This morning I hosted book club. There are 6 of us in the group, with a 7th woman who wants to join us but hasn't yet arranged for her schedule to match ours. My mom is one of the members.
Only my mom and one other woman showed up. She happened to bring her mom along. That was it. And I didn't finish the book because I didn't care for it. So our meeting wasn't as lively as it could have been. It would have been nice to hear the opinions of the other members, but for whatever various reasons, they didn't make it. Bummer.
Then the rest of the day was just Sweetie and me. I wanted to finish up a book I was reading on my own before I started in again on our next book club selection. And I did just finish it (stay tuned - I'll tell you all about it in tomorrow's post). But there was Sweetie. Wanting to play with me, doing fairly well enough on her own with her imaginary friends. But still - I felt bad. I played along as best I could to make her happy, while still getting through my book and enjoying my personal time, which made me happy.
Now Hubby's home and Sweetie's "helping" him mow the lawn. Just like she "helped" me vacuum this morning.
Sweetie is so good at playing on her own, making up games, and inventing imaginary situations. I truly believe she's having a good time as she plays. But I do feel bad about not always playing along when she asks. I know how happy she'd be if I took the time to play at her birthday party games.
Is she satisfied with the little bit of attention I give her in the midst of taking time for myself? Will she look back on her young childhood and feel that she was too often left on her own? Or are we interactive enough with her that she'll remember all our games we play together?
It's hard. When Sweetie was a baby I could barely stand to be separated from her. Even when she was crying non-stop. I'd wish for a break from her, leave her with my parents for a bit, then be oh so anxious to get back to her as soon as I could. Now I send her off for the day with Hubby and I'm happy to have time to myself. I have her sleep over at Nana's on the spur of the moment and I'm thrilled to have a quiet evening and to know I can sleep just a bit later in the morning.
I want her to learn to be strong and independent and self aware. I want her to be able to satisfy her needs on her own and not rely on others to entertain her.
I also want her to know I'm here for her when she needs or wants me. I am happy to play with her, read with her, and be an active part of her playtime.
I just need my own time too sometimes. And that's okay. Today is one of those days. Everyone needs one, every once in awhile.