Then there are the other days… the days where I can only take so much of repeating the same answers, fiddling with a puzzle over and over, and watching my toddler play with crayons and dominoes. Days like these, I’m ready to conk out and can even feel my eyelids drooping, with of course a list of tasks I still need to do running through my mind.
In short, sometimes I get bored. Never mind that all my energy comes zooming back the minute my toddler is down for the night. Some days, parental boredom takes over and I’m doing my best to keep from falling asleep while we’re lounging on the floor talking about the same things over and over.
During the days when I’m sadly bored out of my mind, I try to follow these tips:
- Participate in activities you actually enjoy. I’m not a rough housing kind of parent. I dread when my toddler wants to play hide-and-seek or run under my legs. On the other hand, I can get down with some pretend play, so my toddler and I will often sit at his little table cooking and eating pretend food. Find the activities you like and stay away from those you don’t. Thankfully my husband will gladly fill in and play chase and hide-and-seek with the little guy.
- Let him play by himself while you do something else nearby. When I’m ready to go bonkers from boredom, I’ll often pull out a book and read near my toddler. Or I’ll take notes or write in my journal. I’ll even do the dreaded chores. I’m perfectly content with letting him play independently and doing activities that I not only need or want to do, but are good for my toddler to witness (e.g. so that he knows adults enjoy books too).
- Find kid-centric activities you and your little one can do. When I’m out of ideas, I normally hop online and find activities I can quickly and easily do with my little guy. I tend to stick to one activity per day and keep it simple, whether it’s painting with watercolors or applying stickers on paper. You can even take it further by making an agenda and scheduling in several activities in one day and assign “subjects” like math, reading and social studies. Some of my favorite resources include: Productive Parenting, A Place of Our Own and No Time for Flash Cards.
- Get out of the house. You know you’re a parent when you go to the grocery just to get out of the house! Groceries or not, getting out of the house can provide you and your little one the break and even fun that you need. Some of the places we’ve visited include: the library, park, beach, mall, garden center, pet store, play dates, and yes, the grocery.
I love parenting. But there are those days where I can’t believe how much of the day has gone by and it seems like we’ve done absolutely nothing. I’ve accepted that, as with any job, there will be bouts of boredom that are perfectly normal and will likely disappear in lieu of more fun and stimulation. In the meantime, I try to stick to activities I enjoy as well as new ones I find online to push the boredom aside.
How do you handle boredom at home? What are your favorite (and not-so-favorite) activities to do with your kids?