Ever since planting began in April, I’ve felt chained to the garden. Planting took f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Then there was weeding, mulching, harvesting (digging up carrots), preserving and agonizing as some plants succumbed to disease and/or bugs. Yes, we’ve gained an abundance of tomatoes and carrots, and a decent crop of onions, but was it worth it?
Sweat aside, there’s one thing that has suffered this summer besides my time and muscles, and I think that may be my kids. So often, I couldn’t convince them to join me in the garden. Yes, they did enjoy the mud play at first, but soon enough they were ready to move on. At ages 3 and 5, I guess the outrageous heat outweighed their interest in plants. I get that. My garden is full sun; I mean FULL sun, and lots of gardening work is rather repetitive.
So they did other things: a little sandbox time, some bickering and lots of bike riding. I don’t know if they noticed what we didn’t do: hardly any book reading, virtually no fun art projects and fewer playgroups. In the last 2 weeks I’ve about thrown in the towel with my gardening. The carrots and onions are out, I’ve already sauced tomatoes twice, the corn is a lost cause and the pumpkins don’t need me. As a result, I’ve been able to refocus my energy on planning for our next homeschool year (which begins early August), restocking our library stash and busting out this fun art project, inspired by The Artful Parent.
This is the largest collage Aria’s done, and she enjoyed every minute. I traced her body on butcher paper and let her have at it. Liam, who was feeling a little under the weather, cuddled with me as we watched. It felt so gooooood to support her this way. Look at this funky hand!
I know that many moms can find a balance between gardening and investing time in their children. Maybe it’s because I work part time (5 days a week) or maybe it’s because this was my first garden, but I just didn’t. I’m thinking I need a MUCH smaller garden next year or maybe none at all. The garden can wait; my children won’t. And, honestly, I enjoy parenting much more!
- Leaf Art for Littles
- Springtime Gardening Woes
- Our Preschool at Home
- A Waldorf Toy Revolution
- A Creative Family Lifestyle