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Strange Conversation

A little while ago, I was chatting on the phone with a friend of mine who is twenty years older than I am. I told her that my daughter had asked me if we could walk down to the bus stop this afternoon and pretend to wait for the bus. It's about a block away from where we live, so I agreed, and off we went. We waited, then pretended to get on the bus, and our "ride" was the walk home. We talked about who we saw on the bus with us, where everybody was going, what was passing by outside the windows, and of course we had to sing "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round" four or five times. The whole trip to the bus stop and back took maybe twenty minutes, and I was laughing, expecting my friend to say, "How fun." Or something like that anyway.

Instead she said, "You'll really have to start telling that girl you aren't her plaything. You're her mother, and playing isn't in your job description."

I was speechless. I let the subject drop because I didn't even know what to say. Most of us don't believe that, do we? What about the moms with older kids?

Thinking back, I don't recall my mom ever playing with us kids except maybe Scrabble or cards or something like that. (Yes, I had braille cards and board games, still do.) So I got to wondering if the "job description" of a mom has changed in the last generation or two.


Asked by Ballad at 12:58 AM on May. 7, 2013 in General Parenting

Level 45 (193,996 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (17)
  • I don't think it's an age/generation thing. I think that some people are just born being no fun :) I would have done what you did with your daughter and I'm 53 (daughters are 10 but I still do silly things with them and enjoy every minute of it!).

    As my grandmother used to say - your friend is more to be pitied than scolded...

    Answer by winterglow at 2:10 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • My kids are 25 and 18. I played with my kids. Hide and seek, barbies, cars, etc. Why wouldn't you play with your kids??

    Answer by musicmaker at 1:05 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • I was an only child in a neighborhood with all older boys, so my mom and I played a LOT! Plus my dad worked odd shifts, so I guess sometimes evenings were lonely for her, and she liked playing with me.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 1:06 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • I don't remember my mother playing with me a ton. She would when we went on vacation and such. But she was always working and I had 4 other siblings to play with.

    I play with my son all the time. He is an only child though, but I still think i would be playing with him a lot even if we had another child.


    Answer by tntmom1027 at 1:19 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • Unless she's dressing you like a Barbie doll or tying strings around your wrists and ankles to make you a puppet, I don't see the harm - heck, even if she's doing those things, as long as she understands when playtime is over, you're Mom and in charge, I still don't see the problem. You're having fun with your kid, and there is nothing wrong with that. As long as you're ensuring that she realizes that there are times you'll play with her and times you have to be her mom and set and enforce rules or go to work or whatever, then you're doing your job as a mother.

    Answer by wendythewriter at 8:07 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • I don't see anything wrong with playing with your kids in moderation. The walk to the bus stop I think was a great idea. But some parents take it too far. Kids learn by playing and need playmates their own age because that's how the learn to socialize. I don't think it's a generational thing, I think everyone is different. As long as your child still sees you as the parent/authority figure then playing is ok. Some parents fall into the playmate/best friend role and lose their authority status. I guess balance for everyone is key.

    Answer by HHx5 at 8:30 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • I'm 51- my mom didn't play with us, but my dad did!! In fact neighbor kids would ask if my dad could come out to play.

    On the other hand, my boys are 21, 23 & 30. I definitely played with them. I think pretending and talking about different possibilities like you did is great for their thinking skills and imagination, and helps to foster a strong bond between you. It also helps you to know your child better.

    Answer by ohwrite at 8:34 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • Our children are 43, 40, and 35, and I didn't play with them much at all simply because I didn't have the time to do so. They did have each other with whom to play though. I do see a tendency these days for moms to feel more obliged to keep their children entertained every moment of the day. Maybe that's what your friend was thinking. I believe quality one on one time is necessary and I did that, but the children were usually helping me with some kind of chore while we were bonding.

    Answer by NannyB. at 9:24 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • Well let's see my mom played Barbie dolls with me. We threw elaborate weddings for them. She took us swimming and played diving games with us too. Even my dad played with us. I play video games with my daughter. We cosplay out on occasion. She even pretended to be my butler and served me cake that she made on my birthday. I dance around the living room and sing Spongebob songs with my boys. I may be doing it wrong according to your friend, but my kids are happy. Curious if she has children herself. I did my best parenting before I became a mom too.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:49 AM on May. 7, 2013

  • My mother never played with us kids either and she's in her early 40s now. I play with my kids all the time.

    Answer by LostSoul88 at 10:07 AM on May. 7, 2013