Confession #152: We Keep It Simple

Water painting

Mommy I’m bored – words all moms know too well.

In my house it takes only a few minutes of stillness before one of my children is tempted to brave such a statement.

As a new mom I rushed to my children’s side whenever they showed boredom. I felt like I was obligated to entertain them all day long, that if they were bored then perhaps I wasn’t stimulating them enough or providing enough for them. Boredom made me feel guilty.

Now, as a more seasoned mother, I rarely flinch at their whiney little voices looking for something to do. They tell me they’re bored, I tell them I’m sorry. I point them to their overstuffed shelf of books, to their rooms full of toys, to the yard, to their little brother who needs entertained, or to the laundry pile on my bed that needs folding. They complain a little, but eventually they figure their lives out.

The other day, however, I decided to be a nice mommy. Come midday, after school and lunch and reading time, my kids were bored. Looking around my house I grabbed three paintbrushes and filled a Tupperware full of water and told them to go paint the house outside. They looked at me kinda crazy like. Paint the house? With water? But whatever. They were bored.

Paintbrushes in hand, my kids painted our house with nothing more than water for over an hour. It was blissful. I sat in my house and caught up on emails while listening to them laugh, imagine, and share. And all it took was water and a dirty concrete wall.

So mommas, next time your kids complain of being bored, send them outside with water and a paintbrush. If anything it’s worth a try. And please, don’t feel guilty for your kids being bored like I once did. I recently decided to stop buying toys for my children, because no matter how many things I have to entertain them around the house, they will still get bored. We could have a spaceship in our backyard and they would still eventually get tired of flying to the moon and back. At my house, soccer balls and bubbles are as entertaining as anything else. So we keep it simple. Because simple is not only better on the budget but really just better all around.

Fellow mamas, how do you handle boredom at your house? Have any good tricks up your sleeve? (Preferably ones that aren’t cool enough to put on Pinterest. I’m talking simple, simple, simple.) Please share ‘cause sooner or later my littles are no longer going to want to paint the house with water and I’d love some new ideas.

~ Jillian

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