As much as I love being off from work and having the kids home, I too start to panic. Immediately I transform into Julie from The Love Boat and begin the arduous task of filling up the calendar with fun. Motherhood is definitely an adventure and you wear a ton of hats but frankly activities director might be my least favorite.
It’s because it feels like a chore and I feel pressured to fill days off with fun activities and playdates.
And really why? What am I afraid of? Being home in my own home with my children. When I was little I spent break weeks at home with my sisters. Occasionally we went somewhere but for the most part we played at home with each other and with kids from the neighborhood. My mom rarely planned my activities.
When I first became a mother my mother offered this piece of advice, Don’t fill all your kids days with activities they should be able to enjoy playing at home. She always felt it important for kids to learn to play at their own house by themselves or with their siblings. She warned me not to fall into the trap of being your child’s activities directory.
For a long time I listened and followed her advice and I was pretty happy. Then we hit elementary school and it took a turn for the worse. Listening to the other moms talk about all the exciting things they did over break made me think I was doing something wrong.
I suppose I was driven by fear and guilt. The fear that my kids were missing out if I didn’t take them and their friends on little vacation day field trips. That’s when I fell into the Activities Director Role. Just like that, and years later here I am frustrated and aggravated trying to plan out fun and exciting things for them to do. Being frustrated and aggravated kind of sucks the fun out of everything.
Remembering my mother’s advice I am officially resigning as Activities Director and I am returning to a simpler plan. I want my kids to be home and enjoy just hanging out. In reality life isn’t always a party and they need to be able to have some downtime. In fact I’ll go even further I think kids need to be bored a little. I am going to stick to my guns and not let any of that dreaded mother’s guilt drag me down again.
Do you think it’s important for children to be able to just hang at home and have some downtime?