David Pereiras/Fotolia

7 Reasons Why I Don't Play With My Children

By
Share
Ad failed to load

Yes, you guessed it: I'm an imperfect mother. I'm more than imperfect, actually, and I'm sure some could even argue that, from time to time, I totally suck at this whole mom thing. You see, I don't play with my children, I don't pack their lunches, I don't feed them breakfast, and I definitely don't cook every night. I do, however, forget appointments, skip activities when I'm too tired, forget to check nightly homework, and feed them pizza once — sometimes twice — a week. I know, right? Why did I even bother having children?

I watch moms and dads at the playground — chasing their kids around, creating fun games for them to play together, collecting rocks and digging in dirt — while I sit on the bench and wonder which part of the playground my kids are at. I watch these parents with a bit of envy, to be honest, because I don't really understand why I can't be more like them. Why can't I enjoy playing with my kids? Why do I wish, sometimes more than anything, that they'd stop asking me to play with them? Maybe something is wrong with me, because I hate pretend-play. I've tried to like it, you guys, but I've failed.

I mean, sometimes we do play board games as a family. I have, maybe a total of 10 times, played with Shopkins and monster trucks. I may have also pretended to be sick so my kids can pretend to take care of me. But getting down and playing with them for an extended period of time? Well, I just won't do it. My kids definitely deserve better, so it's a great thing that their dad loves to do all the things I'm just unwilling to do. Because I refuse to play with my kids, for the following reasons:

Ad failed to load

Because I Want Them To Learn On Their Own

Giphy

I am trying to raise independent children. They make their own breakfast, pack their own lunches or buy them at school, clean their rooms, make their beds, and help with chores around the house. One of the reasons they are the way they are is because I don't feel like doing all of this stuff for them, especially when I know they are fully capable of accomplishing these tasks on their own. This all translates when it comes to play time too, because they don't need me to entertain them. They can do it on their own.

Because I Want To Foster Their Creativity

When kids play on their own, they are able to develop their own imagination. They create scenarios and stories in their minds I could never create. When I watch my son play with his cars, he clearly has come up with situations in his imaginary world. I feel like instead of helping my kids with their imagination, I would stifle it.

Because I Don't Know How

Giphy

You guys, I suck at playing pretend. In fact, I was never any good at playing, even as a kid. All my Barbies ever did was lie next to each other. I used to design clothes and sew for them, but as far as playing went, I could never create exciting stories and plots to facilitate "playing." I didn't have many toys when I was a child, so maybe that's why I didn't have a chance to develop that kind of imagination.

Ad failed to load

Because It's Boring

My daughter once asked me to play with her and her Shopkins, and although I would have rather cut off my arms, I said yes. I wanted to be a nice mom. So, I asked her how she wants me to play and she said, "I'll show you." After approximately one minute, I was over it. I was bored and annoyed and all she wanted to do was have conversations about what her Shopkins were eating for dinner and what they were going to do this weekend. How do parents find playing with their kids enjoyable? I just don't get it.

Because I'm Lazy & Tired

Giphy

I work two jobs, and for one of my jobs I wear way too many hats. As a result, I am exhausted most of the time. Come to think of it, I've been exhausted since I became a parent, and no amount of sleep ever seems to completely alleviate my exhaustion. So, because I'm always so tired, when I'm home I just want to lie on the couch and enjoy some uninterrupted silence for a few hours. So, yes, sometimes I'm way too lazy to play with my kids, and probably because I consider playing pretend about as enjoyable as waking up at 5:00 a.m. and going to work.

Because They Have Enough Entertainment

My kids have the world of play things at their fingertips. In fact, the basement of our home is unofficially a toy store and a library. They have a ton of toys, board games, and books. Plus, there are two of them. Why can't they figure out this playing thing on their own without bothering me? Why?

Ad failed to load

Because I Do Enough For & With Them

Giphy

There's no denying that, as their mother, I already do enough for my children. Despite the fact I raise them to be independent, I am still the one taking them to their activities and their appointments. I am still the one buying them their necessities, cooking dinner, doing laundry, helping them with homework, taking them on playdates, scheduling events, and creating enrichment opportunities. Can't I get a pass on the playing thing? Well, I'm giving myself one. So, there.

Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

6 Early Signs You're Going To Have A Short Labor, According To Experts

As far as I'm concerned, a short labor is right up there with winning the lottery in terms of lucky life events. (And when I was actually in labor, I would absolutely have traded a bucketful of lottery winnings for a speedier birth.) While some women…
By Kelly Mullen-McWilliams

Kids Will Love These TV Shows & Movies Coming To Netflix In March

You can always count on Netflix to keep it fresh: though there are already so many movies and shows to choose from, every month there's an influx of new content to keep your entire family entertained. As February enters its final weeks, it's time to …
By Megan Walsh

Here Are 10 Ways To Boost Your Baby's Immunity To The Flu

As I'm sure you've read in the thousands upon thousands of articles written about it this winter, the flu is spreading like wildfire and it's bad. Really bad. This strand of flu is the worst we've had in a very long time and it's the most widespread,…
By Abi Berwager Schreier

Khloé Kardashian Asked Twitter About Her Bump, & Moms Totally Delivered

Like her younger sister Kylie Jenner, Khloé Kardashian managed to keep most of her pregnancy a sort-of secret. But unlike Jenner, Kardashian chose to publicly announce her pregnancy several months before the baby's due date. While there's no wrong wa…
By Sophie Hirsh

21 Moms Share The Most Surprising Part About Having A C-Section

Honestly, I don't think we, as a culture, talk about C-sections nearly enough, especially considering so many mothers experience them. And because of a number of factors, the little we do talk about it always seems to be a familiar narrative: "It's n…
By Jamie Kenney

13 Yummy Instant Pot Recipes To Make Under 30 Minutes

An Instant Pot seems to be the must-have appliance in every kitchen these days. If you are anything like me and never knew the beauty of a Instant Pot, you are about to have your life changed. Basically, you put some ingredients into a pot, set the t…
By Kristin Manna

9 Things The First Six Months Of Motherhood Will Teach You About Your Baby

Personally, the first six months of motherhood was a mixed bag. I learned some harsh lessons about myself that made taking care of my baby seem overwhelming. For example, I was clueless, and no amount of research could help me feel like anything but …
By Steph Montgomery

11 Photos You *Must* Take During The Last Days Of Your Pregnancy

During my first pregnancy, I took a photo each week to document my growing belly. I stopped around 36 weeks, though. I hated how I looked in those pictures, and didn't think I'd want to relive those moments. I was wrong. My second pregnancy was a dum…
By Steph Montgomery

6 Red Flags To Definitely Look Out For After Your Baby Falls

The first time my infant son tried to take a few steps, he tumbled and bumped his head on the coffee table. My blood turned to ice in my veins and I froze. There truly isn't anything quite like the feeling a parent gets when their little one gets hur…
By Sarah Bunton

These 9 Instant Pot Recipes Will Make Even The Pickiest Eater Happy At The Table

Like any parent, I've had my share of parenting hits and misses, but one of my favorite "wins" is my daughter's diverse palate. I don't even know if I can take credit for it, but I would like to think I had something to do with her love for lentils, …
By Caroline Shannon-Karasik

Turns Out, Kim Kardashian's Favorite Mom Products Look A Lot Like Your Own Faves

Being a mom is really hard work, especially for the first few months, and Kim Kardashian West is no different in that regard. Now the mother of three, Kardashian says that there are a few products she just can't live without when it comes to raising …
By Abi Berwager Schreier

10 Things No One Tells You About Having A Baby In Your 30s

If you're like me, you evaluate the pros and cons of any major life decision. When my husband and I were considering starting a family, I thought about my career, education, and financial stability. I wanted to know how a pregnancy and childbirth wou…
By Steph Montgomery

Soda Might Hurt Your Fertility, Study Says, & Here's What You Can Do

Who doesn't love sugary drinks? I stopped drinking soda years ago, but I still love gulping down those fancy Starbucks coffee beverages. I don't have a big sweet tooth, but I am a sucker for sugar-sweetened beverages every now-and-then. Turns out, th…
By Annamarya Scaccia

5 Red Flags Your Toddler Isn't Eating Enough

Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters, at least in my experience. You offer mashed potatoes, they want french fries. You give them crackers, they scream for chips. It's frustrating, to be sure, but it's usually their way of vying for independence. It…
By Candace Ganger

35 Moms Share The Most Disgusting Things Their Husbands Do

I'm a human being who revels in challenges. I like when people present me with one, especially if they don't think I can meet or succeed it, and I like taking a challenge on, especially if it's unexpected. So when I aimed to uncover the most disgusti…
By Jamie Kenney

How Having Kids In Your 20s Affects You Later In Life

For parents, like myself, who had kids in their 20s, there are a number of questions that come to mind. When you're deciding what your future will look like, you'll likely consider what this means for your health, career, and more down the line. Thin…
By Tessa Shull

Study: Drinking Two Glasses Of Wine A Day Is Good For Your Mind — Here's Why

There’s more scientific proof that a daily drink or two isn't necessarily a bad thing and could have a place in an overall healthy lifestyle. A new study out of the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) in New York found that — in mice, at le…
By Tiffany Thomas

Research Says Eating Carbs Can Lead To A Healthy Pregnancy, So Bring On The Pasta

In the world of me, no food is better than bread. I know it's supposed to be pretty terrible for you, high in calories, low in protein, and full of that modern-day demon, gluten... but guys, it's really yummy. Especially warm out of the oven, when th…
By Jen McGuire

These Photos Of Prince George Then & Now Will Give You Serious Baby Fever

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child in Spring 2018. With all of the excitement surrounding the new baby, it's easy to forget all of the good times that have already passed. The couple's eldest is already well into the sc…
By Azure Hall

This Is, Hands Down, The *Grossest* Thing Babies Do Inside The Womb

Your baby's life in the womb may be safe and warm, but it's also kind of grody. Seriously, the whole process of growing into a human being includes more than a few icky moments along the way. But this is the grossest thing babies do inside the womb b…
By Lindsay E. Mack