I read somewhere that moms should have a goal of spending 60 minutes each day in dedicated one-on-one play. I’m talking down on the floor, in the sandbox, crayon in hand or in general fully engaging yourself in whatever little activity your child is focused on.
At first I dismissed the article. One hour? Of course I spend at least one hour playing with the girls (especially while on maternity leave). But then as the day wore on I began to realize how many distractions I encounter on an hourly (minute by minute?) basis and I began to question if I really do spend sixty minutes of uninterrupted kid time as I had suspected. Turns out I don’t necessarily do. Kid time right now means that we might go to the park or the library but my phone is in tow (and emails are being written or answered). Or I’m pushing the girls on the swing but also chatting up a neighbor. Or maybe at home I’m helping with an activity book but am also folding laundry and cooking. Dedicated and fully focused one-on-one time? Not broken up into chunks of five minutes? Challenging. Maybe even impossible.
I’ve shared before how much I struggle with pretend play and the truth is I’m so grateful Liv and Taylor have each other because they can play kitchen or house or babies for hours together.
But my observations resulted in some serious disappointment with myself. Part time attention for hours isn’t nearly as grand as one full hour of FULL time attention. So I’m putting myself to the test this week with the goal of logging some serious child’s play.
I’ve decided that might mean 30 minutes with each (like when T naps), maybe I’ll break it into three chunks of 20 minutes with both girls or it could be 60 minutes in one stretch. (I’m not forgetting Marley, but she and I make googly eyes at each other all day long). For my challenge (and only because I have the luxury of maternity leave), I’m not going to count walks or reading books or cooking together or any of our usual activities. This challenge really is focused on Liv and Taylor-directed play.
What do you think? Am I a very lame mom for even wondering if I spend sixty minutes dedicated to kid play or do you feel the same? Is the whole idea just crazy? Even though we all do the best we can with what we’re given, I like the idea of remembering to put down the iPhone and to pick up that sand shovel if so invited. How do you like to prioritize your momma time?