There’s a lot of debate about being at home with small children, whether it makes them too dependent; how much it will affect their chances of running away from home and trying to start a chinchilla circus and because of society’s obsession with focusing on what’s best for children the real issue is rarely discussed – it’s really, really boring. Seriously, it’s soul crushingly dull. I mean there are some exciting bits, like when they roll or clap or whatever but those things only happen, like, every couple of months and in between – yawnsville.
I can understand why people might not be willing to fess up to this. Most of us want to be good parents and it’s unusual to be good at something that you find uninteresting. Success is associated with engagement and passion not stick needles into the whites of your eyes boredom. Of course this isn’t helpful for those of us suffering through the endless days of splattered food, one sided conversation and God help us, children’s TV theme music.
Don’t worry about being a successful parent, kids don’t need success they need competency and someone that’s not going to lie down on the floor crying when their brain finally starts to eat itself. To prevent such happenings here are my top four tips for staving off boredom as a stay at home parent:
Make it a moving meditation: Not only is this going to help you through the day, it’ll make you feel a little bit hipster and since having a kid instantly wipes out all your cool points that can only be a good thing. The aim is to stay present in every action and not allow your mind to wander off to frozen margaritas. It might help to actually say what you’re doing in your head e.g. I am wiping the poo from the couch, I am wiping the poo from the couch…By the time the kid goes to preschool you’ll probably be enlightened.
Two hours on, twenty minutes off: Give it everything you’ve got for two hours. Just 120 minutes of solid, hardcore parenting, I’m talking fuzzy felt and everything. Then you get to employ my favourite two words – independent play. Twenty minutes of giving your child ‘space to grow’ can be just enough to refuel the parent tank. Use this time wisely. Do not clean. Cake and caffeine should be first port of call.
Keep to time: Everyone loves a competition and who better to compete with than yourself! Create a schedule based on 15 minute increments and then aim to complete everything within the scheduled time or faster. Getting your child to sleep in ten minutes feels so much sweeter when it’s your personal best!
Multitask like a mother: You might have two years to stare into space, make the most of them. Get yourself an IPOD, download learn French in a month or whatever and get your education on. You might be wiping snot right now but in a few short years you could be strolling down Rue de Seine and where will you be if you don’t know your baguette from your croissant? If learning isn’t your bag you could dictate that novel you’ve been secretly planning into a recorder. You might get a chance to type it up in sixteen or seventeen years.
I hope this helps. I just want you to know I’m here for you. No really, tweet me – I’m so bored.
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