To Play or Not to Play?
One question I'm often asked is, "do you love playing with children?" Although this may come as a surprise to most, my answer to that question is "no." I do have a special love for babies, nursing, cuddling and playing with them, but I have never had much of an interest in "getting down on the ground," or playing house, cars, school, etc. I have always felt more of a pull in the direction of nurturing and loving them and I've left their playing and learning to be developed through each other and school.
One of the many great benefits to having eight children is that they love to play together. No matter the age difference, all of my children have always loved playing together. Whether it be a football game in the backyard or swimming in the pool together, they've always been great at hanging out together and being there for each other.
Would I consider myself a "bad mother"? Not at all! I have never thought that being a "playmate" was an essential part of parenting. It might be beneficial for those who only have one child if they interact and play with them, but that's also why parents set up play dates, etc. It is also advantageous for children to play with others close in age so that when school starts, they are comfortable interacting with their classmates. I've always felt that my children were very lucky to have one another, not to mention I was happy that I didn't have to be the "play date" myself!
I've never been one to feel guilty and though this topic is for another post, I think that guilt comes with letting your children down. There are many ways to redirect your children or set up play dates to give them a more beneficial playing environment. So guilt shouldn't even be an option!
Many may disagree with my views and thoughts on playing, and I have observed many parents over the years that were really great at playing with their children. For this I say lucky them! Whatever works for your family and children is what you should do; every family is different. Personally, I'd rather spend my time with my children cuddling and chatting and enjoying them as they grow up. What are your thoughts on playing?