Family Friday - What Do You Do?

TGIF! Welcome to Family Friday! Today I want to talk to you about what you do with your kids, specifically kids around 2-3 years old. Our little guy turned 2 in August and sometimes I feel like the worst mom ever when I don't have a plethora of hand crafted games and activities designed to increase his knowledge to the level of a 1st grader by the time he's 3.

Ok, so that's a little of an exaggeration but I do have a little mommy blogger PTSD. It's easy to hop into the blogsphere and find dozens of mommy blogs that share all the things you could, no SHOULD, be doing with your child at every stage of their life to ensure they will be college ready by the 3rd grade. Well, maybe some don't go quite that far but I find it very discouraging to see so many moms who not only have time to create and engage their children in such amazing learning opportunities but they also miraculously have time to keep the house clean, keep their husband happy, and write a blog! All while somehow raising 3-6 children under 10... Whatever their secret is, I want to know!

I have one child and am lucky to have a clean house let alone ensure my son is participating in activities geared towards learning. Sometimes I think that's a bad thing and other times I think it shouldn't matter. I mean really, is it bad if he's not speaking 2 different languages by the time he enters Kindergarten? Have I failed as a mother if he can't recite the alphabet, name all the colors and shapes, AND write out his first and last name, phone number, and address all by the time he's 5? I totally understand the importance of reading to children and helping them learn and grow but what ever happened to letting kids be kids? Maybe I just need to say who cares and carry on.

What I want to ask everyone else out there is what do you do with really young children at home? I know once kids are older you can do crafts, cooking, science projects, and so many more cool things (and believe me, by that point I may become one of those crazy mommy bloggers with a million great ideas AND a clean house) but for now I always  feel at a loss with my son. We play with blocks and cars and look at books. We talk to Russell and talk with him around so he can hear us having a conversation. We do let him watch TV but then we talk about the same things from the show in books and other activities. (He loves sharks and can identify them all over the place now.) When it's warmer out we let him run around outside or at the park. He loves to play in Grandma's garden and backyard and we do play in his tiny pool too. I guess right now with winter here and the air quality bad enough to kill someone I am running out of ideas.

So, if you're a parent of small children or have had small children in your life I want to know the secret. What do you do with them when the weather is terrible outside and you don't have tons of time to make games/toys for your child? Also, do you feel kids should be kids or do you think the younger years need to be taken advantage of to teach them all we can now? No judgement either way. I'm always curious what others think and are doing. I would even love to know what do you do as a parent to find balance in your life? How do you fit time for yourself and your interests in while still being present for your child and/or your spouse? Share your secrets everyone! Let's help each other find some fun things to do with younger kids at home.


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