Sometimes You Have to Play

You know those days. All the usual rush and stress: up before the sun, followed by an hour of yelling at the kids to get up already, get dressed, eat breakfast…, the drive to daycare or school, then off to work where that report is drop-dead due, evenings and weekends filled with arguments over eating, homework assistance, little league, piano lessons, grocery shopping, laundry…

Let’s face it. Parenthood is a chore. There was a time when you wanted it more than anything else in your life: that sweet baby and the years of love and wonder ahead of you. You still want it, you’re still glad you have it. You just wish it wasn’t so darn much work.

So here’s an idea: Step sideways and make a normal evening a play evening. My daughter just posted about this on Facebook. After a busy weekend that included sick kids and out-of-town visitors (me, for one), she was happy that her four-year-old felt well enough to want to go out for dinner. But not so happy about actually doing that. Here’s what she said:

So the morning after getting over a stomach flu, Van asks if we can go out to a restaurant for spaghetti tonight. Not being in the mood to go out, I offered to turn our house into a restaurant and serve spaghetti (if you read the blackboard in one of the photos you can see what I called my restaurant and what I served)…it was a HUGE hit and now Van wants to do it every night! I will make it my resolution to do this as often as possible…and it really wasn’t much work at all!

You can see from the pictures that they all got into it.

Mamas Kitchen

Happy customers at home restaurant

Obviously, doing it every night would make it No Longer Fun. But throw something like this into your week every once in a while. It gives you a happy perspective to the usual rush, the kids are excited about helping with it, and for just a little while, parenthood is less of a chore.

Last words: Everyone have a joyous New Year’s Eve, and stay safe! See you on the flip side!

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