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Room Time


I remember with my first born, not being sure when to encourage independence and when to engage and spend time together. I'm convinced he learned to walk late because if he made a move towards an item I intervened and gave it to him. One parenting book I read encouraged "playpen time". I know I am dating myself because they don't even make playpen's anymore, which is a shame because the idea worked beautifully. It still can work with a safe space like a pack and play.


"Playpen time" started with 15 min where just 2 or 3 toys or books were put in the playpen with my son and I left the room. It was amazing to watch how he could entertain himself if I was not in visual sight. It actually allowed me the freedom to do a quick chore, take a much needed shower or just have 15 minutes with my own thoughts and do my devotions. We eventually worked up to 30 min and it was so good for both of us.



When they boys outgrew the playpen, we switched to "room time". Again, their room was a safe space with a baby gate so they could not roam the house and the downtime was a blessing. The picture above is of Dan in "room time" where he would always grab his blanket and his kids bible and climb into the rocking chair to "read". I'd like to think that he was modeling behavior that he saw at home but it is a cherished memory I am so happy that I caught on film.


Ben always added an extra layer to our plans and traditional baby gates did not work for him. He was so big and strong that he plowed right through them. One of the best gifts my husband ever made for me was a "barn door" type door for Ben's room. It looked much like the picture below modeled after our playset in the back yard. It had a slide bolt on the outside so we could essentially lock Ben in a safe space but he could see out the top and did not feel confined. We kept having to lower the slide bolt as Ben grew and his arm reach went further and further over the top. The many drilled holes on the door frame are a testament to his growth (and perseverance).

It is so important to take time for you and not feel bad about it. Staying filled it the only way for you to keep giving to the many needs and demands of parenting.


Love you more,

Mom







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