I haven't worked this all out in my mind yet to figure out what it all means, but I have an admission to make. A lot of the time, I....really don't like...playing with my kids.
feel guilty about this. My whole life, when I pictured myself as a mother, I imagined running around with my kids, taking them to parks, joining them in games playing with toys, and
simply having lots of fun with them. And I do have my moments where I like to be silly with them and dance and sing and play pretend and give tickles and have fun.
the majority of the time? I'd seriously rather stand in the kitchen
washing dishes and gazing at the kids out the back window than have to go outside with them and play.
I like watching them, snuggling them, or talking with them. But I don't like to be their entertainment. I tell Sly, "Mommy's job is to take care of the family and the house. Your job is just to play. So go play!" But they want me to play with them all the time. And I have to force myself.
Am I not giving them enough attention at other times? Perhaps I'm not being "present" enough when we are spending time together? Or maybe it's just that I've never been good with young children? I can't figure out if there is a problem with me not wanting to play with them, or if it is just a manifestation of my particular temperament.
I love my kids, I love being around
my kids. But it's so much nicer when Tom's wrestling with them on the
floor, and I'm just sitting in the room near them, maybe sewing or
paging through a magazine...enjoying the sounds and sights of my happy
I feel drawn to the image of the typical mother of a couple
generations ago who would feed the kids breakfast, give them a kiss, and
send them out the door to go run around the neighborhood with other
kids all day. Mother as the holder-down-of-the-fort. The mother hen who the little chicks come running back to at the end of the day.
This was all driven home for me recently
because Tom was on a business trip and I had to take care of everyone on
my own for several days. Day times were fine, because we have our
general schedule and I'm used to being home with the kids during
that time. But evening would hit - which is usually when Tom plays with them for a couple hours before bed - and I found myself thinking desperately, "what do I doooooo with them?!"
know that kids learn and relate to people largely through play. And I
absolutely want a good relationship with my kids. So for now, I guess I just need to grin and bare it some days. When they're older,
hopefully we can strengthen that relationship based on other interests and ways of relating.