24-7 Kids Kids Kids

I sometimes think that we are the only family that spends all of our time either

  • actively entertaining our kids
  • grunting and getting up unwillingly to help with something or get something while trying to do something that appeals to you (like, say, reading the newspaper)
  • trying to persuade your spouse to do all the entertaining so you can hear yourself think
  • taking kids somewhere kid-appropriate, or at least somewhere to kill time.
  • Sam and Lily are 4 1/2 and 20 months. They don’t really self-entertain. Sam can be drugged or bought off with television. Lily cannot. She’s more likely to play on her own but asks for your participation every 2 minutes, although she accepts no for an answer (for two minutes).
    Did we do something wrong? Is it a symptom of our time, that we haven’t left them alone long enough to learn to be alone? Should I feel guilty?
    Because I do. I feel like I’ve failed the, like they need to be amused at all times and will grow up attached to a game boy or intravenous television viewing device, all because I never shoved them into another room to play while I did whatever it is people do under those circumstances (I’d work on the computer, but neither child can resist its siren call, and it’s not worth the hassle.)
    So: I feel guilty because I didn’t neglect my kids enough. You?


    60 Responses to “24-7 Kids Kids Kids”

    1. JK says:

      You asked… (this is a long one.)

      I “neglect” all the time (as you know). I am so much a multi-tasker that I really wish I knew how to just spend time with them and not actually be doing something else at the same time.

      I feel guilty because, when I’m at home, I don’t spend time with them if I’m not actually doing something else too… Today I was playing with Kira in her room and vacuuming along the walls at the same time (and then running out and doing the stairs too. I take them places so that we can do the quality time thing.

      On the other hand, now that there are 3, I actually can’t sit down with any one of them for any length of time when I’m alone.

      My “new thing” is to set N and K (4 and 21 months) up at the kitchen table doing “art.” We have water colors, magic markers, crayons, and all sorts of things. They will do this for about 40 minutes. I can cook and talk to them if T (5 months) is asleep or I can play with T and talk with them if she’s awake. Or I can strap T to my back and cook if she’s awake….

      I am the queen of multi-tasking. I feel so ADHD at times.

      Despite “neglecting” I still can’t actually sit down and read something. (I can read blogs; comment on them; and sometimes write on my own. This is because my laptop is a part of the normal scenery for them, they don’t demand to be interacting with it. I think they think it is an appendage on me.)

      Despite being able to multi-task, it’s still all kids all the time around here….I can’t work with them around… That takes too much concentration. I actually find it nearly impossible to work if they are home and in another room. Either I or they have to leave the house.

    2. Bridgermama says:

      Right now Bridger is pretty much entertained by blinking lights, vibrating objects, and crinkly things. I savor this time and know that things are about to change drastically.
      p.s. I have a mom date on Tuesday, so I haven’t given up. πŸ˜‰

    3. Manic Mom says:

      I can’t stand it when Ajers comes to me and says he’s bored. This is when I remind him that we gave him siblings to play with!!!

      I read somewhere that it’s healthy for kids to be bored, to learn how to entertain themselves. You’re totally normal, and especially at the ages Sam and Lil are, they require a lot of attention.

      Pretty soon you’ll be like me, staring wistfully at the newer moms (notice I didn’t say YOUNGER!) in the grocery store, carting their little one in the strappy thing, or the baby carrier thinking, “Oh man, I miss those days.” Those are the days when everyone looks at you in complete awe and you are Supermom, managing three kids under the age of four! Man, I miss being Supermom.

    4. Jess says:

      I don’t have kids yet, so I’m not really qualified to comment on this, but it sounds like you’re doing a fine job. I think I drove my parents crazy badgering them for attention when I was a kid, and we’re all pretty normal and well-adjusted today. πŸ™‚

      Congratulations on the book!!

    5. Jess says:

      I don’t have kids yet, so I’m not really qualified to comment on this, but it sounds like you’re doing a fine job. I think I drove my parents crazy badgering them for attention when I was a kid, and we’re all pretty normal and well-adjusted today. πŸ™‚

      Congratulations on the book!!