I don't play well, and I fear that's what my children will remember about me.
That I, though love them dearly, don't enjoy them.
And that, well, it couldn't be further from the truth.
The truth that they are my world.
My reason for breathing.
The only thing I really care about.
And the truth that, for some mothers like me, doing the things outside of the things that prove we are working hard because they produce a visible output is incredibly hard.
So we do the laundry.
We mow the lawn
We clean the house.
We set appointments, make and keep a schedule, and chauffeur everyone around.
Then we rinse and repeat.
And all of these things validate our existence, right?
They prove to our husbands and kids, any house visitors, the general public, and ourselves that we can
keep a home,
keep our children fed and clean,
and keep up with "all the things."
But the problem is this...
We’re forgetting the most important thing about being a parent, and that's being present.
Not like in the same house present and not like next to them present, but actively listening, engaging and participating present and for me, with three young kids, this means playing.
Because play means more than anything to them these days.
And so I've got this question that's been plaguing me:
If play is so productive for children and adults alike, and research supports this, why does it feel so unproductive?
Why does play, to an adult, specifically a parent, feel like avoidance of responsibility, when in fact, it's pretty much our most important responsibility as caretakers?
I don't know.
I don't know if play will get easier for me.
But now I'm hella focused on making it my primary responsibility to ensure that it does.
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