The worst thing. Dd said to me - you are always busy mummy.

(157 Posts)
timeisshort Mon 26-Jul-10 11:18:19

and i am.
She said i dont have time to play with her.
And i dont.

I dont know how to fix this.

Im a single parent and i work part time. We leave the house at 8.10 am and get home just after 3. A quick dog walk, and small amount of housework and its 4.30.
I then have to think about tea, watering the garden, bathing, bed time for 7pm.
I have one day off in the week and its usually for housework/errands/stuff i need to do and hopefully something fun for DD and us together, like a day out or something. Maybe 1 in 4 times actually. The weekends i have her we tend to hang around the house. But im usually doing gardening, or housestuff again.

I just dont seem to have time. i want to play with her, to just sit down and do lego for hours. But after a short time i think, god, ive got this this and this to do.

its all very well to say leave it, but i cant, if i dont do it noone else will and its a small house and goes to pot really quicky if i dont do the day to day stuff.

So, how do i make more time for her?

GypsyMoth Mon 26-Jul-10 11:20:16

get her to help with house stuff??

some happy childhood memories of mine were of helping my parents with various jobs.....

gorionine Mon 26-Jul-10 11:21:08

It must be hard for both of yousad

Could you involve her in house chores and cooking? you would get done it together and can use the time for a girly chat?

LadyBiscuit Mon 26-Jul-10 11:22:07

What are you doing all the time? I work full time and am a single parent but we spend all weekend doing fun stuff. Yes I do some gardening/shopping/errands but they can be fun for kids too. And we go on an outing both days - either to the park or to a museum (basically largely free things).

Also I water the garden and do housework after my DS has gone to bed. Can't you do that?

rubyrubyruby Mon 26-Jul-10 11:23:06

Children remember the time you spend with them - not how clean and tidy the house was.

She must have priority over your time. It doesn't have to be all play though. Get her her own gardening tools/watering can and let her help with shopping etc. It takes longer buta at least you are together.

Haliborange Mon 26-Jul-10 11:23:48

Don't beat yourself up.
I doubt many people play with their children for hours on end.

Re the gardening - at this time of year I do mine when the kids are in bed. If you're doing stuff in the day can you get her to help you? My DD loves joining in and I suspect wants me to spend time with her more than she wants me to spend time playing with her.

apple99 Mon 26-Jul-10 11:24:15

Could any of the housework be left until she has gone to bed so you could spend maybe an hour playing before or after tea?

everythingiseverything Mon 26-Jul-10 11:24:43

That sounds really hard. Can she have a patch of garden to work with you? Can you make your garden more low maintenance? Does she need a bath every day, or could you have more playtime in the evening?
I wouldn't feel too bad though, what with the dog walking and eating together and weekends, you are spending lots of time with her, which is really good. smile

gorionine Mon 26-Jul-10 11:25:37

""My DD loves joining in and I suspect wants me to spend time with her more than she wants me to spend time playing with her.""

I think you are making an essential point there!

timeisshort Mon 26-Jul-10 11:28:19

oh- she helps with gardening and watering round. She refuses to help dust and things.
She does help and we natter while we do things.

She said i dont PLAY with her. i do spend time with her. We walk the dog daily. so we are at the park, talking about stuff, collecting feathers, or flowers , or talking about the fairys that live here.

I read her stories every night, and sing songs.

So we do do things. I just dont sit and play lego, or dolls.

lady- we do things on the weekend. Outing things. i said this to dd. i said, we went here last week. she said, yes, we did. But you didnt play with me did you mummy.

notnowbernard Mon 26-Jul-10 11:28:21

Agree, don't beat yourself up

But at least you can do something about it now

I think my dds reckon I'm pretty rubbish at 'playing' (am crap at the imaginary stuff, let's pretend etc)

But we try and do a boardgame after dinner (only takes 15m or so)

I share a bath with dd2 some evenings (she's nearly 4). We're not playing, but it's 1:1 time. Again, 15m or so seems to suffice

Could you get her involved in making dinner? DD2 will 'wash-up' while I cook

And always have a story before bed

notnowbernard Mon 26-Jul-10 11:30:04

Well, it sounds like you do lots with her! smile

Can you spend 10mins 'getting started' in play? Then leave her to it while you get on with other stuff?

timeisshort Mon 26-Jul-10 11:32:45

We spend lots of time together, just doing stuff.

But thats not playing with her. She wants me to play - and thats what ive not got time for.

I cant do housework in the evening, by the time ive finished putting her to bed, had a quick tidy round, washed up, done packed lunch for me for the next day, fed dog etc.. its about half 8 and im knackered from being up since half six and just want to sit down.

Haliborange Mon 26-Jul-10 11:33:01

Are you sure she's not just having a whinge, then, which has hit a nerve because you are suffering from "mother's guilt"?

My DD will tell me I am never nice to her, she hates nursery, I am always at work, I am always busy, I give too much attention to her sister etc etc. She's just trying to push my buttons I reckon.

timeisshort Mon 26-Jul-10 11:33:48

she gets lots of one on one time.
its just the playing thing.

gorionine Mon 26-Jul-10 11:33:59

Timeisshort, from your second post it is clear to me that you do make time for your daughter whenever you can. Yes you migght not be able to often play like she would like you too but you are not depriving her of your time. Maybe you could try a quiet game with her befor bed instead of a story every now and then?

LadyBiscuit Mon 26-Jul-10 11:34:58

It was you saying that you tend to hang around the house at weekends! I don't play much with my DS - we build train tracks together but otherwise we play card games or make jigsaw puzzles. I don't play dolls (or equivalent) with him - he plays on his own. Could you have a playmate over one afternoon for tea? Sounds like she wants another child to play with really

notnowbernard Mon 26-Jul-10 11:37:26

I reckon she's having a whinge and justneeds a bit of direction in getting started at play

i.e - get the Lego out. Spend 5mins building a tower with her then let her carry on. She can do it at the table while you cook or something

I think you're doing a great job - you probably spend more 1:1 time with her than I do mine

LadyBiscuit Mon 26-Jul-10 11:38:24

Sorry that first line wasn't meant to sound quite so defensive - was just saying that it was what you said, rather than me making assumptions. I think she's probably figured out how to push your guilt button

timeisshort Mon 26-Jul-10 11:47:24

well. we probably do half outing half in the house. day of each.

Like today, after work we need to go to tescos and get birthday presents for her two parties shes been invted too. and stuff for the picnic tea ive sorted out for with with a friend tomorrow. Then when iget back ive got paperwork that i need to find and do today.

then it will be tea etc... the normal routein and no playing.

Tomorrow, again, ive got to cut the grass etc, and i have stuff i need to do. but we will make some cakes and then have a picnic tea in the park. But we will lie in bed in the morning, and watch tv, and read books and cuddle, and talk and have a giggle.

but its not playing is it

i just cant do everything. And i cant leave the housework. im just talking about a basic standard of cleanliness/tidyness.

IsItMeOr Mon 26-Jul-10 11:47:30

Sounds like you are doing pretty well OP.

I'm just reading this book, which promises to give ideas on how to play http://www.amazon.co.uk/Playful-Parenting-Lawrence-J-Cohen/dp/0345442865/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books& qid=1280141154&sr=8-1
might be worth a look for some ideas.

I've not finished it yet (really just started!) but it's already pretty good in terms of explaining what kid's really mean when they say things like "you don't play with me".

Lancelottie Mon 26-Jul-10 11:50:41

Oh god I hate 'playing'. Especially if it involves being dictated to about how to move bloody Sylvanians around. I will play cards, frisbee, water fights, word games... just not pretend games. And my daughter similarly wails 'Buuuut you never PLAY with me!'

Actually, she's found a whole new level of guilt trip now. She starts by saying, 'I know you're very busy Mummy and you don't like playing BUT...'

Irritatingly, DH can waltz in and spend about 30 seconds in loud rumpus, then slink off to the computer or TV for the next hour without a murmur from the offspring.

LadyBiscuit Mon 26-Jul-10 11:52:07

That sounds fine and I really don't think you should beat yourself up

justaboutblowingbubbles Mon 26-Jul-10 11:54:37

I think you are doing fine, and this is a whinge, but because you are working single parent it is easy to take too seriously. agree with ladybiscuit.
smile

LadyBiscuit Mon 26-Jul-10 11:54:42

That is very true Lancelottie. If I ever attempt to join in I am driving the train the wrong way round the track, using the wrong truck on the back of it or committing some other heinous crime. What they should say is 'Mummy, I want to boss you around for a bit. Please come and sit on the floor where I am in charge of the world'

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