Parenting Resolutions: Making Time for Playtime

Each year of parenting brings new challenges, new tears, new joy and new triumphs. There have been days when I thought it couldn’t get any worse. But it did. There were days when I thought I couldn’t be more proud. But I was.

I’ve only been a parent for a little more than 4 years, yet I feel like I’ve spent more than 30 preparing for this part of my life. I research, I read, I solicit advice and sometimes I simply feel out the situation trying to make the best decision for my children. In the past each new year has evoked a handful of New Year’s resolutions usually intended to better myself — for myself.

This year as I look back on 2011, I think about what I might have done differently as a parent. What do my kids need, want? It’s not always easy to notice how you affect others. Kids will tell you, though. My 1-year-old is a cuddler who loves to give hugs. When I do something my 4-year-old appreciates, he embraces me as well, followed by an “I love you, Mom.” Additionally, 4-year-olds are better at expressing more diverse and distinct emotions. Some days he tells me he doesn’t want me to go to work, that I should stay home with him. Or that I should work at home so he can see me. He’s also told me that he wants me to play with him.

I’d do anything for my children. And I do a lot. I go to great lengths to ensure they are safe, healthy and clean. And I’m with them as much as I can be. My work is never finished and that leaves little — if any — time for play. My son has made me realize that even though I spend a good deal of time with my two boys, I don’t often physically play with them.

For me, playing is hard work. Harder than housework. Harder than work work. I’m not sure why that is, so it’s something I need to work on. This year, I will play more and I’ll be taking lessons from my sons.

What parenting skills do you hope to achieve this year?

—Sarah Jo Sautter, Beaumont Parenting Program Blog Editor & Publisher

3 Responses to “Parenting Resolutions: Making Time for Playtime”

  1. 1 Anonymous January 2, 2012 at 11:03 am

    Thanks for your up close and personal views regarding the joys and challenges of parenting. I agree…playing is hard work and finding ways to balance it all is a constant battle. For all of the parents who are up for the New Year challenge, I wish you the best as you attempt to focus on moving out some of time spent on daily grind and responsibilities and moving in more time for “being in the moment” and enjoying playtime, dinnertime chatter and bedtime stories. What will I be working on this year as a parent of two young adults? I will be speaking less and listening more. I am with you, Sarah Jo…there are many lessons that we can learn from our kids. 🙂 Deanna

  2. 2 Anonymous January 2, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    I can totally relate! I recently found a blog that has some great play ideas that you can do with the kids and I have had so much fun playing now! It’s called: They have a Facebook and Pinterest site too. When I found it, I stayed up late looking at all of their cool ideas! I just thought I would share because it really changed my parenting! Hope you like it as much as I do!

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