Being a mother of 5 children comes with challenges of its own (Like trying to get them to all smile in a photo). Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to have fewer children… would I have more time, more patience, more enthusiasm to get engaged? Obviously, I could never know.
Let me say right at the outset: from an emotional and mental point of view, I don’t believe there is any difference between having one child or having ten children. Our children receive all of the love and energy we can muster. The challenge with larger families is mainly a logistical one.
My brain is constantly focused on what needs to get done on a daily basis. Packing the lunches, getting them dressed and ready for school, has homework been done, and are there any extra-curricular activities that need to be prepped for. Projects, art supplies to be packed? Which child needs what, have the bills been paid, what needs to be done around the house, is one child sick, medication to be given, school drop off, work, deadlines, fetching kids, getting homework done, cooking dinner, and then a few moments of chilling before bedtime… And then it starts all over again… oh, and then I have to be a wife as well.
Maybe I am at fault here (I probably am) and maybe I need to switch off and be more engaged, but that doesn’t come naturally to me. Sadly. Is this a learning curve, probably? Would I be a better mom, obviously!
Do I enjoy playing board games with my kids… Um, NO!
Well, let me set the scene. I have children aged 9,8,6,4 and 2. Most board games are aimed at children of certain ages. So if I play with the older kids, the younger ones get upset, tantrums ensue, there’s crying, throwing of little plastic men, monkies, or dominoes.
If I play with the younger ones, the older children go into the non-stop-moaning mode, “this is boring”, “it’s not how you play the game“, and “why do you let them always win”? Am I alone here? Is there no other parent out there who experiences this?
I secretly detest board games. #justsaying.
I received this awesome press drop from Hasbro the other day, and to be honest it’s shaken me a little. Made me think a little about how I might be depriving my children of good old-fashioned clean fun. Off the screen I might add because you know, bad parenting and all that!
Because Hasbro’s #savetimeforplaytime video, which showcases several South African youngsters discussing what they would do to convince their parents to spend more time playng with them, resonated so deeply with parents, Hasbro has take the campaign one step further and introduced the #savetimeforplaytime Pledge
I watched this, and I cried. I’m that mom, the one that needs to be convinced to play a board game. The one that secretly doesn’t mind if the kids lose the pieces. Every board game in our house has been bought by someone else as a gift. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that!
Complete with a pinkie promise, the pledge encourages parents and kids to pledge how they would save time to make playtime a priority. The parents featured in the video all agreed that, while life is busy and filled with distractions, they hadn’t realised the impact this was having on their kids. After being part of this social experiment, they offered up a few suggestions to try and create more time during the day – these included: not taking work home with them, spending less time on their cell phone, and actively prioritising play time, even just 30 minutes a day, which could make all the difference.
Having such a large family it is hard to find/make individual time for each child every day, but seeing this amazing initiative, and realizing that I haven’t put all my efforts into MAKING that time, a few things need to change. It’s been an eye-opener for me, one that is hard to admit so openly.
But that’s about to change, I pledge to #savetimeforplaytime.
My children need it, our family needs it, and obviously, I need it too. No one is perfect right #dontjudge
*Disclaimer – Hasbro via Atmosphere Communications sent me this press drop. All opinions are my own.