7/28/2011

Too Much, Too Little, and In-Between

I think perhaps all parents of the stay-at-home variety struggle with the right balance of doing things and staying at home (or at least, I certainly hope they do, otherwise I'm going to feel considerably worse about myself). Throw an only child into the mix and it gets crazier. I'm not really worried about him getting "socialized" per se, he's a very social, friendly kid. What I really want is for him not to be crazy bored all the time to the point that I have to do all the playing with him. I'm happy to play with him some (I love playing with him), but I also want him to learn to play with others and by himself. And these are the skills that I'm finding I am unsure how to teach. (Also? Girls play incredibly differently than boys. The more I play with him, the more I realize that even at 37, I play like a girl and him? He plays very much like a boy.)

I have a friend who rarely takes her kids out of the house on a given day. She has 3, and they play together or in their yard and they have lots of friends on their street who all seem to congregate at their house. So it's a very different situation because I think if my planets all aligned that way, I'd be less inclined to try and go places/do things as often as I do. Instead, we know our neighbors by sight, and I know a few of their names, but they all seem to have much older children and some of the younger kids try, but I have to say I find it slightly disconcerting for an 8 year old to come ring my doorbell and ask if my 3.5 year old can come play. (This usually happens right at bedtime, to boot.)

On the other hand, there are some weeks where it feels like we're never home. We're out at a playground or the library or the grocery store or whatever and we get home for naptime and that's it. Our day has been sucked away by being out and he hasn't had any chance to play with the billions of toys in our playroom all week and ...that seems like he's teetering on over-enriched. (Which usually then swings us to a period of not leaving the house, which, ultimately leaves us both needing to get out of the house.)

Maybe this really is something that's tidal - and if that's the case, then I can roll with it. But I often will stop and wonder if I missed the formula for "right" somewhere.

Is there a point to this post? Not really - just random wanderings of my mind as I debate working up the energy to get on my elliptical during nap time vs. giving up on the idea and giving into the migraine that's brewing and just huddling in a dark room to rest for a bit. On the positive side, I know my sister will have rolled her eyes at me and will tell me to get over it. My mother will remind me that I'm a great mom and should quit worrying (but that I do leave the house too much, she never left the house as much as it seems like I do - though I would point out we played with kids our age on our street and we did, actually, leave the house quite a bit more than I think she remembers). So there's that.

3 comments:

Lynellen said...

just apply your recent reading about being intentional, and you'll be good to go.

Jen said...

Jesse is 4 and has a sister and still often "needs" one of us to play with him. This is more aggravating for Beau than for me since he's the one at home all day long.

You are not alone, by the way. I think that's the way it is with stay at home parents. Beau always tries to get the kids "out" each day, weather permitting. Whether the outing is playing in the yard, a trip to the library, or errands they have at least gotten out of the house, gotten some fresh air, new stimulation, and some kind of activity.

Don't worry about it so much.

Want to try to coordinate a play-date with them? I'm sorry it didn't work out when I was "on vacation" since I went out to my parents' to hang.

beth said...

A playdate would be fun - though let's wait til it's not the seventh ring of hades outside. :)