Lately I've been trying to strike a balance between giving my girls activities to encourage their development; and letting/making them play with their toys and outside without structure. I have been try to give them opportunities to imagine and play without micromanaging every single second of their day. There is so much pressure to give our kids hours and hours of structured developmental activities throughout the day. A simple Pinterest search yields thousands of hits when you search for activities to keep your kids occupied. They advertise these activities as "boredom busters", or "development activities", but as parents, is that really our job? Must I really buy 10 bags of rice, color them with food coloring, and then let my girls "play" (EI. throw rice all over my house)?
There's a sweet mom I follow on Instagram who basically runs a preschool for her four children. Each day is themed. With themed art projects, themed snacks, themed books, themed games. I honestly wonder how she has time to think up, buy stuff for, coordinate, supervise, organize, and clean up these extravagant activities, let alone cook dinner and clean the house. And frankly, my hat is off to her and other "supermoms", because she's obviously figured out some secret that the rest of us are missing. And it's making us look bad. And what's worse, it leads to guilt, and a lot of comparing ourselves to others.
Today, my girls didn't get a grand lesson about volcanoes, complete with volcano snacks, a volcano book, and a volcano science project. They got dragged to costco to pick up a pizza, they were fed, they were read to. They watched a short movie while I folded and put away a mountain of laundry. They napped. And i'm chosing not to feel guilty about it.