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Do any of you get sick and tired of playing with your children?

67 replies

SilverGlitterSparkle · 15/12/2019 19:01

Wow that title came across as a it harsh- never meant to sound like a bitch!

So I have a 12 year old who does her own thing and a nearly 4 year old. I’m a single mum. Today I feel like I’ve non stop played with her. I’ve painted pictures with her. Drawed with her. Played dollies with her and then painted again. I just feel exhausted because all day ive been listening to the words ‘mum, mum, mum’ and I feel like I need a 5 minute breather. I love my kids so much but does anyone else feel like their littlest ones are on their case all day? I have tried my very best to entertain and her and play with her and right now I’ve taken 5 mins to come on mumsnet and all I’ve got is ‘mum, mum, mum’ in my ear still. Is it just me being mean or do any other mums feel like this sometimes?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?


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StreetwiseHercules · 16/12/2019 06:28

Kids are annoying. There, I said it.

I’m good at physical play with my kids, like wrestling, spinning them round the room etc. I can do that quite happily.

I hate playing with their toys, building things like Lego, or tracks etc. I hate jigsaws and all the mess. I hate all the plastic tat in our house. But I do it through gritted teeth.

I draw the line at any form of crafts. No way. It’s hell and I’m never doing it again. They can do that shit at school, at nursery or with Mum if she is so inclined.

happycamper11 · 16/12/2019 06:44

In afraid I've just never really done this. Am I a terrible parent? Blush. The occasional pretending to drink a cup of tea or eat a wooden pizza slice is as far as it goes. I would set up crafts and lots of role play toys available but didn't actually join in.
We spent a lot of time outside and meeting up with others. I far prefer a coffee and a chat while DC play with someone their own age who actually likes it. They are both at school now. It will get easier then OP.

pinkstripeycat · 16/12/2019 07:01

It used to drive me mad when DS1 used to say “will you play with me” ALL the time. DS2 came along and was old enough to play with DS1. Phew? Nope! They’d either end up scrapping or DS2 preferred his own company. So back I went to playing with DS1 and DS2 would sometimes join in. I’m glad for those play times now as DS1 is a teenager and I am not very good at older boys football or basketball or Xbox. I build lego with DS2 tho and we pick music on Spotify together. Ds2 sometimes asks me to do a bit of sudoku with him

Calledyoulastnightfromglasgow · 16/12/2019 07:07

Mmm isn’t this the infamous “benign neglect” conversation?

I do stuff like walks/parks/a few crafts (—twice—) but inside the house I let them get on with it. I don’t put the telly in and shoo them from under my feet and they will play - even if on their own.

I’m going to be smug and say mine all play brilliantly - and is all due to my lazy parenting which I definitely had growing up too

ThebishopofBanterbury · 16/12/2019 09:27

If your kids are close in age you can practice benign neglect as they have their siblings to play with! When you have a big gap of 7/8/9 years plus it's not so easy.

CheshireChat · 16/12/2019 09:49

It depends a lot on the child's personality though, I was an only child and would play on my own for ages. DS really doesn't need his own space and would happily be with someone 24/7 and even if I'm not actively interacting with him, he'll want to snuggle or sit on my lap Confused.

ShinyGiratina · 16/12/2019 09:55

It is worth the 2 yr age gap and sibling squabbling to avoid this... I think... Grin

The worst stage was when DS1 was 4 (so DS2 was 2 and a bit young for him) and I dreaded the words "play with me!". He'd have a vision of exactly how to play in his head, that I invariably could not telepathically match, so he'd throw a "tantrum", but he'd still have the concept of me playing with him in his head and I wasn't allowed to not play with him either... until I cracked, threw a tantrum too and stropped off Grin

It turns out that that was his ASD at play. He struggled with other children too and didn't really crack playing WITH children rather than alongside until about 5-6. It's still a skill he can struggle with.

I can do structured games like battle ships, frustration as long as the rules are respected.
I can do outdoor play.
I chat to them.
I endure hours of minecraft/ weapons of WW2 based discussion.
I had halcyon dreams of crafting with my precious darlings and I used to love craft... but the reality of 5 minutes setting up, 30 seconds crafting, 3 minutes body painting and 30 minutes bathing children and cleaning up a zone of post-apocalyptic proportions was more than I could endure.

They do get a lot from me (or Scouting. Scouting is amazing for redressing my shortfalls Grin), but they do get the space of independent play too, and that is a very important skill.

Until the last couple of decades, most of the time children would have been turfed out into the street to play anyway. There never was an expectation of mothers (because let's face it, it is mothers and not daddy who had a long day at work and just needs to come in for a bit of a rumpus at the end, and play a bit of football at the weekend Wink) to play and constantly entertain the children anyway.

sprite25 · 16/12/2019 13:41

I'm joining in this thread with extreme enthusiasm! DD is 6 and wants to play role play games in her room as soon as she gets in from school, which I find so tedious and tiring. DS 2 often says play play play but then I sit to play with him and he ignores me and does his own thing. If they play together it usually ends in chaos mess and arguments. Currently a giant 6 months pregnant with SPD so just want to sleep or do not very much at the moment, can't even have a wee on my own usually 🙄

Skysblue · 16/12/2019 13:57

Mine is like this. They do gradually get better at playing on their own but my god until they do it’s exhausting. You have been amazing mum today and made some lovely memories for her. xx

Bluntness100 · 16/12/2019 14:05

I was never one to play, I could do a few mins before wanting to chew my own leg off. My husband fortunately was a star at it and could go for hours, playing games, going to thr park, football the lot. My daughter is now 22 and laughs about it. She was always aware that I was not the one for that stuff and that my eyes would glaze over. I'd do the other stuff, like read to her, talk to her, watch movies with her, that kind of thing, and I was the one who went and bought the toys with her.

I recall buying her a doll once, I think it was Barbie with the shoes and clothes, and then sat with her. When she asked what she was to do, I said well we dress her up, so we did, and then she said and now what do we do, and I was totally stumped. I responded with let's change her clothes as I genuinely couldn't think of anything else to do with her. 🤣

Magpiefeather · 16/12/2019 14:10

Yes yes yes. Adore my DD and I do enjoy playing with her, just not ALL THE TIME.

She’s getting a bit better at letting me get on with something - eg the washing up. But she will stand and watch me / hang off my leg / ask what I’m doing / want to “help” dry the cutlery rather than go off and play by herself. Only exception is when Mr tumble is on.

One of our favourite games is hide and seek with her four favourite stuffed toys. She has to leave the room and count, we sit still in the living room and hide them wherever we can reach. She comes and looks but we stay put. SOmetimes it takes her aaaaaaages to find them.

I know I’ll miss these days when she is grown up but bloody hell it can be tedious. Solidarity everyone!

kieronsmum · 16/12/2019 14:11

my dc are adults now. i still remember playing drs with my son , examine me and then say your ill , give an injection and say ur dead now

runninguphills · 16/12/2019 14:18

I'm a terrible mother as I never play with my children! I do have 3 in close age so I expect them to play together.

I do crafts and get them to help me lots (ie DIY, baking, day to day chores). I take them out lots for walks and we meet up with friends.

They actually never ask to play!

Yabadee · 16/12/2019 14:51

@MrsBricks & @happycamper11 so glad you 2 said it first! I don’t think I’ve ever played anything imaginative with DD, and she’s never asked me to. She just gets on with it on her own.

I’ll set up crafts, play dough etc take her out places, I’ll give her a duster to help with housework or she’ll help make dinner or cakes or whatever. But yeah the most I’ve done is eat a plastic lunch. I don’t have an imagination like that at all 😔 she doesn’t seem worse off for it though

LightsInOtherPeoplesHouses · 16/12/2019 15:09

Don't do the role playing, I do it wrong all the time and DS won't let me now. I do crafts quite happily, I'll tolerate physical games for a limited amount of time, mainly because it wears him out. Love reading together.

Sometimes I'd like it if he would just sit down and play a video game, which he loves and we're quite relaxed about, but if I suggest it he automatically doesn't want to do it and wants me to be a horse or a bear or a dinosaur, then the floor becomes lava and I suddenly need to disappear upstairs for five minutes and lock myself in the bathroom.

He's an only child so I do feel obliged to play with him more than maybe my parents played games with me.

SilverGlitterSparkle · 16/12/2019 16:28

You have no idea how much better I feel reading all these comments! I don’t feel so bad now 😂 today we have painted AGAIN 😩 she hasn’t been so bad today though with the mum mum mum mum calling. She’s currently playing with her peppa pig train without me 👌

OP posts:
HopelessLayout · 16/12/2019 17:20

Teach her to read and you won't have to bother playing kiddie games ever again (plus she will have hours of pure, solitary enjoyment and be miles ahead of most of the other kids when she starts school).
Children can learn to read from age 2.

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