Moms are fans of fretting about the house – how much clutter is on the floor, when was the last time she changed the sheets, does the kitchen floor need mopped again. I don’t get it myself as I prefer to have all of my toys within reaching distance and quite honestly what’s the problem with sheets that have a bit of a spit up smell to them? Nevertheless, Mom thinks it is a problem so it is just that a problem. As the old saying goes, “If momma isn’t happy then ain’t nobody happy!”
To remedy this issue, we have instituted something called Mommy Minutes. During the week, every hour we are home between 9AM and 5PM, Mommy gets 15 minutes to do whatever she needs to do (the laundry, prep dinner by chopping veggies, make the beds, call the doctor to schedule an appointment – anything that isn’t playing). To help her remember to stop working after 15 minutes, Mommy sets a timer. I don’t know about your Mommy but my Mommy gets carried away and if she starts something it is hard for her to stop working; so, sometimes I have to gently remind her that she’ll get her time again in just 45 minutes. After a few days, she really does catch on and she quits throwing a fit when it is time to come back and play. Occasionally, I have caught my mommy trying to sneak extra time by not listening to her body and waiting to go potty until it is play time but all I have to do is give her “the look” and she says she is sorry and that she’ll try harder next time.
Now you may be wondering what I am doing while Mommy takes her minutes. It’s simple – whatever I want to play for that time. I usually stay in the room Mommy is in so:
- If she is folding laundry, I might read a book on the couch.
- If she is chopping up veggies, I may squish some play-doh.
- If she is vacuuming the floors, I usually run around making sure she isn’t going to sweep up one of my toys I left on the floor.
Occasionally, I stay in the playroom alone and do puzzles or play trains but that doesn’t happen often and my baby brother is always with her (in the carrier, playing in his exersaucer, or kicking away on his play-mat). Also, I should say just because Mommy is working for a few minutes doesn’t mean she isn’t watching me or talking to me. We usually chat it up and tell stories unless she is on the phone.
We have been using Mommy Minutes for a few weeks now and it is amazing what all Mommy can get done in 15 minute chunks. And the best part of the whole thing is that we get to play together for 45 minutes out of every hour! No fighting for attention, no hold on just a minute buddy, no I just have to do this one thing – pure play.
How do you help your Mommy play?