Every Minute of My Baby's Life Isn't Quality Time
Whether you're a working or a stay-at-home mother, it's hard to escape the feeling that when you're with your child, every moment should be stimulating or educational. Somehow the idea of quality time and what is expected of parents has gotten out of control. "I'd feel guilty when I'd put my daughter in the swing," Engelhart remembers.
Even taking care of necessary tasks can make you feel at fault when it means spending time away from your child. "I feel guilty doing housework and running errands," says Terri Korolev, of San Francisco, mom to Emma, 2 1/2. "Since my daughter won't play on her own for more than 15 minutes, I often resort to turning on a half-hour TV show and then sneaking out of the room so I can cook dinner or do the laundry."
Our culture has become so child-centric, agrees Rosenberg. "But not everything has to be entertaining to be valuable -- and you don't always have to give rapt attention to your kid. Even the smallest child can learn from having time to himself."