I don't know about you, but I feel like I have forgotten how to play. It's as if my mind is too full of tasks and reality that I can rarely use my imagination. Isn't that just sad?! I love that my kids try their hardest to keep the kid in me alive.
Elle is really into role playing right now. She's usually the mommy and I am her baby or she is Barbie and I'm always Teresa. Of course, her favorite is playing Elsa and I'm always Anna (p.s. that's fine by me because Anna is by far the coolest girl to ever be a Disney princess, in my opinion). Levi has yet to join in on the pretend party, but pretty soon I'm sure she'll make him Olaf or Hans.
As I mentioned in a previous post, it does make playtime a challenge when my kids are three years apart. Levi prefers to have me hold his hands as he tries to figure out how to walk, which doesn't exactly leave me with another limb to play with Elle. It definitely has been a challenge figuring out how to play with my kids and spend time with them one on one. And this is what I have found that has helped so far:
1. I started Elle in preschool two mornings a week. This helped our whole family tremendously. As much as I miss her at home, she is a natural extrovert who prefers to be with friends and stay busy. This has given me an opportunity to have one-on-one time with Levi where I can just sit on the floor for an hour, and in the future, take him on special dates to the Library or to Starbucks for a chocolate croissant.
2. When Levi is napping and Elle is at home, Elle and I play together one on one. Sometimes she asks to just snuggle on the couch and watch a movie and other days we color, do an art project or we race outside.
3. When they are both awake my attention is often more on Levi because he can't be independent right now, so I encourage Elle to do some solo play or she can play with me and Levi on the floor.
4. Sometimes going to the park or going to Chic-fil-A is a great solution because Elle wants to play with friends and then I can still play with Levi, but that's not too often as the weather gets warmer here and when sickness is still really prevalent in the Valley.
5. When Ryan comes home we usually spend a half hour playing as a family (if i have been able to get dinner taken care of) outside. This is our dog Wendy's favorite time of day because she gets included in playtime.
I hope sharing how I approaching playtime with two kids. I'm sure it's going to change so much as they get older, but I hope they continue to keep my imagination and their imagination alive. Make sure to read about ways other moms are approaching playtime as part of the Real Talk Real Mom Series.
Also, as Mother's Day approaches consider supporting some rockstar moms in Uganda by shopping 31 Bits, a jewelry company featuring artisans from Africa that create beans with recycled paper. I'm wearing two of their pieces in these photos, and I have been a big supporter of them for several years. I can't say enough good about them.
Photos by Rennai Hoefer