It Is Important To Play With My Kids. But Today, Can I Just Not?
Audrey, from Head Office, describes her experiences with not enjoying certain kinds of play. Can you relate?
I feel like I should preface this article by stating that I love my children a bazillion infinities (you know what I mean). I feel like I'm supposed to say that because there is this scenario happening these days, where moms are under attack. Thank you Social Media. If one were to complain about an aspect of parenting, then amongst the supportive comments, there are the nasty ones. So, if it is not obvious, I love my kids.
But sometimes I don't like playing with them!
I love sitting down and reading a book with them. I love cuddling under a blanket and watching whatever they want with them. I love sitting around the dinner table talking about their days and I even love helping them with homework! I love playing board games with them and give me a deck of cards any day. I love watching my son play hockey, I love watching my daughter learn to skate, I love watching my youngest son "play" soccer. I love taking them to the park, finding a nice looking bench, and parking myself on it until it's time to go home, with a push on the swing in between. Because, sometimes I just don't want to play with them.
Playtime at the Park
If my kids ask me to play something that involves dramatic play, acting out a scenario in which the monsters and zombies need to be annihilated all the while making shooting noises, I don't like it. If my kids ask me to play any sort of make-believe game, or a game that involves something I have a hard time relating to, I don't like it. If they ask me to get down on the floor and play with toys that involve making pretend noises with my mouth, or voiceovers to the characters, I don't like it. Do I do it? Yes, of course, sometimes. Do I enjoy being able to say "Why don't you ask your brother or sister to play?" Absolutely!
Siblings come in quite handy!
Do I feel guilty for feeling this way? Nope. There are so many ways to play! Physical activity is so important for kids, we all know that. Physical play is so important we all know that. But do I have to like it?
I'm not, not playing these things with them because I'm too preoccupied doing anything else (but even if I was that would still be ok), I'm not ignoring them, it's not because I don't enjoy watching their imaginations at play, and their curiosities about the world around them enriched, I love all of that. I really just don't enjoy it. And I believe that's ok.
I'm not a perfect parent. I don't pretend to be. But I am a great one, one who every day tries her best. As are all parents doing their best, every day, whatever that looks like to them. The kids will be alright, and if they're not, it's not because you didn't want to play zombie monster neighbour tag for the 300th time in a row.
Audrey, Member of Head Office Team with WP Creations