I have a confession to make: I don’t enjoy playtime. I find most kids activities to be mind numbing and the sounds of their musical toys makes me want to toss every single one of them in a dumpster when my kids aren’t looking.
There’s a lot of guilt associated with being a stay at home mom who doesn’t enjoy playing with her kids all day, but as I’ve researched online, it seems that I’m not the only one in this predicament. There are lots of us out there who love our kids but we just don’t love playtime. As time progresses, I’d found a few strategies to get me through this.
Here are 5 solutions to consider if you don’t want to play with your kids.
- Give yourself a break. Playing with your kids is a modern day construct. When I was growing up adults and children never played together, kids played with other kids, or toys, and the adults supervised. While there are obvious benefits of being a more interactive parent, entire generations were raised in a different style and have still managed to flourish. Your kids will be fine.
- Make the moments count. I’ve found that my kids just want to interact with me, quality time means more to them than actually playing. If you’re not playful, simply incorporate your little ones into whatever activity you’re already doing. I get Myra to help me load and unload the washing machine and dryer, and when I’m cooking she likes to sit and watch. I also like to sing and dance (all be it off key and with no rhythm) but I’ve found that she gets a kick out me dancing and often joins in with me. I also enjoy going on walks, so when the weather’s decent, I can always take the kiddos on a walk, or even on a drive to run errands or do grocery pickup.
- Find a kid activity that you like. For me, I’ve always liked Legos so when I’m playing with Myra, I often pick up a bunch of blocks and start building things. The same goes for reading, I love reading so I’ll read a few books to her during the day. Library story time groups are another great way to get out the house and keep the kiddos occupied for free.
- Suck it up. OK here’s the thing, we’ll blink and this will all be over. The days feel long and draining now, but guaranteed, we’ll look back on this time and think, how did they grow up so fast? And we’ll miss the days when they were crying for us and wanting us to play. At least a few times a week, suck it up and commit to at least 20 mins of this stuff. Trust me, I know that time moves at a snails pace when you don’t like the activity, but it really is just 20 mins. You can do it.
- Be kind to yourself! Some days you’ll be more hands on, other days you might be more interested in scrolling through your phone. That makes you human. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for not playing. There are so many other ways to make your kids feel special and loved: positive words, hugs and cuddles, sharing snacks etc… do your best and don’t stress it.