I’m having one of those days, if I’m going to be completely honest;
I have a lot of those days. I feel the need to say something that not a lot of mum bloggers
say. Playing with kids is boring. Not all the time, but a decent chunk of it.
Some days there are only so many times you can put Peppa Pig to bed in the dolls house, (about 27). I really like tea, almost as much as I like coffee (and that’s saying something) but about nine and a half minutes into the tea party I’m about ready to stab myself in the eyeball with a 5cm long pink wooden spoon.
I’m not even going to give the obligatory “I love my kids more than anything ra ra ra,” disclaimer.
It’s ok that I think playing with my kids is boring – it’s mutual. If I were to choose my ideal activity she would be equally as bored. Wanna watch mummy blog? No. Scout also doesn’t want to watch Q&A with us and she gives about as much of a crap about the election results and I do about what the residents of her toy box are up to.
But little poems like this do the Facebook rounds, they are a bit lovely and they remind me to slow down and stick my nose in the baby’s ear and breath in that sweet brain air at least twice a day. They even make me tear up because I’m a bit of a freak like that but more than anything they make me feel a bit cafluffled. Enough with all the freakin pressure.
Yes the baby is going to grow up really soon, they don’t stay little for long but sometimes you just need to read every second page of the bedtime book then go and drink wine. And seriously, seriously? How quickly would the house descend into complete crack-den-ness if I this advice were to be taken literally all the time? Docs would be called.
So this is how I console myself when I feel like a bad parent because I couldn’t be bothered playing with my kids;
One, when we were kids, if an adult wanted to play with us, it would mean they were weird.
Two; David Lancy, Ph.D, professor of anthropology helpfully points out that “Throughout history and in the majority of the world’s cultures, adults rarely play with children.”His blog will totally give you heaps of justification for hiding in the pantry from your kids.* If this concept interests you there is a great article that looks into Lancy’s research called Leave Those Kids Alone.
Three, the people best suited to play with kids are other kids, they do a much better job at it anyway.
I’m always seeing studies by experts touting the importance of adult-child play time. You should probably listen to them as they are actually qualified to tell you these things unlike myself. But all I hear is “Interacting with your child is so important and here’s how you should do it…blah blah blah, hide and seek, blah
blah blah, imaginary car game, ra ra – bang on a bit more…dress ups.” What the hell is wrong with developing vocabulary and spending quality time together over creating art, doing some housework, cooking, reading a book, going to the shops or beach?
You know, regular stuff that either has to be done or that everyone can enjoy.
Here’s the thing; kids couldn’t give two craps what you’re doing so long as they are getting attention. I could say just about anything in an excited manner and Scout would jump onboard. “Wanna rearrange the furniture in the lounge room today?”, “how about we see how long we can stand really still for?, I bet you can’t hide from mummy for five minutes without me finding you? Let’s dress the baby in silly outfits and take pictures of him!
So enough with the freakin pressure already, cut yourself some slack, make your kids cut you some slack too and know that you are not the only one who gets really bloody bored with their kids sometimes, I’m with you.
Right now I have an abundance of lemons and a bored toddler and you can be sure as shit that as soon as I get off this computer, I will not be sitting on a tiny chair making something with Play Dough or having a tea party, I will be walking the kids to the shops to buy butter before coming home and making lemon curd** with a stupidly excited little helper. When we are finished I will drink actual tea while she makes imaginary lemon curd out of Play Dough in her tiny kitchen and feeds it to Yoda. And I dare say it’s going to be pretty damn enjoyable for everyone involved.
*There’s no way I’m the only one who does that?
**I will be using this lemon curd recipe
thank you thank you thank you!
Thank you!!! I have the shortest attention span ever & get bored stupid playing with Mia so quickly. There’s only so many times i can get up off the lounge & come & find her as she crawls into my bedroom giggling waiting for mummy to chase her. I find myself feeling guilty for opening the kitchen cupboard to let her entertain herself while i attempt to clean my crack-den. I’ll turn up for a playdate at her little friends houses & their mum’s will have freshly made play dough in an assortment of colours & i wonder if i’m already bad at this mum stuff? I just don’t have a clue what i’m meant to be doing to “stimulate her development”?
Michelle, You are welcome. It’s so hard sometimes, the guilt comes from every direction and because I always blog about activities for kids I sometimes worry that I add to the pressure. I have been teaching Scout her sounds with letter stamps, for some reason I find it less boring than tea parties. I can actually get involved! Try the pumpkin curd too! xoxo
I’m hoping that as my munchkin gets older i’ll find playing with her more fun as we can do more activities. At the moment i have no clue & i’ll be revisiting your older posts for inspiration.
Monica, I just posted a comment to you and it appears to have disappeared. Boo. It just said how awesome you are and that you should cut yourself some slack! Just get her Montessoring, pouring drinks, scrubbing tables, getting herself dressed and she will feel nice and stimulated. xoxoxoxoxo
Hurray, thank you for this blogpost! Hope Yoda appreciated the lemon curd 😉
Janneke, you’re welcome. Yoda never seems that excited but he should, he’s spoiled xoxo
You make me laugh so hard!! Pressure there most certainly is.. In this day and age (Makes me sound old) parenting is so serious and everyone is judgy!! I love playing with my kids in short stints and then I enjoy doing stuff I like to do.. It’s so important to have that balance and to be selfish occasionally so you don’t loose yourself.
Cheers to the good times ‘with and without’ our little squirts!! 🙂
Thanks Bab’s! It is hard not to put pressure on ourselves when it seems like lots of mummy’s are competing against each other. The mums in my mothers group take their kidlets to kindergym, music lessons, storytime at the library, i just don’t have the time or money for all that & i worry that my piglet is missing out.
I love your thoughts on this and agree wholeheartedly. Raising children can’t always be all play, play, play. Making chores fun is an awesome way to do it. I’m still trying to trick myself into thinking housework is a fun thing to do 🙂
Umm – lemon curd – spread it on top of a sponge cake and just endulge!