For as much ‘time’ as I spend with my kids, I rarely play with them.

There’s work to be done. There’s finally no work to be done and time to just sit. There’s …fill-in-the-blank.

And then there is my dirty little secret: I really don’t enjoy it.

I can’t play Lego’s for that long. My ass starts to get numb on the floor and I suck at putting things together. I can only pretend a stuffed dog and a stuffed cat are best friends and make food in the pretend kitchen for a bit before my eyes glaze over and I check Twitter or begin to read the news.

So tonight, after an exhausting double birthday party at my home, where children screamed and jumped and made a mess…I sat down in a heap of defeat only to hear ‘Mom…you haven’t jumped in the jumper with us yet!’

I knew I could get out of it. I knew I could say no. I knew I could easily send them off to spend another 30 minutes in the rented monstrosity on my front lawn.

But I didn’t say no. I said yes.

I think the kids are better at this than I am

Mind you I didn’t last for more than a few slides and a few jumps…but I said yes. And I smiled and jumped and laughed for those very brief moments and came back inside.

It wasn’t much. But I said yes.


  1. I thought I was the only one, I abhor playing “pretend”, I don’t do well with dolly’s or house. Give me a bat and ball though and I am all over it.

    Good for you for saying yes!
    .-= Adrienne´s last blog ..Krajee =-.

  2. What a great lesson….so many times as parents I think we all do this and it doesn’t seem like a big deal to say no to something that seems so “small.” I will bet though, that the kids loved every second of it….and those brief moments will stick with them. To them, it was huge!

  3. Trying to let go of the guilt over just how often…or almost always…that I say ‘no’ though is rough. Working very hard on saying ‘yes’ a lot more. Trying anyway.

  4. The guilt is awful… of the hardest things about being a parent. I go back to when my kids were toddlers and think about the guilt of what I could have done differently. Ugh! But this post today and that silly picture of you will stick with me…..make that your wallpaper on your computer….great reminder of what a “yes” looks like! 🙂

  5. Oh good… it’s not just me!

    I think part of it is that our brains aren’t busy developing like theirs are. We don’t need to sit puzzling together pieces to make a Lego thing or playing make-believe with the stuffed friend to form those brain paths… So it becomes really old for us really quickly.

    But there’s that need to bond with our kids… and to let them know that we see them as important people in our lives. So we try hard to say yes on those times where we can.

    It’s about all you can do, hon.

    I was talking to my kidlet about this just last night – when she asked me if my Mommy played with me a lot as a kid her age. I had to answer no. But I kind of understand it better now from the other side – it wasn’t that my mother didn’t want to spend time with me – it’s that we had different ideas of what fun was! 🙂

    Hang in there. Yes goes a long ways.
    .-= Lucretia M Pruitt´s last blog ..Another Top 10 Tips to Survive & Thrive at SXSWi =-.

  6. does it count? do two jumps count as playing? can they tell that we would really rather be doing something else? does that much count? parenting is hard.

  7. You have no idea how refreshing it is to hear you say that you don’t enjoy playing. I HATE IT!!! Even when I was a child I wasn’t one to go outside and “play” for hours. I was content with my barbies and imagination. I always feel so bad when I tell my 3 year old, “no, I can’t right now,” or “we will tomorrow,” or “you do it and I’ll come and look.” I do try my hardest, but it really is hard to say yes. Thanks for this!
    .-= Danielle´s last blog ..My confession…. =-.

  8. I know exactly what you mean. I feel awful and terribly guilty about it. I think I am going to try to say yes more often, too.

  9. I have been convincing the girl to play board Life or Monopoly or Wii Sports or something I can at least halfway get into lately. Although, I as forced to undergo an extensive Barbie fashion show on Saturday afternoon. Eek.
    .-= Rita Arens´s last blog ..Cake Boss Strikes Again =-.

  10. That’s awesome! I’m not very good at playing either (I wasn’t even when I was a child…I just read books all the time). So anytime my husband snaps a pic of me on a swing or sliding board or doing anything play-related I make sure I print a copy so the kids don’t forget I was fun once in awhile. Not often. But once in awhile.

  11. It’s so much harder to say yes than it is to say no. I’m trying, too. (But I looooove Legos and often continue playing after boys are done!)
    .-= pgoodness´s last blog ..On accomplishments =-.

  12. This is me too. And I think play doh is boring. On the plus side, when I do play with my kids they’re always super excited. They won’t take us for granted, Erin. LOL!
    .-= Lawyer Mama´s last blog ..Ask Lawyer Mama: Freedom of Speech =-.

    .-= nic @mybottlesup´s last blog invitation for taye diggs… sort of… =-.

  14. Yep, yep, yep. Playing is hard work for grown ups. That’s why I didn’t stop at one kid — investing in playmates! I don’t feel guilty, though, as long as we still have fun together reading, walking, driving, cooking, whatever … and as long as we do say “yes” every once in a while.
    .-= Rebecca @ Playground Confidential´s last blog ..The Still of the Night =-.

  15. Now, jumping in the bouncy house or sliding? Totally could do that. Playing Candyland until I must commit some senseless act of violence? That’s what my husband is for.
    .-= patois´s last blog ..It Takes One to Know One =-.

  16. My son once said, “Mommy doesn’t play. Mommy cooks and drives”. That was years ago. He’s just turned 8. It made me want to say “yes” more often. You have just given me another reminder. Thanks. I needed that.

  17. I feel part guilt for feeling that way and part relief that I’m not the only one.

  18. LOVE the photo.
    .-= Al_Pal´s last blog ..Sensitivity: I have it. =-.

  19. I think saying “yes” is huge….kids remember that, even if you only play for a few minutes.
    .-= Funkidivagirl´s last blog ..How (Not) To Fly A Kite =-.

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