The kids were having some conversation the other day which resulted in Zoodle saying, "Mommy doesn't play with us."
Here's the thing. I'm a stay-at-home mom, which means I see my kids a lot. Especially Zoodle. I spend a lot of time with them.
Or maybe it's more accurate to say I spend a lot of time around them. That's different than spending time with them, isn't it?
I don't want to give myself a huge guilt trip for not playing a lot with my kids. I really do think that kids need to play a lot without adults. It's amazing the ways their little creative brains start working when they aren't hampered by the preconceived notions that "big people" always have. So I think that it's okay for most of my kids' play time to be independent (loosely supervised by me, of course!)
I'd better be honest, though. I just think that the games four- and six-year-olds play are, well...
But when Zoodle said I don't play with them, it gave me some insight. Of course the truth isn't that harsh; sometimes I play with them. Just...not very often. (I'm embarrassed admitting that!) But I need for them to see that I value them, that I enjoy them. That what's important to them is important to me--important enough for me to occasionally join in.
So I'm trying to say "Yes" more often. Like when Zoodle is lonely because his sister is at school, and he asks me to play cards.
It's just a 15-minute game of Alphabet Go Fish to me, but to him, it's a sign that Mommy likes him enough to be his friend.
Independent play is so important, but you know what else is important? Feeling important. I'm recommitting to playing with my kids. Because they are important to me.