"You never let me do anything I want to do."
"Our house is so boring!"
"I wish you could stop working on the computer."
"We never do anything fun!"
These types of things have constantly spewed out of my five-year-old's mouth as of late, and I can't begin to tell you how frustrating and exhausting it is. It always seems as though I will have just finished having circle time with them, doing some sort of activity or even returning home from a trip to a fun place. I will finally sit down to work on something for ME (even though it's usually something involving our homeschooling plans), and the next thing I know, Thing 1 is complaining about how terrible life is at our boring home.
The first thing I feel is "mom guilt." You know, that guilt that we moms feel no matter how ridiculous we know it is? I start questioning the kind of mother I am. Do I spend too much time ignoring my children, or at the computer? I feel like I've made some horrible parenting decisions, somehow, when Thing 1 sulks under her bed and says the only thing that will make her happy is ice-cream or watching tv. And then I just get frustrated. I get frustrated over the fact that Thing 1 is complaining about being bored when she hasn't even attempted to walk into her playroom. Did she forget that we just played two rounds of Candyland?!
And then, the most troubling question is whether or not my kids should be in school. No matter how strong my commitment to homeschooling, I always question my decision when things get a little rough at home.
On days like this, when I'm supposedly the reason for my children's terrible mood, I have to remind myself that it's not my job to make sure my children are always happy. It's okay for them to be bored. It's okay for them to be frustrated. It's okay for them to hear mom say, "I needs a few minutes to work on something, and then we can play together."
I wish I could make them understand that when I say I have laundry to do, it's because I want them to have clean clothes to wear to their playdates. I want them to understand that when I say I need to cook some dinner, it's because I want to nourish their growing little bodies. I want them to understand that when I'm spending an hour at the computer, it's because I'm planning a fabulous homeschool unit on the human body with some awesome experiments that they're going to love.
But they don't understand... yet. And that's okay.