Passionate About Genesee County
and the Moms Who Live Here

Why I’m Done Playing with My Kids

I’m pretty sure most of us don’t remember our own mothers getting on the floor to play Barbie Dolls or Legos with us.

Today, however, there is no doubt in any mother’s mind that things are different in the child-rearing department. In the blessed 80’s and 90’s, our own moms were too busy trailblazing the workforce or creating a sense of home. They didn’t worry if we mastered our letters by age three or if we were eating all-organic. They let us drink pop {we actually didn’t die} and ride our bikes all over the neighborhood.

Moms of Today
That’s just not the case today. Moms today are expected to work and come home enthusiastic to prepare dinner and play hide-and-seek. Or, we are to stay home all day catering to our kids’ needs and desires without, God forbid, wanting a minute to get away. If you ask me, this having-it-all thing kind of blows. The moms and kids are suffering.

Independence
When I first became a SAHM, I overcompensated my lack of income for crafts – so much, that I think I’ve crippled my first-born’s independence. When the kids went to sleep, I’d nuzzle into my corner of the couch and head to Pinterest to prepare the crafts, learning activity, or busy bag for the following day. If we weren’t doing that, I’d try to set-up play dates or pick a local story time to go to. When my son was two and three, I didn’t give him a lot of opportunities to be bored or create his own play. And today, at almost 5, he’s always looking for Mom or Dad to play with him. God gave you a sister for a reason, buddy. Go play with her.

Kid Number Two
Well, with kid number two, I’m trying to avoid making that same mistake. I know that being bored is good for these kids. They need to use their own imaginations and come up with their own fun – ya know, like we did as kids. Our moms let us run amuck from sun-up to sun-down. They never provided us with any activities. We got lost in playing house and t-ball games with the entire neighborhood. Sure, my brothers beat me up while not under my mom’s watch, but our parents didn’t try to solve every problem for us.

It’s true, my 2.5-year-old doesn’t know all of her upper and lower case letters as her big brother did *gasp.* But, I’m sure she’ll soar in other aspects because she’s learned to be independent. Maybe focusing in school will be easier for her. Maybe her social skills will be better. Maybe I’m raising a delinquent. Who knows? What I do know is that there needs to be a balance here, one where the moms aren’t feeling guilty all damn day for not providing their kids stimulating activities.

Executing this New Plan of Independence
Implementing this new habit has been a rough go. There are no rainbows. There are no butterflies. There are tantrums, pouting, and fighting. Most days, I may as well throw that whistle around my neck. But, with all of this comes growth. My children are learning {some days it feels like it’s at a snail’s pace} to play with another human, to coexist, and to at least attempt to solve their disputes. I’m sure I’d have to act like less of a referee if I got down and played with them more, but I understand that these life lessons are vital to their development, too. Pinterest, oh how I love you, but I’m afraid we need to take a break.

How do you foster your kids’ independence?

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2 Responses to Why I’m Done Playing with My Kids

  1. Mary C
    Mary C May 24, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

    THIS! THIS, COMPLETELY!

    Angela, I think we may be post soul-mates, because we are always on the same brainwave! I love it!

  2. Angela Repke
    Angela Repke May 24, 2017 at 1:27 pm #

    Dessert eating, Ina May, soul-mates forever, girlfriend!