Something I have been struggling with lately as a mother is playing with my kids. Seems strange as play should be the easiest thing I can do with them, but I am just finding it hard to enjoy play time.
My eldest Emily has been difficult to play with since she became a toddler. As a baby I could tickle her and look into her eyes and she was happy but toddlers are a different story. As she grew older I began to try different activities with her such as water play, painting, play dough and even using rice in a container like a sandpit. Each activity I would try would end badly. Water would be tipped all over the floor, rice spread from one end of the house to the other, paint everywhere but on the paper! Now a year later I am still struggling to find things she is interested in doing for more than a minute and things that she cannot turn into a giant mess.
|Painting = Disaster|
|Even eating a bowl of yoghurt can turn ugly|
Recently, she has been asking me to play with her which is lovely but I am finding that I am either busy doing housework, busy with Claire or just not all that interested in playing with her. I know I am not alone and I have heard others say that they don’t enjoy playing with their kids. But I really want to enjoy playing with them and I want it to be a way I show my kids how much I love them.
I don’t have the answers yet but here are some thoughts I have had recently that you may or may not find helpful. Firstly, I am a stay at home mum not a stay at home house cleaner. Therefore, my priority needs to be looking after my kids,s and not making sure the bench sparkles. A clean house is important but not at the expense of quality time with my kids. Secondly, not enjoying play is (for me) not a good excuse. The main reason I am not enjoying it is that I am distracted and wanting to do other things. I really want to work on being in the moment with my kids during play and forget that the washing needs hanging out. I also know that the reason Emily ruins the activities is mainly due to her not having my attention. If I am able to give her my focused attention and demonstrate my desire to enjoy play with her it is likely that she will not paint her face or tip all the pencils on the floor.
So over the next few weeks I am going to take my own advice and try to learn to enjoy play with my kids...who knows, I may even learn to love it!