I read too many blogs by talented stay-at-home-moms and homeschoolers. Too many great, colorful photos of kids painting, coloring, using glitter and glue, and learning and exploring in new and interesting ways. It gets me down. I never seem to have enough time or energy at the end of my work day to think up new things, or collect “ingredients”, or frankly, deal with paint all over the furniture or sidewalk.
Instead, we fall back on familiar bike rides to the park to throw rocks in the river, read books in bed, cook together, and do all kinds of fun, wonderful things that I hope will instill happy memories for my boy, and not just me as his mommy.
If I ignore blogs altogether, I think of myself as a good mother who adores her little boy, talks to him nonstop, works with him on sign language, and helps him explore all kinds of new foods (hence a toddler who loves potato masala, spicy pickled carrots at the taco stand, all the raw veggies at the salad bar, crushed coriander seeds, and sesame-crusted salmon).
But I’ll admit that it’s hard for me to think of age-appropriate learning activities. Even when I find ideas that use “items you have around the house”, I don’t usually have those things (I’d have to specially purchase milk in a carton, or cereal in a box, or glue sticks).
So when I hit upon this idea last week, it was perfect for us. I’m sure it was inspired by the blogs I read, but I don’t remember seeing it exactly. Zach and I went around the house finding small items that would fit into a muffin tin. Two of each thing. We put one into the tin and one into a small bowl. Then we asked the Boogedy to put the mates together. It was a hit for three games, then I moved everything to a new spot in the tin. He had such a hard time finding each thing after it was in a new location. He LOVED naming each item as we went: Bah-bee pin! Yeyow Dog! Guitah pick! Yittle spoon!!
I just ordered a book called “The Toddler Busy Book.” I checked it out once from the library and found it to be full of good info. Here’s hoping I’m inspired rather than overwhelmed.
Do you have this kind of mom-guilt, like you’re not doing enough? What do you do about it?