As a child, the stresses of the adult world seemed to fly over our heads, for the most part. I am sure more than a few of us had our fair share of stressful childhood moments. But, in general, the adult world was a mystery to us. We longed to be adults so we did not have to be bossed around and could stay out as late as we wanted, or hang out with whomever we felt like hanging out with. How many times did you say, as a child, that you cannot wait to be grown up?
Well, now here we are, all grown up, and most of the time it is not fun at all. As grown-ups, we deal with bills, jobs we may or may not enjoy, dishonest or deceptive people, grief, the doldrums of a stale routine, failing marriages, abusive partners, and it seems like there is no relief in sight. We are grown-ups now, it’s pretty much the end of the line, right? Wrong. Now that we are grown-ups, we have old age to look forward to.
Old age is not the only thing however. As parents, we are in the unique position of being able to “grow up” again with our children. Sure, we know we have to go to work and take care of business so our family can breathe easy and have everything they need. We know we have responsibilities, and for many of us there is no one else to lean on for relief from those responsibilities. So what do we do? We play. We play with our children, and we play with our children’s toys.
As a young girl I was a bit of a tomboy, preferring to play with the boys rather than with my dolls. As a mom of boys, I love the building blocks, the toy cars, and all the other fun stuff that we don’t normally give to little girls to play with. Those really stressful times, when things are beyond my control, are the perfect times to dump the building blocks on the dining room table and challenge one or both of my boys to a build-off. Those moments can be also alleviated, if not cured, by getting outside and kicking the ball around the yard with the kids, or exploring the woods, catching bugs, or making a crash-up derby on the living room floor with toy cars.
Grown-up life is stressful, there is no doubting that, but finding any moment to escape that reality is one way to manage that stress. So have tea parties, play stuffed animal petting zoo, get some bubbles and blow those buggers everywhere. Go outside and play when the kids go outside to play. Jump rope, roller skate, do those things that are purely fun for children and remember that at one point many of those things were fun to you as well. It may be a little harder to do now, and maybe we are a little slower than we used to be, but the play time is worth it in the long run. It’s your life, now have fun with it!