Finding Time to Play

 brookplzyI’ve barely walked in the door from work when I hear “play with me mama”. I look down at my little redheaded man, lip in a pout and puppy dog blue eyes. My heart skips a beat and at the same time it fills with dread.

I want to play with him–I really do, but I need a moment. A small speck of time to switch off career-mom and switch on normal-mom.

It’s hard letting go of the working day demands only to come home to more demands of time and energy. I now understand why the 1950’s wife brought her husband a martini when he stepped in the door, because he just needed a moment. Not to say all working moms should start drinking, but a little moment would be nice!

A moment of silence before the evening storm.

My kids and family are my life, and it’s like a stab to the heart every time I need to sacrifice time from them in the name of “work”. Sadly, it’s not even the 9 to 5 paying job that classifies as work.

It’s the plethora of laundry that multiplies like Gremlins.

It’s making dinner, and cleaning up dinner.

Giving baths, and tugging on PJs.

Vaccuming {although I rarely vacuum–that’s the hubs’ job}.

Cleaning toilets and scrubbing floors.

There are errands to run and doctor’s appointments to schedule.

Today it was the early out at school that set our schedule into chaos.

There are days when I wonder how we do it all. How on earth do we as moms juggle everything and still find time to play with our children? Really play with them, without thinking of the next task that needs to be done or planning a grocery list in our heads.

Someone once told me to live the life you value. That if you want to be happy you need to take stock and prioritize. She said to me, “you schedule work meetings, so why not start scheduling meetings with your children too?” It sounded ridiculous, and a little pathetic.

Do I really need to schedule playtime?

The answer was a resounding YES! I needed to, because the guilt from not playing with my children was eating me alive, and ignoring my household duties was making me crazy.

So, a compromise was in order.

He’s still staring at me with those big blue eyes that are as deep as the ocean, and he repeats his plea: “Play with me mama”.  I tell him yes.

That we have a date in 15 minutes and I’ll be there, REALLY there, and we will play.

How do you find time to conquer your household To-Do List and play with your children? Do you schedule playtime?
Brook {without the "e"} is a spunky faux redhead and former UI grad who has decided to call Iowa City her home for over 10 years. She met her husband on the internet, and they spend their days playing superheroes with their two boys, Edison (2007) and Grant (2010). She juggles mom life with a full-time job as a marketing consultant, competing in triathlons and writing her heart out on her personal blog She believes life is a journey, not a destination.


  1. With my 3 1/2 year old, I have learned that when I say “I will play when I finish the dishes” or “I will be there in 5 minutes” I worry that he feels like he is not as important as chores. If I say “OF COURSE!” drop what I am doing and go play with him for 10 minutes and then say “can I go finish unloading the dishwasher and come back?” he happily obliges. We obviously need to teach our children patience, and that we must get our work done before play sometimes but he will only be little once and I already see how he doesn’t always want me to play trains with him. I try to come from a place of “yes” first. Does it REALLY matter if you vacuum before you play? Nah…it will all get done (or not get done) but in the end you will never reget that extra playtime.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.