Sunday, March 23, 2008


A few times lately -- OK, more than a few -- I've been worried about myself, worried that I've lost my fun-factor as a mom.

I've always been decidedly involved -- the mom who puts off dishes and cleaning to sit and play. But, lately even dishes have seemed more fun. At least they don't throw tantrums or bite each other!

I'm still not ready to throw in the towel and say that 2 is harder than twinfancy, but it has gotten pretty challenging.

Admittedly, I've always stayed away from activities that might cause a fight, like those games when you toss your kid in the air over and over and over and you finally just want to quit because you're tired. Well, I have one more to deal with, too. That intersection of conflict and saying no and being tired doesn't work for me.

So, in the past, we just avoided it. Now, though, physical play is almost demanded at every stretch of our day.

"Mama sit."
"Mama run."
"Mama this."
"Mama that."

Time is more limited than ever. My thoughts are constantly invaded. Dishes and meals are no longer dishes and meals ... they are battles.

"Something has to get done today!" I yell, forcing myself to sit and play for the fifth time that hour.

Who have I become?

This is not the mom I wanted to be. The tired one. The one half-listening. The one watching the clock until their father walks in the door so I can just shut down my brain for five minutes.

No, this isn't Her.

We go in spurts around here with organized play, free play and winging it. I like to hold art and music sessions followed by free play. I always plan a craft project of some sort. And, we move from room to room, playing with things like the money bank in our room, to jumping on the bed in the guest room to watching You Tube videos in my office.

But, the free play part ... is not existent more than ever. Instead they cry or fuss and fight until I sit back down next to them and coordinate something else or have to put one in time out.

Or, until we get into the car and go somewhere.

Next post: A plan of action. Bringing the F-U-N back into motherhood with a challenge -- for you, too.

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Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

One of the most surprising things for me about becoming a stay-at-home mom is just how incredibly tedious I find play with young children. I'd much rather clean the house. It's getting to be more fun as the kids get older and can focus their attention for longer periods and play games I enjoy more.

Growing said...

This too shall pass!

In another month or so, they will play together in bits and spurts - and give you time to do the dishes.

Being a stay at home mom is so challenging during the twos and threes. They chase knowledge and new experiences.

Of course this isn't as hard as twinfancy - but it can still feel like it!

RocketMom said...

It's a hard age, even with one. I remember thinking with my first, "what happened to my beautiful baby?" and "where did this brat come from?". Not sure I really thought brat, but that was the gist of it anyway. Will be interested to hear your plan of action. One thing my oldest taught me is not to yell ... when he started yelling back. Not that I don't, but now at least I know not to. ;)

Anonymous said...

Two (and two of them!) really is hard. Don't judge yourself by this year; don't judge them. Too late I could view the whole scene from their perspective. Here they are just arriving on their own two feet, their own independence and voice, and the world comes at them with an agenda. Everything seems like an imposition to a two-year-old. My advice: make this your Year in Provence (and if not literally, then figuratively) You have landed in a foreign country. If you can have fun with that, then you truly have arrived!

bella said...

I really don't like the playing. I do it. I can even enjoy parts of it. And I love him. but what is fun for him is well, not so fun for me. The endless building of train tracks, "wrestling" as he calls it, coloring yet another picture and having him tell me that my hippopotamus does not look right. :)
I will say that I do think its a hard age in the fun department because they want to be able to do things they can't yet really master. But to try and try and try and try, IS their play, which is their work.
At four, we are now playing games where there is more interaction, less entertaining him, and for me personally, its more fun.
Hang in there, and I hope you have a little of your fun from time to time as well.

Shannon said...

Whatcha got? I'm all ears. :-)
Cuz, as you know, I'm only fun during those rare one on one times. The rest of the week, I'm just the referee with the time-out crib trying to keep them from inflicting permanent bodily harm on each other.
Did I mention that they actually got in a hitting/biting match yesterday over a piece of GRASS in their easter basket? A PIECE OF GRASS...which there were a hundred million of them all over the floor but they both wanted the same piece!
okay. I feel better.

Kitty said...

I POSTED THIS UNDER A WRONG NAME - sorry, I'm new to blogging!!

This too shall pass!

In another month or so, they will play together in bits and spurts - and give you time to do the dishes.

Being a stay at home mom is so challenging during the twos and threes. They chase knowledge and new experiences.

Of course this isn't as hard as twinfancy - but it can still feel like it!

Shawn said...

Growing/Kitty: Whoever you are ... very happy to see you here, and glad to have your insight and wisdom. I'll trust your word it will get easier.

Bella: Once again, thanks for commiserating and laying it out even better than I could. I guess I could say at least we're not at the wrestling stage!! Hoping, dearly, that's a boy thing.

MPJ: I hope you're right that when they get older their idea of fun will be more in line with mine.

Karen: Merci beaucoup, a million times.

Shannon: I told you this privately, but next year: ditch the grass. In stead, I'll add to smoke it instead. ; )

Shawn said...

Rocketmom: You yell at your kids??????? Terrible.Just terrible. Seriously, I know yelling is bad and I'm trying desperately to try other things to get ONE of them to listen since she's the one who is most frustrating.

village mama said...

Cute pic!

Your words 'and, we move from room to room' are our survival, free play, all day, just in different rooms.

Your challenge sounds exciting...

Shelli said...

I have little wisdom here because my one boy is just behind your girls in age. He's 19 months today. I can see age 2 sneaking up on him in little tantrums, and I'm waiting for it to grow.

We pretty much move room to room with free play. When I try to organize something he just doesn't get it. I'm not sure he's old enough. Luckily we have a big yard. In good weather, he can entertain himself out there in the dirt for hours! Of course, I HAVE to bringing a book or something.

It has also surprised me (but then again, I guess I never thought about it) how boring and tedious the sitting on the floor and playing can be. Sometimes I'm into it, and other times, I moan.

jojoebi said...

I only have one monster to contend with but I read a post...somewhere...recently where the mom INSISTED on a quite time, each kid was placed in a different room, rule was they have to stay there for 30 minutes, during which time they could read or find another quiet activity (although how you would manage this with 2 year old twins is anyone's guess). The mom said she had done it for a week and it had made a huge difference in the household.