Mum Confession: I Hate Playing With My Kids

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I have a confession: I hate playing with my kids.

If I have to play Barbies one more time, I may just poke one of those dainty, pointed plastic feet in my eye.

I don’t recall my parents playing endless games of dolls and tea parties with me when I was a kid. Maybe they did and I don’t remember. Does that mean I can skip it with my kids because they won’t remember anyway?

Don’t get me wrong I love spending time with my kids. They get plenty of quality time and definitely don’t miss out on any fun. We do outings and adventures a LOT.

And on any given day I’ll happily watch Moana for the 1000th time and sing every word. I’ll even do puzzles, colour in and read every picture book on the shelf.

On holidays, I’m generally up for board games, playing cards, flying kites and building sandcastles.

But please don’t make me build Lego. Or play dolls or act out bizarre scenarios with tiny Little People figures. And don’t get me started on playdough or craft!

The guilt of not being a sit-on-the-floor-and-play-mum kills me. Mostly with my youngest who seems completely incapable of playing by herself, so spends every waking minute begging me to play.

Ironically, when I do relent and agree to play, I’m mostly rendered redundant due to her controlling tendencies. But I’m not allowed to leave. Often I’ll try to creep away under the guise of getting us a snack or doing a quick chore. The reprieve doesn’t last long though and any extended absence is berated harshly with hands on hips and stompy little feet.

But I can’t help it. I hate playing.

I thought I’d love having a girl to play Barbies and dolls with but in truth I find it mind-numbingly torturous.

Maybe it’s because she’s my third and I’ve already suffered through a decade of playing trains, cars and Lego with her brothers? Maybe it’s because I work from home and I’m always thinking about the zillion other things I should be doing?

Or maybe it’s just because I hate playing?

I hope this doesn’t make me a bad mum. Fortunately, she has her brothers to play with her in the afternoons and weekends so I rest a little easier knowing that at least I provided live-in playmates!

Do you enjoy playing with your kids? Or do you hate it just like me?

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About Author

Renee Meier

Renée is a freelance writer, perpetual student and aspiring novelist. In her spare time she’s the sole parent to 3 rambunctious little people. She survives predominantly on coffee and squishy hugs.

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