I have been looking form some validation and advice about my mothering skills. I have two kids, ages 12 and 7, and my husband works away all week, only coming home on weekends. I am a stay-at-home mom and always there to listen, cook, go to sports and school events.
But I really don’t want to play with my kids…board games, video games, play at the park… I would just rather do something else. Though my kids have never complained about it, I feel horrible that I just don’t like to play with them. I guess I never found my inner child.
Does this make me a bad mother?
Take it from someone who used to feel guilty for folding laundry because it took time away from my kids, who were with me pretty much all the time: Step away from the Wii and put your hands where I can see them. Your kids don’t even seem to care whether you play with them anyhow, plus they have each other, and I assume, friends. They are also old enough to play without parental guidance, no matter how much fun it is to see Mom drive off cliffs in Mario Kart. (Done that.)
You are not their Cruise Director, making sure they are entertained during their stay. I don’t know why our generation of moms took on the role of play coordinator, but I like to blame the board game commercials, Game Night, and “Caillou.” They all put pressure on parents to do something they never did before: play. Organize it, oversee it, partake in it, enjoy it.
But, before the Indoor Generation, kids just knew how to play — and they didn’t expect Mom or Dad to join in.
As a mom, you need to provide your kids with shelter, food, clothes, an educations, and love. Whether you want to add your participation in Battleship, Guitar Hero, or Manhunt to that list is up to you. Not adding them, however, doesn’t mean you have failed them. It just means you like to leave the play to the experts.
You’re a good mom!