Parenting 101: It's okay to play alone

"Mommy... daddy... come play with me."

When you have a toddler/preschooler, you might hear this, oh, 443 times a day. And despite the fact that I would loooove to play make-believe and run around with a shield and a cape all day long, the reality is, I have things I have to do.

Yes, I take as much time as I can to push things aside like cleaning to soak in this precious toddler time with my bean. But, I still need to get other things done for survival, like shower, prep food, etc. And I can't be my son's constant wing-woman.

So, yes, I tell my son to go and play by himself for a little while. Because not only is it necessary, but I think it's good for him. It fosters his own creativity (I'm listening to him playing with his Lego and Playmobil in the next room, coming up with wild tales and giving each character their own distinct voices). It makes him more independent. And, let's be honest: In life, we have to fend for ourselves a lot, and it's necessary for him to adjust to this early on so it doesn't come as a shock down the road when he finds himself living alone or fending for himself.

Like, right now, I have to write this blog, because I need to make a living, right? And my bean has contently set up shop next to my office, playing quietly with his different bins of Paw Patrol and Ninja Turtles (he's moved on from the Lego and Playmobil). Am I sad I can't be cozied up next to him planning our next rescue in Adventure Bay? Sure, a bit. But I also know how amazing it is that my 3-year-old can find his own way, just for a short time, and get lost in his own imagination. And, in the end, he'll get my undivided attention for the next play session.

A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with Suburban readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.

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