Note from Nicole ~ Hey, kids? I am not here for your entertainment.
I came across this last summer on Amy Weatherly's Facebook page, and I could NOT. AGREE. MORE. And yet? For 8 years I've erred on side of being indulgent, providing too much entertainment, and being a one-woman circus. Not this summer! I'm sharing these words of wisdom as much for my own benefit as for anyone else's. Enjoy! xoxo, Nicole
I, Amy Weatherly, REFUSE TO BE MY KIDS' FUN COORDINATOR. THIS IS NOT A CRUISE SHIP AND I AM NOT THE EVENT DIRECTOR. I AM NOT THE CAPTAIN OF GOOD TIMES, OR THE QUEEN OF PINTEREST PROJECTS, OR THE KEEPER OF THE SECRETS OF NEVER BEING BORED. I AM NOT A GUMBALL MACHINE FILLED WITH MAGIC AND GOOD TIMES AND NEVER-ENDING IDEAS. I played with dirt and the water hose growing up, and begged my mom for old pie pans and turned it into an under-water dining experience called “The Treasure Chest”. Thanks right. It was more than a restaurant. It was an entire experience. I collected rollie-pollies in empty Pringles cans, and I had myself a good ole time. I even played Checkers and tic-tac-toe by myself, which was a challenge, and also a little sad, but still. I did it. I turned out mostly fine, depending on who you ask and the day you ask them. I have no plans to write an unhappy memoir about my parents who refused to fill my schedule with things to do, and told me the answer was "no," on more than one occasion. In fact, I still kind of like both my parents even though they didn't give me everything I wanted. I am slightly salty about never getting that Kid Sister doll, but I'm determined that I will be over it by the time I'm 40, maybe 45, with the help of a good counselor. I love playdates and water parks and craft stuff as much as the next mom, but there’s a global pandemic going on and things have changed a little bit. Summer went from 3 months to like...forever, so when your kids are whining about being bored—and they will whine about being bored—and you feel overwhelmed to perform and you're consumed with a massive wave of mom guilt for not being able to spin, twirl, sing a happy little tune, and pull out your Mary Poppins bag, please remember this: Two things happen when kids are bored. 1. They expand their imagination. 2. They also learn that being content is an inside job, and it reinforces the concept that they are in charge of their own life and overall happiness. They figure out they don't need more things/toys/objects to enjoy life, creating their own fun lies within the power of their own two hands, and it's not someone else's job to present them with everything they could ever want on an expensive silver platter or tied up on a giant fancy, red bow. All things you can let them learn now, or let them learn the hard way later on in life, I’m telling you. Let them be bored, and admit it, kids are infinitely better at having fun than we are anyway. It's wired into their system. Being a kid is a magical thing all in and of itself. We don’t have to stress and fret and be all-consumed with making it magical. It just is. I climb on the bathroom counter and pluck stray hairs when I want to have fun, or I sit alone in my car in an empty parking lot...like, I just sit there and enjoy the silence. Kids, on the other hand, they do things like turn sticks into bows and arrows, and use laundry baskets as canoes and fish for sharks in the ocean and pan for gold using empty boxes. They win at knowing how to play every single time. Don't feel guilty for letting them do it (or for forcing them to do it like I just did with my kids, who are all now very happily running around outside while I watch peacefully from the porch and look up houses on The Realtor app, which is another thing I like to do for fun. Are we looking for a house? No. Are we moving anytime soon? No. But, leave me alone, and let me party how I want to party.) Love them. Cherish them. Support them. Teach them. Help them learn. Give them everything they need. Be their biggest cheerleader and a safe space to listen. Don’t let them grow up to be jerks. And let them be bored sometimes too.
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