After Nolan was born I fell into the Pinterest trap. I loved all of the fun things I saw mom’s pinning for their kids to do. Elaborate crafts, themed sensory boxes, educational activities set up by mom during the kid’s nap time. The kids and the moms in the pictures looked like they were having an absolute blast. There was no mess on the floor and all of the sensory boxes were lined up so neatly, you could see every themed decoration in the picture!
As Nolan entered young toddlerhood and I began trying these pinned activities myself, I found they never seemed to work out in the way I had envisioned. I ended up spending so much more time planning, creating, and cleaning for about three minutes of entertainment for him, which lead to a lot of frustration and negativity on my end.
A few months later after Cooper arrived, I realized it just wasn’t realistic for me to continue to try to entertain Nolan while dealing with a very sick and needy infant. For a while, I felt incredibly guilty for not being able to hack it as a “good stay at home mom”. I mean, I knew there were plenty of moms who were doing all these adorable crafts and activities with their kids everyday….yet I was struggling to even get us all out of our pajamas for the day before lunch., ok fine, dinner! The struggle was REAL…
Fast forward to life now with my three boys. I have random moments when I still have major mom guilt over not spending enough time entertaining my kids or worse….not really wanting to craft/color/play with them when they ask. I think as a mom, this is something we all struggle with at some time or another, or at the least a good majority of us do.
What has helped me tremendously, though, is reframing my thinking. When you reframe a thought, you simply take the idea or emotion in your head and turn it around to make it more positive. Perception is reality guys! If you see a house on fire, how would you view it? Well if you were the owner of the house, you would view it as a tragedy. If you were a firefighter, you might view it as an everyday part of your job. If you were a pyromaniac, you might view the fire as exciting. All three people are viewing the same fire, but obviously, have very different perceptions of it!
In order to diminish my mom guilt, I had to learn how to look at a situation I wasn’t able to change at the moment in a completely new perception. This is how I came to the realization that by not constantly striving to entertain my kids, I am giving them the gift of learning to use their imagination to create their own entertainment! You see the reframe there?! I went from deciding I was an awful mom because I didn’t spend all of my free time finding ways to entertain the boys too, I am giving my boys the gift of independence and creativity by allowing them to work through lots of free time on their own.
My boys are by no means immune to the “boredom trap”….but I will say they are easily entertained and it is not by me! Maybe their ability to create imaginary games and play is genetic (on Mitch’s side) or maybe it is a fluke, but if I like to also believe a small part of it has to do with letting myself off the hook a little and letting them be the creative kids they are meant to be. Thanks for reading:)