Do you suffer from parental boredom?

Do you suffer from parental boredom?
On most days, I’m on top of my parenting game: I read with my two-year-old, help him make crafts from Pinterest, and encourage him to help me cook in the kitchen. On those days, I’m an A+ mom.

Then there are the other days… the days where I can only take so much of repeating the same answers, fiddling with a puzzle over and over, and watching my toddler play with crayons and dominoes. Days like these, I’m ready to conk out and can even feel my eyelids drooping, with of course a list of tasks I still need to do running through my mind.

In short, sometimes I get bored. Never mind that all my energy comes zooming back the minute my toddler is down for the night. Some days, parental boredom takes over and I’m doing my best to keep from falling asleep while we’re lounging on the floor talking about the same things over and over.

During the days when I’m sadly bored out of my mind, I try to follow these tips:

  • Participate in activities you actually enjoy. I’m not a rough housing kind of parent. I dread when my toddler wants to play hide-and-seek or run under my legs. On the other hand, I can get down with some pretend play, so my toddler and I will often sit at his little table cooking and eating pretend food. Find the activities you like and stay away from those you don’t. Thankfully my husband will gladly fill in and play chase and hide-and-seek with the little guy.
  • Let him play by himself while you do something else nearby. When I’m ready to go bonkers from boredom, I’ll often pull out a book and read near my toddler. Or I’ll take notes or write in my journal. I’ll even do the dreaded chores. I’m perfectly content with letting him play independently and doing activities that I not only need or want to do, but are good for my toddler to witness (e.g. so that he knows adults enjoy books too).
  • Find kid-centric activities you and your little one can do. When I’m out of ideas, I normally hop online and find activities I can quickly and easily do with my little guy. I tend to stick to one activity per day and keep it simple, whether it’s painting with watercolors or applying stickers on paper. You can even take it further by making an agenda and scheduling in several activities in one day and assign “subjects” like math, reading and social studies. Some of my favorite resources include: Productive Parenting, A Place of Our Own and No Time for Flash Cards.
  • Get out of the house. You know you’re a parent when you go to the grocery just to get out of the house! Groceries or not, getting out of the house can provide you and your little one the break and even fun that you need. Some of the places we’ve visited include: the library, park, beach, mall, garden center, pet store, play dates, and yes, the grocery.

I love parenting. But there are those days where I can’t believe how much of the day has gone by and it seems like we’ve done absolutely nothing. I’ve accepted that, as with any job, there will be bouts of boredom that are perfectly normal and will likely disappear in lieu of more fun and stimulation. In the meantime, I try to stick to activities I enjoy as well as new ones I find online to push the boredom aside.

How do you handle boredom at home? What are your favorite (and not-so-favorite) activities to do with your kids?

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15 thoughts on “Do you suffer from parental boredom?

  1. Oh yes, definitely get bored. The worst is now when everyone is or has been sick. That’s when we are confined to the house or backyard. But if we are feeling fine, we are able to go out for a long walk, go window shopping and carroussel riding at the mall, go to a friend’s house and let the kids play, basically get out and get moving!

  2. Sick kiddo here too and definitely feeling bored. It’s not that there’s nothing to do, just nothing I want to do. 🙂 I usually try to take an “adult” break and do something I find enjoyable, even if it’s only for a few minutes.

  3. Agree. My current struggle is with a series of stories I make up about a little bunny family that closely resembles our family. Forget the series part…C now wants the same story about playing hide and seek over and over and over until I think I’ll scream if I have to tell it again. I don’t know why I find it so painful!

  4. I also sometimes find myself experiencing parental boredom. Usually when it hits I load us up and we go somewhere. I am looking forward to Luke getting a bit older so we have more options of places to go and things to do. If you have any 1-yr-old activities that you recommend send them my way! I find that most ideas on Pinterest seem to be geared for the two-year-old and up range.

    • Tori, I agree that “crafty” types are for the older toddlers. When my kiddo was about one, we did a lot of outings, like going to the park or taking him out for a swim. At home we did bubbles, playing with empty tupperware in the bathtub and tossing soft foam balls around.

      The awesome thing about that age is that everything is amazing to them so we don’t need to spend a ton of money on fancy entertainment to make them happy 🙂

  5. I have those days too, especially now that I have a break from school. Doing arts and crafts is what we like doing best. Also going to the library to get out of the house. And I agree with you, I let the hubs do the rough play with little man.

  6. Oh yes, I do get bored too. Right now, all Livi wants to do is read or look at books. If it were up to her, we would look at one book over and over again.
    I try to get out at least once a day. Unfortunately, when it’s hot we can’t go to the park, which is my preferred destination. Once a week we head to the bookstore and spend some time there.
    It is hard to keep a one-year old entertained and Livi’s high need nature makes it even more difficult as it is sometimes impossible to get out of the house and playing by herself is a rare event. I cannot wait to do crafts with her. I just hope she’ll be interested and have the patience.

  7. I have those days…even if it’s busy around the house, a mental boredom creeps in. I agree that planned activities are best. Having 2-year old triplets means we don’t get out much since some outings are just too difficult without 2 adults. So lots of crafts, sensory games, etc and I really need some “mom” days to do something that is stimulating to my adult brain. 🙂

  8. You are not the only one who gets bored. I don’t want to play cars or color anymore. I’m trying to buy different toys instead of the same old cars and trucks. We just got a puzzle, so I’m gonna try that next. Wish me luck.

  9. I definitely get those bouts of boredom, particularly when I’m tired, so I try to do something to get the blood flowing, so I can be energized, such as taking Lane for a walk in his wagon or even just spontaneously dancing with Lane in the living room. It gets both of us moving, and we usually end up laughing in the process. 🙂

  10. I’m pretty much opposite you for ‘desired activities’. I would much rather run around and wrestle then play pretend. Of course, I have no imagination…so that sucks…but I try. LUCKILY FOR ME, Phil is great with playing pretend (and everything else…shhh) so the kids can get that from him! 😀

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