Ezra,  Motherhood

Letting him be lonely

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Mommy, will you play blocks wif me?

Mommy, will you go down the slide wif me? 


Simply put, my extroverted child is lonely. Chronically lonely. It doesn’t matter how much time we spend around other kids, he always wants more interaction, more affection, more physical touch, more conversation.

Letting him be lonely - Five Minute Friday

And all I wanted to do was clean my house.

I put away the distractions (the phone, the computer) and just focused on the housework. I figured he could play while I worked. No. He’s incapable.

He cried from the other room. He just wants to be with me.

I feel horrible. I can’t get anything done unless he is distracted or confined. But I have things to do. To keep this house running.

They say I should treasure the moment, and give in, play with him. But there’s times that laundry has to be done and dishes have to be washed. Vacuuming has to be done. And what can I do? 

And so, I have to let him be lonely. I hate it. It’s heartbreaking. It makes me angry, and then I lose my temper on him when he just won’t leave me alone. 

I hope that someday, he will forgive me for all the times I said, “No, not now, Mommy is working…” and “Ezra, go play” and “Leave Mommy alone” and “GET OFF OF ME!” 

I hope that the hugs and the books read and the I’m sorry’s will be enough. Because today, it doesn’t feel like they will be. 


Today I am participating in a weekly feature on lisajobaker.com called Five Minute Fridays. Bloggers are given a writing prompt (topic) and told to write for five minutes. “No editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.” Today’s prompt is “Lonely.” (Photos were edited and added after the five minutes of writing.)

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  • Jenny Irvine (@jnnyrvn)

    This so spoke to my heart. I understand it in every way!! As a mom to four kids under 8; Im often pulled in every direction. The house work, laundry, and dinners often seem to call my name louder. 🙁 causing my desire to be the fun mom roll right out the window. All is grace my friend! Love you blog…maybe we will meet at Allume 🙂 in October!!

    • Aprille

      Thank you so much Jenny. I feel like this post is pretty depressing but the topic really drew me in after how this morning went. So frustrating, so much anger – So it’s nice to know I’m not alone. And yes! I’m so excited about Allume! Heading over to check out your site now!

  • Selena Campbell

    Hi Aprille,

    You are not alone! I have three children, and I feel your pain! Please do not let guilt trap you. God will give you the wisdom you need so you know when to lay down the vacuum and play with your dear boy, and when you need to tell him you’ll play later. He is learning that the world does not revolve around him and his desires, and we all need to learn that–the sooner the better!

    May you find comfort in Isaiah 40:11 (NIV):
    “He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
    and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.”

    The Lord is gently leading you!

    • Aprille

      Thank you for your encouragement, Selena. I think that’s what I’m struggling with. I want him to learn the skills needed to entertain himself, realize that it’s not always about him, but that training process is so painful for him that it makes me feel horrible in the mean time.

  • Heather

    Oh I feel your pain! I have struggled with this exact issue with my first born (she’s now 4 years old). I always felt so guilty for refusing to play with her ALL the time. It didn’t matter how much time I played with her, it was never enough. Finally, I started focusing on things a little differently. 1) I need to show this child what it looks like to be a parent and need time for yourself. I’m teaching her boundaries and that is very important. 2) Instead of saying “no, mom can’t play right now”, I say “mommy has things she is doing right now, so this is a great time for you to practice playing on your own.”

    These may seem like simple changes, and they certainly didn’t magically transform my child into an independent player, but it DID help break me out of the guilt cycle.

    Hang in there.

  • Yvonne Greenawalt

    I’m a grandmommy, and I had 6 girls. A timer has been my best friend at times. How about saying, “Mommy has to do dishes for 15 minutes and I’m setting the timer. When the timer goes off, we’ll set it again, and you and I will play for 15 minutes! We’ll keep taking turns! :)” Your strict adherance to the timer is a must, tho’, so he knows he can trust you. 🙂

  • Vanderbilt Wife

    I have a little 4-year-old extrovert to the max. And yeah, this is basically my life. Even with a 2-year-old brother to play with it is constant MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY. I have to send her to preschool/MDO simply for my own sanity. I also think it’s OK to let a child be bored some, to learn to play by his or herself. I also, like the above commenter said, try to set concrete times when we will do certain things: AFTER Mommy does this, we will do this. And follow through.

    • Aprille

      It’s so nice to know I’m not alone. I used to take him to hourly daycare and MDO programs but now we can’t afford it. I take him to parks and the mall and Barnes and Noble a lot but I miss the structure of those programs for sure. It’s hard

      I typed half of this with him laying over my lap and my arms, then he hit something and it disappeared, so I had to start all over again! lol

  • Jessie Lindsey

    Oh my gosh while reading this it sounds exactly like my life and my son!!! Word for word I’m not even exaggerating . I thought my son was the only child on this planet who’s extremely “needy.” I too feel so bad that I’m unable to give him the constant attention that he craves, but it’s just humanly impossible to do! Thank you so much for this post. It makes me feel like me my husband and my son who has ADHD aren’t the only families out there dealing with this difficult situation. Good luck and many blessings to you!

    • Aprille

      He’s 8 now and still kind of an attention black hole. I’m very thankful that he has school and a wonderful after-school program to entertain him when I have nothing left!

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