Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Playtime with Mom :: Mom2Mom

My husband is an expert at playing with our children.  He spends hours on the floor driving cars, building Lincoln Log forts, and connecting Thomas the Tank Engine tracks.  He reads books aloud with our children and often changes his voice for each character.  And he actually thinks an afternoon playing Star Wars Wii is fun!

Me?  Not so much.  Entering my children's play world is difficult for me.

I'm too literal minded during imaginative play. 

I know I played as a child but I don't remember tea parties with my dolls or imaginary friends.  However, I do recall organizing accessories and clothes for my Barbies. (Good practice for organizing hair accessories for my daughter!)

Even when I convinced my brother that we should spread mud all over our faces, arms and legs it wasn't for PRETEND facials.  I thought our south Arkansas red clay mud would work just as good as a spa's "mud."  Too bad my mom didn't appreciate my efforts at skin care!

I'm too focused on being productive.

One of my mottos is "Do what you have to do.  Then do what you want to do."  By this I mean do your work first and play with the leftover time.  Children don't want to wait until all of my housework is completed (is it really ever?!).  They want to play immediately, not three hours later.

I have a hard time sitting on the floor to play with Thomas trains when my sink is full of dirty dishes, my laundry baskets overflow with dirty clothes, and lesson plans need writing.  Ten minutes constructing a barn from Lincoln Logs feels like forever when my spot on the floor gives me a view of the dust bunny collection under my son's bed.  Not that I want to do laundry, dishes and dusting, they just call my name from my To Do list.

The Girlie got tired so Daddy pulled the bike and she rode in the cart.

I want to do fun-to-me things.

Honestly, playing Star Wars Wii will never be high on my list of fun things to do.  Not that I don't enjoy Star Wars or Wii.  It's just not my preferred method of relaxation or fun.

I would much rather be blogging or reading a book than most of the play activities my children invite me to join.  Blogging excites me.  Reading historical fiction is fun for me.

Through the 7 years I've been a mom I've tried to deny my natural inclinations and play with my children.  Sometimes I do a good job of playing.  Sometimes I don't.

Is entering the imaginative world your children create difficult for you?  Or are you a natural at it like my husband?  Let's talk about it in the comments!


Debi Bonilla said...

You sound alot like me.. when I was little I could organize and re organize my barbie clothes but actually pretend play was really not something for me (except for the occasional playing house in the forts we built) I have a hard time "playing" with my children but my husband on the other hand has NO problem playing.. lol..

Healthy Branscoms said...

I love your blog! It is so inspiring! I became a follower! :) Erin


Amy said...

Yes, Andy is the natural! He does so good playing with them! I on the other hand tend to be the planner (planning outings, days, etc.)! Seems to be a nice balance! :) But when Daddy's gone, then I really try to step it up--no small challenge! :)

Thankful for a playful Daddy!!!

Stephanie's Mommy Brain said...

Debi, I love that you organized and reorganized your Barbie clothes. It's so funny to see personality characteristics even at a young age!

Erin, thanks for stopping by! I hope you join our conversation. We have a lot of fun discussing issues most moms deal with (like children who refuse to flush the toilet!).

Amy, you are so right that our planning skills balance out our husbands' spontaneous play skills. It's good to have both!

*carrie* said...


I can definitely relate to this, and appreciate you sharing. I loved pretending as a child, but find it so hard to get into that mode now. I would much rather play a game or go to the park or library together.

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