A Real Play Date and Emotional Cups

Barbie Playdate

It’s been a few weeks since I had the opportunity to go to the Mom Heart Conference. I’m still processing, working through and implementing the things I heard and learned. I’m a slow processor.

Something that I came home from the conference mulling over was about my ‘children’s emotional cup’.

Now let me start by saying, I am a good mama. I love on my children; I snuggle them, hug them, tell them I love them. I feed them, clothe them, read to them, and write them love notes {and then read said notes to them since they’re too young to read!}. We go to the park and I push them on the swings, we bike ride, play board games and fly kites. We bake cookies and eat those cookies {yum!}.

I know all of the above things are filling their little emotional cups with good things; thoughts of love, feelings of security, knowledge that we are a family who does life together.

Army Men Play Date

But the more I thought about our days, the more I realized that I was missing something. I don’t play with them the way they need me to play with them. This was {sadly} confirmed when I said to them, “mama wants to make a play date with each of you. John, right now mama is going to feed the baby then I’m coming downstairs to play with you. Go get ready! Chloe, you can play with the baby in his room until dinner while mama plays with John. Tomorrow afternoon you and I will have a date too.” 

Then Chloe said to me, “mama, I’m so excited. You are always too busy to play with us. I can’t wait!”. John didn’t say anything but he smiled like I had given him the moon and stars. Then he darted down the stairs and got all his army men into position, and waited patiently for me to join him.

My heart was saddened to hear that Chloe (6) thinks I am too busy to play with them during the day. I know this isn’t really true because I’m careful to limit computer time and even limit housework during the day so that I’m free to go for walks, bake, go to the park and read stories all day long. But my tots are lacking  ‘mommy playing with me one-on-one on the floor with my toys with me’. That half an hour I spent playing army men or Barbie/ponies one-on-one yesterday really made a huge impact on them. This mama is planning to incorporate that on a regular basis. I actually wrote it in my planner to try and do weekly so I don’t forget.

Every person is so different. We all interpret love in different ways. My tots and I are doing things {chores/reading/walks/the park} together all day long. I never would have imagined that my tots felt I was too busy to play with them because I didn’t get down on the floor one on one with them occasionally.

Is there something that you’re missing about your tot today?

{And on a side note – I stink at playing Army Men. On my Facebook page today I’m asking for ideas!}

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