I've realised I don't 'do' anything with dd

(54 Posts)
slowlycatchymonkey Tue 22-Jan-13 22:09:44

My dd is 5 and I've kinda realised that while she is kept busy with activities and play dates, I don't actually get involved and I feel really guilty about it.

I've never been great at playing - I find it boring blush and i always find a way of getting out if it. She does 3 fun activities a week, and sees friends 2-3 times a week at either our house or theirs, but again, I avoid sitting down to 'play' and let them get on with it. DD asks me to play a lot - she is an only child and not remotely interested in entertaining herself, so will watch telly or use the iPad instead. I never take her swimming cos I hate it, and if we go to soft play I usually try to bring a friend if hers to play with so I can avoid having to do it. God, I sound awful don't I? I care deeply that she has plenty of opps to socialise etc but I seem to 'set it up', rather than get stuck in myself. Her dad and I have been split for years and he's the opposite of me- they do bike rides, swim etc, but this just isn't me.
I read to her every night and we talk a lot, but that's it.
How can I change? I'm terrified that she will have crap memories of me when she's older :/

JiltedJohnsJulie Tue 22-Jan-13 22:15:27

She probably won't have crap memories but she could be like me and just have no memories of my mum until I'm much older.

Could you start small? Spend 15 mins playing a board game or bake a cake? Sometimes I bake fairy cakes when mine are at school and we decorate them together when they're home, that takes about 15 mins with her.

Hw are you In yourself?

TheJanuaryProject Tue 22-Jan-13 22:26:29

I'm crap at playing with DS (who's 4 1/2 and an only) and DH is loads better at it than me. I don't think there's much wrong with leaving her to socialise with her friends at soft play, but it's worth trying to cut down on tv/iPad.

Rather than 'playing' what things would you enjoy doing with her? I do a lot of baking, crafty stuff and 'educational' stuff (looking at books like usborne 'see inside' and 'beginners' books and talking about what's in them).

You say she's not interested in entertaining herself - can you turn the tv off and encourage her to play with toys? I'm lucky in that DS likes imaginative role play so will play and make up stories with playmobil etc.

DS likes doing magic shows and puppet shows for me - does she have toys like that?

DoubleYew Tue 22-Jan-13 22:32:26

I find it boring too but I think its worth it as ds likes it. Even 5 or 10 mins a day will help assuage (sp?) the guilt. Let her pick what to play.

Spockster Tue 22-Jan-13 22:37:50

I am just the same, bored rigid by playing and can't help wandering off to do something more interesting. Let her get a bit bored and she will learn to play alone. I had DD2 mainly to entertain DD1!

slowlycatchymonkey Tue 22-Jan-13 23:11:33

Thanks so much for the replies everyone!

Every single week in life she comes back from dads saying they'd just done a hike/visited a museum/nature trail or some other amazing family day out and it just makes me feel crap, but obviously not enough eh?
I do bake occasionally with her, and yesterday for example I discouraged her from just watching tv and made her do something at the table. She chose to do 'bendyroos' which is a craft thing, but did I get involved? Nope. I sat beside her and she needed my help every now and then, but I tend to just play on my phone. I fully admit to being kind of addicted to my phone and will spend hours on it doing all sorts ( not good I know)

I make sure she is kept busy, ie does dancing and brownies etc. It's just that I am completely crap at actually doing things with her, rather than alongside her. I am definitely going to try and sort this out. I am even the same on holiday, will generally read a book while she builds sandcastles and although she will ask me to join in, I'll fob her off. :/

slowlycatchymonkey Tue 22-Jan-13 23:20:53

Reading that back, I sound awful:/ I hope you don't think she is ignored. We talk loads, always dancing to the radio etc, but I accept it isn't enough.

To answer questions about the puppet show, her friend has one and they play it all the time at her house, so that's a good idea.
How am I in myself? Up and down, I've always struggled to motherhood in the way I thought I would to be honest and don't think it came naturally to me. I feel irritable more than I'd admit and tend to think things feel harder than they are in reality. I am so grateful for dd in spite of my feelings because she is so lovely. She seems so happy but I have a tendency to psychoanalyse everything, hence my worry that she will be affected by my apathy in spending quality time with her.

Alligatorpie Wed 23-Jan-13 06:45:43

Every day when my dd comes home from school, we play a board game or do a puzzle or craft or colour or something, it gives me a chance to hear about her day and it can take anywhere from 20 minutes to two hours.

coldcupoftea Wed 23-Jan-13 06:51:35

It is hard sometimes... 5 is the perfect age to start playing simple board games like snakes and ladders etc, and it helps her practise her maths too. With my DD we do reading, baking (occasionally) and she loves drawing/writing, though she will often do that at the table while I potter around doing other things and help occasionally.

Do you have a Wii? You could play games together, my DD loves tennis and just dance.

treetrunkthighs Wed 23-Jan-13 06:55:40

Your posts are all ringing bells with me. Especially the phone bit. Even when I'm doing her bath I'm on some app or other passing the time. It's pretty anti-social isn't it?

I am going to put my phone out of sight for half an hour after school tonight and do whatever dd2 (5yo like yours) wants.

She will want to play games and I am going to try and give her my full attention for that 30 minutes.

Do you fancy trying the same? smile

EvenIfYouSeeAPoppy Wed 23-Jan-13 07:03:20

I don't really do the getting-down-on-the-floor-and-playing thing. What I do do (two boys, 5 and 7) is:
- take them to playgrounds, out to parks to run around, natural spaces
- days out e.g. museums, nature parks
- take them to the library
- baking, science experiments
- reading, always have done lots
- listening to and talking about music, dancing
- talking as we walk along (I do all school etc. runs on foot)
- if they start playing their own imagination game I'm happy to get involved
- craft stuff when I can motivate them, e.g. we made baubles before Christmas
- occasional board games - I think I will enjoy this more as they get older

I don't think doing stuff 'alongside' as opposed to 'with' is necessarily all bad - if you are prepared to talk/engage during that, which it sounds as if you are, then some very special moments can arise that way.

To be very honest, though, I think you have to nip the phone thing in the bud. You're setting her a terrible example (I'll be honest and say that I hate seeing adults absorbed in their phones - teens I can kind of grudgingly understand it) and I think it does give a certain message in terms of your attention and priorities, yes. I'll admit to mumsnetting on occasion while my children are having a snack at the kitchen table, say (I work from home and my laptop is usually set up on the table in the week) but I do feel bad when I do it.

I don't mean to sound harsh - i think it's no bad thing that she doesn't have your undivided attention all the time, as I don't think children should grow up believing their parents are their personal entertainers. OTOH I think you know that the situation isn't ideal, hence posting here. But fortunately it's quite an easy one to fix. Good luck smile

TheJanuaryProject Wed 23-Jan-13 07:05:13

Don't beat yourself up OP. You don't sound awful - 'playing' with a 5 year old is something lots of people find a bit dull.

Good suggestions on here about how to engage with her more. It's not about competing with her dad. My DS gets loads of days out, but most of all he just loves my attention. He has the best time on my days off when it's just the two of us and I make myself do lots of stuff with him (and hide my phone from myself wink)

Hi OP. I'm probably your worst nightmare - a primary school teacher! I currently teach in nursery, but prior to this I taught 5-6 year olds.

I know playing with a 5yo can be very dull, but it is unbelievably beneficial to them to have that kind of interaction with you. Like other posters have said, even 5 to 10 minutes of your time is all it takes to make a difference! You are your child's main role model in life, her main teacher, and children learn so much more from their parents than they could ever learn in school or play groups. "Playing" is a child's way of beginning to form their social interactions and practising their life skills - watching you perform these actions helps them see how to do it correctly... Parents do it all the time for manners, saying please and thank you, etc. - so why not for play too?

Sometimes I think parents find it daunting trying to remember how to play, whilst trying to remain in the role of parent. Some fun activities that they could need your help with could start the ball rolling for you and your DD.

How about:
- Baking. As other posters have said, it doesnt take long, and the amount of learning you can get from it is phenomenal! Measuring, discussing texture and scent of ingredients, the health and safety of using dangerous equipment in the kitchen... and of course you get to eat the delicious result!
- Painting or drawing. Do this alongside your child. Watching you do it will give them guidelines for how to use pencils/crayons/paint, and can open up some lovely discussions about colour.
- Washing up liquid in a bowl and a straw. You'd be AMAZED how entertaining this can be. Both of you blow into the bowl, see who can make the most bubbles! You can then play with the bubbles too.
- Read a book. Cannot emphasise enough how important this one is!! Take your DD to your local library and let her choose an appropriate book (you may need to point her in the direction of a good picture book). Let her tell you what's happening in the picture, what might happen next, etc. as you read the story with her.
- Den Making. Always a HUGE hit with the kids! Use furniture and sheets in your house to build her a makeshift den/hidey-hole. Let her decide what it is (a castle? a house?) and discuss what else she needs to put in it. This is a great one for initiating with her and then letting her continue to play alone.

Those are just a few of the better ideas, I hope some are useful and don't sound too difficult as a starting point? I like to use this website when I want to find something new/different to do with the children at nursery, have a look and see if there's anything there you fancy doing with her.


I really hope you manage to put the phone aside and enjoy some fun play time with your DD! Good luck! smile

I dont do art and craft etc with my children. I tend to spend time with them in other ways (not organized activities) for example we go for weekends away/camping or more regularly we do things like play multiplayer games on ds! (since we all have one - even me!) or just chat and get on with the day together. I dont think you HAVE to spend a certain amount of time a day with them its more about being able to make an everyday activity like making dinner or the walk from school or sorting the bedroom into a chat and a relaxed time rather than a chore they are sent to do alone imo.

slowlycatchymonkey Wed 23-Jan-13 13:32:25

Thanks everyone.

I am going to start by banning my phone when I'm with dd and also taking her swimming every week ( even though I HATE swimming!)

She has lots of craft materials and amazing toys which she mostly ignores and I suspect this is my fault because she doesn't want to play alone. As I said, I pay and take her to 3 activities per week, so she isn't deprived, but in terms of one to one play with me- she is. Thanks for the list of things I can do with her. Hopefully I can sort it out

familyfun Wed 23-Jan-13 13:42:15

can i also add that i take dd to an activity weekly and always keep half an eye on her and make sure i give her a thumbs up if she glances over at me, its amazing how many moms/dads sit glued to their phones oblivious to their dc looking over proud of themselves and looking away disheartened.
saw a man on the dodgems with his dc, he was texting, dc looked bored.
you are telling your child they are boring.
please put the phone away sometimes

lagoonhaze Wed 23-Jan-13 14:51:35

thank you for your honest post. Certainly given me food for thought too and some creative ideas.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 23-Jan-13 15:01:48

Agree with family. When I take mine to swimming lessons, I'm always surprised by the amount of parents who are on phones or tablets, some even stay down the other end of the pool out of sight. The odd thumbs up really makes them beam.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 23-Jan-13 15:04:17

Op have you thought about talking to your GP? You sound a little down and something like CBT might help you think more positively smile

zcos Wed 23-Jan-13 15:25:21

I think I will be the opposite I'm willing my child to grow up so I can play with her but that's because I am a big kid myself... I do worry quite a lot about the other mummy stuff setting boundaries a daily routine keeping house tidy DD is only a baby but am already thinking of this all the time! as I overthink things far too much to! reason for me posting this was just to say that all mothers can't be good at absolutely everything!
think banning phone would be good for a lot of us. but when spring comes why not look at what's on in local area something you are interested in so you both can be rather than taking her to something you don't like? if its fun and something she hasn't done before she will think your fab. then you could have her draw a picture of your day together?

BornToFolk Wed 23-Jan-13 15:29:39

I am going to start by banning my phone when I'm with dd and also taking her swimming every week ( even though I HATE swimming!)

Can't you find something that you both like doing? If you are doing it grudgingly and clock watching while you are there, it's not going to be much fun for either of you.

DS is 5 and I'm a single parent too. And I work 5 days a week too. I feel guilty as I seem to spend all the time saying "in a minute!" when he asks me to play when I'm doing housework or rushing DS from one thing to the next etc and all his dad has to do when he has contact is spend time with him!

Anyway,try and find something that you both like. Me and DS have fun gardening together (can't wait for the spring!) We both really like board and card games so play a lot of those. Imaginative play drives me insane but it's important for DS so I do force myself to play Lego etc too.

My favourite hobby is knitting so I'm trying to teach DS how to knit. And I quite got into Stargazing Live when it was on recently. It was too late for DS to watch but I talked to him about what I'd seen and got him a book about space out of the library and we read that together. I like trying to involve him in things that I'm interested in.

I think you are being too hard on yourself really. If you are reading and talking to her and providing her with lots of social activities, then you are doing lots of things already! Doing things alongside her is great, I think. Quite often DS will sit and do some colouring or Hama beads while I iron or something and that's quite good as we can chat and I can admire what he's doing.

We also always sit down to eat together at the table, even breakfast and books/phones/games are banned at the table so we chat then.

Lottapianos Wed 23-Jan-13 15:45:14

phoenixrose314 has given you lots of great ideas. The most important thing when playing is to let the child take the lead - let her be in control and try to be her 'play partner' instead of parent at those times. You will get much more out of her and she will love it.

Ditch the phone, switch off the TV/radio when you're with her. Reduce the time she spends in front of a screen. She needs you to make this happen for her - she will get so much out of it and you will be helping her to develop in so many ways. Have fun!

slowlycatchymonkey Wed 23-Jan-13 17:53:10

Thanks so much everyone. It really helps. I have actually been to my GP this week as I'm struggling to sleep. For some reason dd is regressing in her sleeping patterns and can be up 3 times a night, although that's not the only reason I cant sleep tbh. I have a stressful job and a difficult ex, so it's always on my mind. Ive been given sleeping tablets but I don't if I'll take them. The thing about me is I always feel irritable and I hate that about myself because it never used to be this way. I don't feel down- I just feel really annoyed all the time. Like a low-level simmering anger that just sits there in my throatsad

I definitely hear you all on the phone front. It's like an escape for me but it's ridiculous how much I use it and it's stopping. This weekend dd and I are going to the library. I never take her there - ever. We read a lot ( currently reading Eloise, we love it!) but i think she would love the library. I'll also take her swimming because she loves it and its about her. When she does her activities this weekend I'm going to stay for them. Most of all, when we go on holiday at half term (skiing!) I am going to build snow men with her and pull her round in a sledge all weeksmile

Slipsliding Wed 23-Jan-13 18:55:40

I think you sound great! You're facillitating your dds independence and giving her loads of opportunities to develop her interests. Stop being so hard on yourself. As a former single parent I know how hard it is to keep it together. Plus you sound like you have a good relationship with your ex - that's sooo important for your dd's security.

PhylisStein Wed 23-Jan-13 20:22:48

My DD used to love the matchbox game - where you find tiny things that will fit in a matchbox such as one bead, a grain of rice, a hair clip, a Polly Pocket shoe, one pea from the freezer, a little feather from a pillow, a seed, a rice crispy etc. It used to take her ages to fill the box and kept me from going mad on more than one 'housebound' day. Ideas and activities don't have to be mind blowing - so long as you are together it'll be grand.

PhylisStein Wed 23-Jan-13 20:25:36

P.S. In case it makes you feel better .... I will do almost anything to avoid taking my three DC to the park - after 10 years I am SOOOO bored of parks I really feel I'll scream if I have to push another swing!

Zappo Wed 23-Jan-13 20:36:51

For a day or so you could try waiting until your DD is in bed before using your phone and computer.

I don't like my DD (5) watching too much TV so I don't watch any in the day as I feel I would be setting the wrong example. Plus I wouldn't get a chance to watch in peace anyway. Once she's in bed, the computer goes on and I have a couple of hours of screen time before bed.

I am different to most people as I love playing (most parents I know hate it) but there's a lot of other things about parenting that I don't enjoy at all (the feeding, cleaning up, school run, discipline etc).

If you are having difficulty playing I would recommend "Playful Parenting" by Lawrence Cohen which has a lot of great ideas about introducing play into your everyday life.


Is there anything your DD enjoys to play with that you like. I love lego and playmobil (in fact I buy it for myself) so I love sitting down and playing that with my DD. I'm actually more keen than her on it at the moment.

I also do a lot of role play games (tea parties in the kitchen with dolls) but I know these aren't for everybody.

My 5 yr old is starting to want to play with other children now in preference to me so the time you actually get to play with them is rather short.

slowlycatchymonkey Wed 23-Jan-13 21:05:40

Love the matchbox idea, and i know she would love it. She loves role play tbh and I should so be doing it with her knowing that she does. She loves to play houses and likes to be the mummy etc. In her bedroom alone she has a shop, 'hairdressers, music station, kitchen, dolls house and even a sweet shop, all of which are ignored because she hasn't got a playmate. I feel so guilty now but seriously going to sort it out.

Zappo Wed 23-Jan-13 21:08:00

Half an hour a day would make all the difference to her. On the upside by not playing with her you have made her tremendously resourceful. My DD cannot play on her own (imaginative though she is)

zcos Wed 23-Jan-13 22:36:52

so glad slowly to see your last couple of posts so positive compared to your first. think you will even better after trying some of these things ... post again so we can see how you got on!

Sit and do a jigsaw tgether, or get her a big box of lego cannot wait till my dd is old enough for.lego she will have to foght me for it

stella1w Wed 23-Jan-13 22:45:24

I feel a bit like you OP and am also trying to cut down on phone. However, I also hate going swimming with my dd, same age. I get cold and she can't swim so I worry.. and tbh the worst times we have had is doing something I can't stand.. I have just told a friend I WONT do a playdate at the swimming pool.
I think you can only really spend time doing what you want to do, otherwise she will pick up on your resentment. It's great that her dad does the days out stuff etc, and she also has a lot of activities, so you don't need to DO stuff with her just BE with her (which I know can be tough).
The cold weather has made me realise how much time I spend taking the kids places and how little time I spend interacting with them.
Also, I don't know how old you are but I grew up in the 70s and I am pretty sure parents just expected their kids to fit round them, and didn't run their lives round their kids like nowadays..

slowlycatchymonkey Wed 23-Jan-13 23:23:26

Thanks everyone. My mum tells me off for beating myself up and says she doesn't remember ever doing anything like this when we were growing up ( neither of my parents played with us and I'm not scarred by it, haha, it's just the way it was in those days).
Dd has taken to skiing like a duck to water and it's great that she is being I can give her the opportunity to go, but last time we went, I slept so badly out there and dd completely refused to go to bed earlier than me as we were sharing a room, so I ended up so shattered the following day and grumpy with her. i was just willing the holiday to be over. Dd brought some games for the evening and I did play a few but I just didn't want to do it all night from 4-9pm. What do other people do in situations like this?

I think that's a big part of my problem, I just don't sleep enough and it affects me more than I realise. I'm determined this holiday to be different. We are still sharing a room this time, but its got a 'living area which means I can put her to bed at a reasonable hour and still sit up if I can't sleep. At least she will be well rested! I'll persevere with those gamessmile

I have always lived by the mantra that I am here to look after DD, not to entertain her.

As DD is an only child, I always felt responsible for all the play stuff in the park etc, but it did not come easy to me, and now that she is 13 it transpires that she doesn't bloody remember any of it anyway.

We do enjoy a good game of Mind Bender now though.

defineme Wed 23-Jan-13 23:35:18

I would take dvds that you can watch together that you both enjoy-for myself and kids it would be wildlife docs, I know families that watch musicals or classic cartoons-the key being that you both enjoy them.
I would take her out after tea-is there a family friendly hotel or bar that you can hang out at?
I enjoy doing stuff alongside my dd like painting my own picture whist she does one. Or making cards or something.

slowlycatchymonkey Thu 24-Jan-13 13:14:55

Thanks, DVD's are a good idea. We do go out every night for tea but tend to be back home early enough for dd to want to play hours! The sharing the same room thing last time was so hard because if I wanted her to sleep at 8pm it meant I had to go to sleep at the same time and she just wasn't having it. I actually think hotel based holidays are a nightmare when you have small kids.
DVD's are a great idea. Will also take on board the other great ideas I've been given. My GP gave me sleeping tablets so will take those on the holiday and hopefully be on better form next day.

gymmummy64 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:31:04

How about shopping? Not supermarket stuff, but other shops - present for Granny, something for the kitchen, that type of shopping. OK, it's not a game, but I remember DD1 at 5 going from a nightmare to take shopping to being lovely to have along and discuss choices with. If it went well we might then go for lunch/tea somewhere. Lots of opportunities to chat, point things out, ask opinions/advice/questions (what do you think that's for? Do you like that colour? Do you think that's a good idea?) and educate too - money etc. Obviously avoid toy shops or other flash points and don't be too ambitious wrt length of time. I wasn't good at games either and I was awful at anything craft-related, but we did enjoy going out and about together a lot at your DD's age.

Doitnicelyplease Fri 25-Jan-13 03:38:00

I am also not that keen on playing toys with my Dd1 4
I tend to do something more structured such as a board game or card game, there are also simple games you can play with dice. We also do crafts such as junk modelling, or playdoh, puzzles or, painting. Other things we do are baking or making forts/dens, hide and seek, sticker books or look at books.
I do find it a lot easier to take Dd out or to a class also she loves to socialize with other kids and I have trained her up to play on her own and now she is really good at doing that - she would prefer that I always played with her but I find often it is never enough and even if you devote an hour to playing they whine for more!
Everything is a balance. Get some new crafts and games that you can do together. Then after you have done something each day you can encourage your DD to play by herself for a bit.

Asamumnonsense Fri 25-Jan-13 16:28:41

I think you're really harsh with yourself. You sound like an amazing mum!! I am sure you set up all these activities and playdates for her to have fun, not to avoid playing with her? right?
What she doesn't get from mum, she gets it from dad and it sounds perfect and very well balanced.
I doubt that your DD will ever criticise you for that. I am like you with my DD5, we talk a lot and that is the most important thing in my eyes. I need and want to know how she feels about things in general and of course build a close relationship.

drmummmsy Fri 25-Jan-13 16:37:37

listen, i'm a single parent too and i parent only in a supervisory capacity grin so don't worry about it. i'm an academic so we read and like you guys, talk about stuff. my dd also watches a lot of tv in winter as she is exhausted after school - plays out in the street of our council estate shock in dry weather and attends summer day camp all summer

i will under duress play a board game (or as I like to call them a 'bored game'), and we swim when one of isn't down with some kind of disease or snowed in etc.

only unlike you, my dd doesn't go to many organised activities and i just can't be arsed having other kids in the house/taking them to soft play etc (plus i work more than full time) ... so the moral? don't beat yourself up, it could be worser! grin

and i was benignly ignored by my stay at home mother for years whilst she cooked and cleaned - and i turned out ok! sometimes mumsnet makes me think that i should be a jester as well as a cook, cleaner and full time academic - perhaps that's what's happening with you/the way you feel?

drmummmsy Fri 25-Jan-13 16:39:58

oh and i also sometimes worry that she'll have crap memories of me compared to her dad (or that she'll have a better relationship with him) but find reassurance in the fact that other poster's teenagers don't remember either way...

BeaWheesht Fri 25-Jan-13 16:58:26

I know how you feel a bit. When we just had ds (now 6) I used to play with him a lot but now we have dd (2) I feel like sometimes I don't bother because its too much hassle because dd gets jealous and ds wants to play intricate games that dd will ruin. hmm

I try and do simple things like watch funny clips on YouTube, make a road out of masking tape on our wooden floor and make signs / buildings out of cardboard, baking - more often that not simple things like icing cakes / biscuits / choc crispy cakes.

I've also just bought ds a makedo kit - see amazon - they are kits with different bits in to turn 'junk' into things eg robots and trailers etc.

We go out a lot too - museums, zoo, walks in the woods etc as it forces me to do stuff!

Snog Fri 25-Jan-13 17:07:56

I found that reading the book "Playful Parenting" made me see playing with my child in a totally different way and made me enjoy the experience far more. It's my fave parenting book and I can't recommend it highly enough smile

SocietyClowns Fri 25-Jan-13 17:22:07

What Drmummmsy said . Same situation here. Luckily dh is a big kid and does dens, hide and seek and all sorts of weird and wonderful games. I guess my girls won't remember that I fed them, put them to bed at a reasonable time, made sure they brushed their teeth and had clean clothes...

slowlycatchymonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 21:35:27

Will deffo get that book as a few posters have recommended it. I tried to make a point of spending the whole evening with her this eve, we did her reading after school, had dinner, played hexbugs then watched her favourite musical. She kept asking me to pause it though to ask me questions and talk, so it ended up being 9pm and it was only half way through so I said she would need to go to bed and watch the rest of it tomorrow. She has an absolute hysterical episode so cue me losing my rag and she goes to bed- evening spoiled. I'm am completely shit at this:/

3monkeys Fri 25-Jan-13 21:44:37

I find Lego and board games better if I have tv on in the background. I always think it's better than not playing! Dh is definitely the one who plays while I organise, iron, cook etc!!

BornToFolk Fri 25-Jan-13 22:03:34

You're not shit Slowly! I really think you are being too hard on yourself. I know where you are coming from, it's easy to focus on what went wrong but you need to remember all the nice time you spent with your DD. It'll make a difference to both of you.

Snazzynewyear Fri 25-Jan-13 22:15:49

Have always found museums very good for weekend things to do - they are free for one thing and also, where I am at least, they always have activities on for kids - making models of stuff, drawing pictures. Nice cup of tea in the cafe. There is also usually space for DC to run around among the displays and this is expected! Maybe have a look online at what is available near you?

OP try these two activities, they really are fun (even for adults). I did them today with my 4 and 7 y.o and they loved it and it didn't take that long.

Magic milk: put some milk in a plate so that it covers the bottom. Put a few drops of different food colouring on opposite sides of the plate. Dab a cotton but in a bit of washing up liquid. Pass cotton bud to DD and tell her to put it in the middle of the plates. Watch the colours swirl, it is lovely.

Slime: try to make some slime with some cornflour: 2 cups cornflour, 1 cup warm watter, a little bit of food colouring, mix it all and play...(I actually really enjoyed it and couldn't help but putting my hands in it all afternoon each time I walked past blush


TreadOnTheCracks Fri 25-Jan-13 22:49:42

I love these.Nost of them are things you can do sat at the table and I use them lots when I have 10 minuites but lack inspiration.


slowlycatchymonkey Fri 25-Jan-13 23:20:47

Thank you so much. This is my week for introspection in all aspects of my parenting. love those games for the especially the slime! I looked at the 'things to do a as well and they look fab.x

Introspection is normal OP! That is what we mum do and it is not always the easiest job let alone if you are a single mum. I am sure you are a fab mum.

zcos Sun 27-Jan-13 03:59:40

just thought of something simple that you may both enjoy me and sister used to play fantasy houses you will magazines and catalogues we would then cut out and stick down different things for different rooms like a sofa etc and try to decorate you could say you were being interior designers for an hour or something.
re watching the musical least now you know to maybe warn beforehand that you will watch an episode of the musical and that you will watch the rest next time having maybe a set night with both of you together so she can look forward to it.

CheerfulYank Sun 27-Jan-13 05:13:51

I'm the same...I just really don't like playing. DH does, so that's good.

I just try to make sure to do one activity a day with DS, even if it's just a quick card game. Also I read to him and have him practice reading to me every day. I don't mind baking with him either, so we do that. And I have him help with chores-carrying clean laundry upstairs,things like that. Not that that's very exciting, but it is interaction.

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