I’m sitting on the couch in the living room with the doors open listening to the birds.
I’m reading a book and drinking a coffee when my daughter comes up to me and asks, “Mama will you play with me?”
Those words always feel like a loaded gun. They feel that way because I don’t like playing with my kids in the way they like playing with me.
I cautiously agree to play knowing this might be the only chance I get with the busy week ahead.
We go to her room and she has her brand new barbie house all set up. Every accessory in its place. Each piece of furniture placed just so.
The feeling of dread hit me like a ton of bricks. At that moment I was hoping the phone would ring and I could be pulled away from this rock solid agreement I made.
That didn’t happen and here I was sitting with a new Chelsea barbie in my hand.
“Mom, you pretend I’m the mom and you’re the daughter.”
“Mom, you pretend it’s bedtime and you go to bed.”
If only that was real life.
“Mom, you pretend we are riding bikes and you got hurt.”
This goes on for what felt like 64 years.
I hate to pretend play. I can’t get into it because I am to pretend but never allowed to act it out.
This is one reason why I hate playing with my kids.
The thing is I still want to spend quality time with them… just not pretend playing.
The sad fact of life is kids are only little for so long. After a while of wanting your attention, they will eventually decide they don’t want it anymore.
So how do I get past this hate of playing with my kids and still spend quality time together?
Ditching the Guilt
I refuse to feel guilty for not playing with my kids. I have seen their imaginations grow farther than I could have imagined when I don’t play with them.
I feel like I’m hindering them by playing with them when I don’t like the activity.
So I’m choosing to not feel guilty for refusing to pretend playtime with my kids.
They will have much fon der memories if I allow them to have their pretend play and cultivate our relationship in a different way.
What I Like To Do Instead
Playing with my girls isn’t always barbies or dolls.
We have fun together doing things I actually enjoy doing.
Finding those things when my oldest was coming out of her toddler phase was difficult at first.
Then I allowed myself time to really focus on what I enjoyed.
I thought back to the awesome play days where I smiled and laughed while spending time with her.
You see I do like to do things she enjoys. It just took a little time to realize what those were.
I like to tell my kids stories from my childhood. My oldest always laughs when she hears the silly things I would do… like singing into my hairbrush and choreographing an entire dance routine to Brittney’s latest tune.
We have dance parties.
There have been so many dance parties and both girls end up in fits because their mama let loose and they got to witness the carefree person within.
We do science projects.
We enjoy making things boil, crackle and blow. This is an adult required activity and what better way to spend an hour…
We go on walks in nature.
I am at peace in nature. Nature brings my soul to a place of calm. This is something I like to share with my girls because they too become a different person when they are with nature.
We play with legos and playdough.
I love sitting down and building things. My girls always have me build them crazy cars and houses.
We have movie marathons.
Who doesn’t enjoy a good movie? I always end up singing the music from the movie.
We read books and play games.
I love story time. This is one place I can allow my imagination to run. I use crazy voices and try to get the girls into it.
Not playing with my kids or enjoying every interest isn’t going to ruin my relationship with them. I simply embrace the other things they enjoy doing that I also like.
Taking the time to try things out is what made all the difference for me.
And accepting the fact that my girls and I will never agree on everything allowed me to have inner peace when it came time to say no to pretend play.
I now arm myself when I hear the question… “Mama, will you play with me?”
So, do you hate playing with your kids?
Determine Your Family Values!
Learn what your family values are today so you can use them as a guide in your household.