because these children have parents who are CONSTANTLY playing with them, doing everything with them, talking to them constantly, etc, they are programmed to ALWAYS need that stimulation. They are a lot of times unable to play alone, have times to be creative, use their imaginations, figure things out for themselves. They become demanding because they cannot function without constant attention. They need constant attention, constant noise, constant talking or singing, or whatever. Helicopter parenting at its finest, right?
I am sorry. I just DON’T. HAVE. THE. ENERGY.
Maybe I am mean, but I don’t constantly play with my kids. Nope, not even the 1 year old. They need to learn how to play alone sometimes. I still have laundry, and cleaning, you know and all that other stuff that comes with having a house and kids? Yup. Still has to be done. Everyone, even children, need calm and quiet sometimes. They don’t need us always trying to teach or do or sing or talk or read or whatever. Plus, I will be honest, I don’t have the energy to constantly be shoving colors, letters, science, math, whatever else down their pint size throats, or playing with them ALL the time. Plus, I don’t think I need to. I need to let them BE KIDS sometimes. Let them be little.
There is plenty of time for quantum physics later.