Finding Balance by Jessica
Some of the best creative projects and activities my kids come up with are completely spontaneous and unplanned. I've tried hard to cultivate a playful learning environment in my home by making sure supplies like paper, paint, crayons, clay, and even glitter are easily accessible. Art projects abound, as do the inevitable messes — but I try to view the messes as an opportunity to teach responsibility. You accidentally glued a piece of blue construction paper to the stool? Here's a sponge, buddy.
Before I became a mother, I was a really annoying roommate and wife. I used to make my husband get up off the sofa in the middle of 'the big game' on TV just so I could tuck the couch cushions back in. My roommates will regale you with stories of how they'd find me, on hands and knees, scrubbing under the dormitory stove. Having children forced me to relax. I still like a neat and tidy home, I just know that it won't be like that for long, and I'm okay with that now. Allowing them to move furniture and unfurl all the quilts to make forts is a small price to pay for some happy play while I curl up with a good book.
Tired of the pull of the boob-tube in the evenings, I decided to move the television downstairs and turn the TV cabinet upstairs into a game cupboard. We built some extra shelves for the interior and loaded it up with board games, cards, and chess sets. I took a step back and enjoyed the organized look of the new space. Then, I took a deep breath and accepted that it would never look like that again.
Sure enough, my children immediately started mixing game pieces and combining sets to invent their own versions of chess-checkers, Monopoly-Scrabble, and their personal favorite Geography-Catan.
I delight in the amazingly creative things they come up with. Instead of flipping on the television set after dinner, we clear the dishes, get out the games, decipher their sometimes-convoluted rules, and play together. Who needs organized cupboards or glue-free stools anyway? If the tradeoff is happy, creative kids who know how to make their own fun, I'm on 'board.' Besides, one of these days I am totally going to win against my oldest in a rousing game of Rumikub-dominoes. The championship will be mine!
Get to Know Jessica
Take a closer look at the blogger, wife, mother, and master of...
Picking Your Battles05/09/2013
Book Club: Jessica's Pick04/04/2013
We Are Family04/04/2013
Navigating the Online Sea03/13/2013
Kindness in the Everyday01/10/2013
Lessons In Disguise10/12/2012
Book Club: Jessica's Pick10/12/2012
The Gathering Ritual09/06/2012
No Manners Dinner08/16/2012
Summertime Swim Camp
Balancing It All Through Routine06/21/2012